Read food labels to make better choices

Living with kidney disease includes making food choices to help you stay your healthiest. Reading food labels helps you make better choices. Understanding food labels means you know how to count food portions and calories as well as how to keep track of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in your food.

The importance of reading food labels

Wanda, a Satellite Healthcare dietitian, makes it easy to understand how to read a food label and how it helps you make better food choices.

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how to read a food label

What is a serving?

Read the food label and see how much is in a single serving, for example – a cup, 24 pieces, 4 oz. As you prepare meals, measure out each serving. If you eat two servings, double the amount of calories, sodium and other nutrients.

what is a serving size

How much sodium in a serving?

For most people on dialysis, it’s good to eat no more than 1,500-2,000 mg of sodium/salt each day. Target less than 600 mg per meal and less than 200 mg for a snack.

Get tips on how to control sodium
how much sodium do I have

How much potassium in a serving?

For most people on dialysis, it’s good to eat no more than 2000-3000mg of potassium each day. Look for low potassium foods with less than 250mg per serving.

Get tips on how to control potassium
how much potassium should I have

Does this food have phosphorus?

When you see an ingredient that has ‘phos’ in the name, that means the food has added phosphorus and you should limit the amount. 

Get tips on how to control phosphorus
How much phosphorus should I have?

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

Home dialysis can 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