Kidney Friendly Foods: I see a lot posted... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Kidney Friendly Foods

vhoffm01 profile image

I see a lot posted about what foods to avoid, but not many about what's good for your kidneys.

What SPECIFIC foods does one with CKD eat?

Has anyone increased their GFR by simply eating kidney friendly foods? If so, by how much and were you able to maintain the higher levels?

(I am fully aware that each person with CKD needs a different menu based on their labs. However, I just want to gauge what has worked for others. I do have an appointment with a nutritionist and have done research on

17 Replies
Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador


I and others here have maintained or improved our labs by changing what we eat. And yes, everyone is different. I do not eat red meat and not very often do I eat fish. I will have chicken in small amounts but usually not more than once or twice a week. I do eat eggs, but I will have three eggs, two are only egg whites. I scramble them and put them in a lo-carb wrap for lunch. I eat apples. I eat cherries in season. I eat a huge amount of lettuces, sometime only that in wrap. I eat salads usually three or more times a week. NO tomatoes. I eat cauliflower and I do eat broccoli. Sometimes I have zucchini or green beans. I eat pasta, but I have to limit it because of the high glycemic value. I make my own bread from scratch. I do make fruit pie once in a great while from scratch also. We eat no sugar added fudge popsicles. I do eat cheese, mostly because I was not getting enough protein. I eat oatmeal at least once a week. I snack on popcorn, home made and not so much micro-wave. I eat red and green peppers, cooked and raw. I do not eat and miss terribly, potatoes in any form. No winter squash but will eat an occasional summer squash (yellow). I love greens and beans (escarole), and will have that once in a while, but the beans are too high in potassium for me to eat it often. I do not eat lentils, high in potassium. Every once in a while, I will have something like turkey, or shrimp or scallops but rarely like when we go out to eat. Going out for breakfast is hard because of the choices and usually they want to give you a ton of potatoes. I will eat pancakes, and yes,.....I do eat bacon. Once in a while and not much. Its better for me than sausage. I will eat chicken sausage that one local company hand crafts because there is no preservatives in it. Love that with peppers and onions. I make a macaroni salad with low fat mayo. Oh, I just learned to make Asian slaw and my own fired rice. I use amino soy substituent. I also make veggie and chicken kabobs using that product.

Wow, looking at this it looks like I do not eat much, but I do. I lost weight in the beginning but not so much now. I have been eating like this for and year and half. It helps that I like to cook.

Hope this was helpful.

Thank you for your thorough reply! I enjoy hearing things from individuals with CKD instead of reading something that could be written by anyone.

Have you tried soaking potatoes and carrots in cold water for 4 hours or more. Changing the water after 4 hours? You should be able to eat small quantities after doing that.

Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador in reply to VeteranPatient

HI I have just learned to do with out potatoes and tomatoes completely. And truthfully, now, I do not miss them. Matter of fact, I find potatoes taste very starchy to me now. Carrots are not as bad with the potassium so I do have some.

I try to eat some of the super foods on the list below in my diet daily:

I also rely a lot on the recipes from the Davita website. Many of those recipes incorporate several of the super foods on theNKF food list. I really like the apple cranberry coleslaw recipe on the Davita website.


orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador in reply to Jayhawker

Thank you for sharing the link. I do eat most of the foods on that list and it fits my renal diet. I also like the apple cranberry coleslaw recipe on Davita.

Yes you can eat alot of things, for me when i stopped eating meat my GFR increased by 5 points approximately, i eat egg white 2-3 times a week, i eat rice with vegetables (low potassium vegetables), i eat cheese 3 times a week and hope to make it 2 times. The choice will vary if you have diabetes so make your plan with the least amount of animal protein and you will see your number getting better.

