Diet for CKD

  • What is CKD?

CKD refers to Chronic Kidney Disease. It involves a slow but progressive and irreversible loss of kidney function. As kidneys perform several functions and the most important being the removal of unwanted and waste materials from the body, in case when the kidneys stop functioning optimally, these waste products begin to accumulate in the body. This leads to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, etc.

  • What kind of diet is recommended in CKD?

In CKD, a diet that provides least waste products is usually recommended. This is mainly achieved through protein restriction. However, we need to provide sufficient calories so that body does not have to face adverse effects of protein restriction. A Renal Dietician help you prepare a diet chart that provides required amount of proteins and calories.

  • How should the protein restriction be executed?

Before following a protein restricted diet, a Renal Dietician assesses your daily intake of all nutrients. In case the protein intake is low, you will not need protein restriction. However, in case your intake is good, you be will be asked to lower it in the following ways:

  • Restrict the frequency of non-vegetarian food sources and prefer eating only the gravy portion instead of pieces.
  • Limit the quantity of dals and pulses or prefer taking them only in combination form like khichdi, idli, etc
  • Limit the intake of milk and milk products.

Once you lower the intake of protein, you will need to compensate it by carbohydrates, hence you can prefer low protein carbohydrate sources like rice, jowar, rawa (suji), etc.

  • Is diet different at different stages of CKD?

Yes, diet prescription differs at different stages of CKD. As the Stage of CKD progresses, diet intake needs to be assessed and addressed in order to help prevent accumulation of waste products. Hence, as the stage advances, diet prescription becomes restrictive. However, with regular follow up, you may be able to include several items in your food list. Hence, careful monitoring is essential to maintain good health during CKD. 

  1. What are the other things that need to be restricted?

Along with protein restriction, you will need to follow salt restriction, fluid restriction and potassium restriction. Let’s see why:

Salt and fluid restriction: Our kidneys help in balancing salt and water. When the kidneys are not able to work optimally, this function is affected. This leads to accumulation of water in the body which can be noticed as swelling either on feet or face. However, it is not necessary that all patients may observe this. In order to avoid this, salt and fluid both need to be restricted.

NOTE: Always ask your Nephrologist about how much fluid and salt should be consumed daily.

  • What are the benefits of following this diet?

This diet helps you to prevent worsening conditions, for example, it is better to remain aware about fluid restriction rather than land into emergencies and then manage them.

Following this diet will help in preserving your health status and prevent you from getting malnourished. It will decrease the chances of developing further complications.

Last but not the least, this diet helps in delaying the onset of dialysis.

  • Is the diet same for all CKD patients?

No, diet is not same for all patients as not all of them have same symptoms. Diet largely depends on the stage of CKD, the blood parameters, patient’s food habits and regional and religional preferences.

  • What are the general guidelines for CKD patients?

Apart from the above listed guidelines for protein restriction, herewith are certain more guidelines to be followed by CKD patients:

  1. Avoid fruit juices and coconut water.
  2. Avoid the use of coconut in gravies.
  3. Avoid high potassium vegetables like drumstick leaves (sainjan patte), palak, chaulai saag, sainjan phalli, arvi, kathal, shakarkand, badi sem.
  4. Avoid avla, khumani, bael fruit, cherries, mosambi, musk melon, water melon, mango, peach, plum, chickoo.

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