Eating smart while on dialysis helps you feel your best

nutrition and dialysis?

Proper nutrition is especially important when you’re living with dialysis treatments. There’s no one right nutrition plan. Monthly blood tests help your kidney dietitian understand what nutrients you need more of and which nutrients you may need to limit.

Your dietitian will recommend a well-rounded nutrition plan that fits your preferences, goals, and needs, including:

  1. Protein

    Your body uses protein to build muscle, repair tissue, and fight infection. Dialysis removes protein from the body while removing waste. People on dialysis usually need to eat more protein foods to stay healthy. Your kidney dietitian will help you plan the right types and amounts of protein foods in your diet.

  2. Potassium and Phosphorus

    These two minerals are removed or regulated by healthy kidneys. In the bodies of people on dialysis, they can build up in the blood and cause health problems. Your dietitian and doctor help you keep a healthy amount of potassium and phosphorus in your body. 

  3. Sodium

    Sodium is found in table salt and many processed foods. Too much sodium in your diet can make you thirsty and raise your blood pressure. Most people like you on dialysis should eat less salt/sodium, especially if your blood pressure is high or if you retain water in your body. 

  4. Calories

    Eat enough calories to keep a healthy weight and have the energy you need. If you don’t get enough calories, your body will break down your muscles to use for fuel. This can increase your chances of injury or other problems. 

Read more on how to get the proper nutrition for a healthier life on dialysis

Learn how your kidney dietitian supports your life on dialysis

Smart eating starts with reading food labels

Living well with kidney disease includes making food choices that help you be your healthiest. Start by reading food labels. This simple but powerful skill helps you understand how much sodium, potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients are in the foods you eat.

reading food labels

Delicious recipes for a dialysis-healthy life

Our online cookbook includes dozens of tasty kidney-friendly recipes to enjoy. In fact, these dishes are good for your whole family. Which one will become your new favorite dinner go-to?

View all recipes

Deviled Eggs

A festive and satisfying dish for your holiday table is sure to please even the pickiest eater.


Pan-Cooked Fish With Bell Peppers

Get the right amount of protein for you

Your body uses protein to build muscle, repair tissue, and fight infection. Dialysis removes some protein from your  body while removing waste. Your dialysis dietitian helps you create a meal plan to help you get the right amount of protein – enough, but not too much.

Here are some good sources of protein for people living on dialysis:

  • Beef: round, sirloin, flank, cubed, T-bone, porterhouse steak, tenderloin, rib, chuck, rump roast, ground beef
  • Pork: fresh ham, tenderloin, chops, loin roast 1 oz.
  • Lamb: chops, leg, roast
  • Veal: chops, roast, cutlets
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, Cornish hen, duck, goose
  • Eggs: whole, egg white or yolk, low-cholesterol egg substitute
  • Fish: fresh, frozen, unsalted canned tuna or salmon
  • Shellfish: lobster, scallops, shrimp, crab, clams, oysters

protein while on dialysis

Home dialysis may offer more freedom with food

Dialysis at home has many advantages. A significant one is more flexibility with food choices. People having treatments at home may have:
  • More freedom to eat foods they love
  • Less need to reduce the amount of fluids they drink
  • Fewer medications to take

Dialysis in a center and food planning

Most people on dialysis in a center need to monitor their diet and fluid intake carefully to stay healthy. This means thoughtfully planning meals to:
  • Control potassium and phosphorus intake
  • Get enough of the right kinds of protein
  • Limit salt/sodium intake
  • Monitor fluid intake
  • Get enough kidney-friendly calories to stay healthy and active
dialysis dietitian

Discuss your monthly lab results with your dialysis dietitian

Monthly blood and other lab tests help your dialysis dietitian understand what nutrients you need more of and which nutrients you may need to limit.


dialysis and diabetes

Manage diabetes for a longer life

Uncontrolled diabetes makes it harder to stay healthy on dialysis. Monitor and control your blood sugar. Take prescribed medications. Make food choices to help control your blood sugar.