Name _________________________________

Date ___________

When your kidneys no longer work properly, waste products and fluids build up in your blood. Dialysis takes over the work load of your kidneys by removing these things from your blood. Waste products and fluids build up in your body between dialysis, so it's important that you control the amounts and types of foods and fluids you take in everyday.

Until you receive an individualized diet plan from the dietitian at your dialysis center, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Salt should not be added to your food. To season foods use herbs and non-salt type spices. Mrs. Dash®, onion and garlic powder, lemon and vinegar are good choices. Avoid salt substitutes-they're loaded with potassium.
  • Try to include 2-3 servings of high quality protein foods daily (lean meat, fish, poultry and eggs). One serving is 3 ounces. Limit to a total of 8 ounces daily. Natural cheeses such as cheddar, Swiss and colby may be used in small amounts. Avoid processed cheeses (American, Velveeta) and salted, canned and cured meats (Spam). Regular tuna can be used if rinsed under running water for two minutes to reduce the sodium.
  • Limit milk, yogurt, ice cream or sherbet to just one 1/2 cup serving a day. Nondairy creamers such as Coffee Rich® or Mocha Mix® (up to one cup per day) can be used in addition to milk.
  • Avoid nuts, peanut butter, dried beans, seeds and lentils. These foods are high in potassium and phosphorus and they make more waste products in your blood.
  • Choose no more than 3 fruit servings each day. One serving is 1/2 cup or 1 medium fresh fruit. Choose from the list of low potassium fruits.
  • Limit vegetables to 2 servings each day. One serving is 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup tossed salad. Use the low potassium vegetables listed.
  • Bread, tortillas and Ano salt added@ type crackers can be used in moderation. Stay away from the salty snack foods such as pretzels and chips. Avoid bran cereals: they are high in potassium. Cream of wheat, oatmeal and plain dry cereals can be used.
  • Regular margarine, mayonnaise, and oils for cooking can be used liberally. Unless you are diabetic, use sugar, honey and syrup for added energy and calories.
  • Limit fluids to 6 cups or 48 ounces per day (8 ounces = 1 cup). Fluids such as water, coffee, tea, lemonade, carbonated beverages and cranberry juice are okay to use - just watch your limit! Foods that melt at room temperature such as ice, ice cream and jello also need to be counted as fluid.
  • If you are diabetic, continue to eat meals and snacks at regular times and avoid concentrated sweets. For insulin reactions don=t use orange juice, it=s high in potassium! Cranberry juice is a better choice.




1 scrambled egg ______________________

2 slices toast with margarine ______________________

1/2 cup strawberries ______________________

1/2 cup milk ______________________

1 cup coffee ______________________


Turkey sandwich: 2 oz turkey, ______________________

2 slices bread, lettuce & mayonnaise ______________________

1/2 cup coleslaw ______________________

1/2 cup grapes ______________________

1 cup iced tea with lemon ______________________


4 oz grilled pork chop ______________________

1/2 cup rice ______________________

1/2 cup green beans with onion and basil ______________________

1/2 cup applesauce ______________________

Dinner roll and margarine ______________________

1 cup water with lemon ______________________


1/4 cup tuna salad ______________________

5-6 No salt added crackers ______________________


  • Choose meats served without sauces or gravies. Broiled steaks, hamburgers, roast beef, prime rib, baked or grilled fish, chicken or turkey are all fine to eat. Avoid hot dogs and cold cuts like pastrami and salami.
  • Eggs are a good choice
  • Mexican food should be served without avocados, beans, sour cream or fresh tomatoes. Fajitas, tacos, meat filled burritos and beef or chicken enchiladas are your best selections.
  • A small house salad without tomatoes and served with oil and vinegar dressing is fine or try one serving of a cooked vegetable without sauce.
  • Choose white, rye, sourdough, French or Italian bread. English muffins and bagels are OK as is plain rice, plain noodles or mashed potatoes. Plain hot and dry cereals are also good choices.
  • Italian foods to try include plain pasta with butter or oil and meats served without cream or tomato sauces (Veal Marsala for example).
  • Chinese food should be made without any MSG (ask your server) and extra soy sauce should be avoided. Try not to order any food served with nuts.