KidneyCoach profile image
KidneyCoachNKF Ambassador

As someone on home hemodialysis I have few limits and am able to eat what I enjoy. I eat eggs, pasta, rice, cheese, yogurt. I love veggie stir fry and sometimes add a bit of chicken or lean stew meat. I am a big salad eater, making it chicken or taco or shrimp. Many times it's romaine a bit of spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, radishes, peppers. Sometimes I will add a bit of celery turkey ham cheese. You can create salads anyway you want depending on your labs. I can and do eat potatoes. I use the smaller ones and enjoy them once a month. I don't need to use binders so it works well for me. Occasionally I eat avocados, tomatoes, ice cream. My most favorite foods are salads and pie. Pie is lovely. Blessings

I’m stage 2 up from stage 3A. I don’t have potassium issues, but do have food intolerances which is limiting. I eat a ton of fruit and veggies. Mornings I have berries sometimes a small amount of grass fed yogurt. Sometimes a whole egg with mushrooms and onions or other veggies mixed in. Occasionally gluten free pancakes with fruit. Lunch, I always have a smoothie with kale, pineapple, broccoli and other fruit including cherries, blueberries, mango and flax oil. Yum!!! With that I have a variety of foods from split pea soup to tuna salad or chicken rice and veggies with coconut cream sauce, gluten free pasta with homemade pesto or a very small amount of red sauce. ( I cook a lot now). Dinner, almost everyday I have a salad with flax seed oil and vinegar dressing. Something small with it as I can’t eat much or I have stomach issues since we can never seem to eat before 6:30 or 7 and we go to bed at 9. Snacks are popcorn with no salt that I pop in olive oil, coconut oil or air pop. Blue corn chips unsalted with hummus, skinned apple etc. I can’t do gluten, soy, ginger, lemon, carrots, oats, watermelon, strawberries and milk due to allergies and intolerances. Otherwise I eat most anything in small proportions to meat kidney guidelines. I really watch the amount of animal protein only eating 1-2 oz at a time. I don’t eat carbs such as rice, gluten free pasta etc often- maybe a few times a week. I do eat grass fed red meat on occasion- maybe a few times a month. I usually cook all my meals, but will occasionally eat out, but never fast food, or have a frozen cauliflower pizza. I don’t drink anything except water and smoothies- no colas or sodas, no tea, no coffee. I’m working on eliminating added sugars, but will occasionally use honey. I focus on using olive oil, very small amounts of coconut oil, macadamia oil, walnut oil and flax oil as they all have a higher Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. This has been a long process to get to this point, gradually giving up all the food addictions and junk food things I’ve loved over the past 6 years since I found out about my intolerances and 3years of finding out kidney disease. I slip and pay for it, then pick myself back up and eat really clean for a good amount of time, get to feeling good, get complacent, eat something I shouldn’t, feel crappy and the cycle starts over. I then forgive myself and Keep on moving forward.

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador in reply to Zazzel

I too can tell if I get off my diet, and then get back on it.

Hi, vhoffm01,

Well, since you asked, here is my experience and the resource I used to guide me. Just click the link to my previous HealthUnlocked post:

Make sure you study my lab results. The best thing you can do is educate yourself.

Oh, Wow! Just read your link on healthunlocked site and am ever so impressed with your improved results. May need to add Mr. Hull's book to my reading list as well. Also jotted down the lab markers you listed as a good guide for me as I start tracking mine. thank you!

Thank you and you're welcome. I would put Lee Hull's book on top of the list and visit his website (you can Google it) to sign up for emails and updates and videos. But it's hard work and you have to make it a permanent lifestyle. I had my labs done again a few weeks ago and my creatinine was exactly the same at 1.37. Good luck.

Just ordered Mr. Hull's book; excited to start it and now to check out his website. Thanks again.

You're welcome again. A BIG heads up on Mr. Hull's book: the first thirty-three chapters cover all sorts of factors and causes of CKD including improper diet. Chapters thirty-four through forty present the Stopping Kidney Disease CKD diet plan. So be patient.

You can skim or skip the medical case studies. Let me know what you think after you read the first few chapters

Mr. Hull also very recently came out with a CKD diet/cookbook. It's also on Amazon.

Fir breakfast I eat fresh strawberries..blueberries and a slice if lemon....sometimes I add anEnglish Muffin....Lunch is usually a spinach salad...and I am still working on dinners...that's a hard labs stay in until then i enjoy small amounts if my favorites knowing that someday they will be a no no....

Hi there, I’m stage 3 with food intolerances. I’m very lucky in that I only had to make minimal changes to my diet to increase my GFR. I basically eat a normal diet but avoid salt, processed foods, gluten, dairy and alcohol (the last 3 due to intolerances) and fizzy drinks and too much sugar. I cook meals from scratch and use plenty of fresh veg. I also eat quite a few salads and only drink water, fruit tea and the occasional black tea/coffee. That and regular daily walking and swimming has increased my GFR to nearly 60.

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