Renal Diets and Renal Dietitians
Contact a Dietitian
If you are under the care of one of the Renal Consultants you do not need a doctor to refer you to a renal dietitian. You can contact them at:
287011 Leaflets from the Renal Dietitians are linked to at
the bottom of this page.
Diet is important.
Many want to know what they should and should not be eating,
but more often than not, before dialysis is needed, there are
no special diets that help the kidney except the healthy
balanced diet. What we eat remains important even though
there is no standard "renal diet". A healthy balanced
diet is what will help our kidneys (and our heart). See below.
There are reasons why you
might need to change your diet for health reasons. (This is for adults and if you haven't been asked
to do otherwise by your health care team). These are if:
|☼ You are not having balanced diet. Have a
balanced diet. Unless you have agreed on particular
changes with a dietitian:-
|☼ All you eat is healthy food but are you having the right amount ?? What ARE appropriate portion sizes??|
|☼ You are
your BMI) - Also see list of tips/diet sheets from
the renal dietitians at bottom of page.
|☼ You are underweight (check your BMI)|
|☼ You are dehydrated and need to drink more fluid|
|☼ You consume too much salt [it's hidden in bought food] (cooking/preparing/choosing fresh food can fix this problem)|
|☼ You consume too much sugar [it's hidden in bought food] (cooking/preparing/choosing fresh food can fix this problem)|
|☼ You consume too much processed or junk food|
|☼ You are drinking too much booze|
|☼ You are not sticking to a prescribed fluid restriction - only if you have one! - resulting in oedema [swelling with fluid/water] that can bring about heart failure. Please only reduce fluid intake when a health professional advises it - dehydration can seriously damage the kidneys|
|☼ Your blood potassium is too high (can lead to serious nerve/heart problems - if high we will tell you and the dietitians will explain what to do)|
|☼ Your blood phosphate is too high (can lead to serious bone and blood vessel calcification problems - if high we will tell you and the dietitians will explain what to do)|
If one or more of the above relates to
you and you have done nothing about it then you are not having
a "healthy diet", and for health reasons (if you choose) you
should change your diet so none of the above relate to you.
OK, it is not easy. The dietitians are there to help you.
A little bit of something "bad" won't
hurt - but are you having a little bit of something bad every
day? Over the months and years a regular intake of "little bit
of something bad" can lead to a big bit of something bad -
like a large tummy or high blood pressure!
How do you know what is too much
processed or junk food? You can count up the sugar and salt
content of what you eat and ensure you stick to the
recommended amounts below. (This is for adults and if you
haven't been asked to do otherwise by your health care team).
|Daily limits for:
|Sugars:||No more than about 30g of added
sugar. Click link on left for information.
|Make bread without adding sugar & salt
Sugars and salt are found in
fresh unprocessed food but only in small quantities. They are
found in large quantities in processed and junk food which often contain
the unhealthy fats.
(Note: IT IS NOT HELPFUL
to restrict potassium, phosphate or fluid unless there is a
medical need and you will be told if there is. Restricting these
without medical need might do more harm than good. Not everybody
with kidney failure needs to restrict them. The reason why they
are sometimes restricted is not usually to help the kidneys any
case, but to help the side effects of kidneys not working
properly. Please by guided by your renal dietitian.)
There are links to the dietitians' kidney diet information sheets at the end of this page..
Videos to watch: (To
make videos Full Screen, start video first and then click on
small box bottom right of video).
|Making bread without adding sugar or salt.
Works fine. (You'll need to make video full screen
to read text).
|Dietitian Kevin Jesty on diet and renal disease|
|Lawrence Keogh cooks for renal patients|
|Be Kind to your Kidneys Diet & Lifestyle|
|Food with Thought - The everyday ‘kind to
kidneys’ recipe collection from the National Kidney Federation (NKF) You
can buy a paper copy from the NKF.
|Lawrence Keogh’s Rediscovering Food & Flavours - The Kidney Care Cookbook from KidneyResearchUK|
|Everyday Eating Tasty recipes and helpful hints for kidney patients by kidney patients from Guy's & St. Thomas' Hospitals London.|
(If some of these leaflets are 'not found' it is because
they are being updated. Email for
the current version which can be a guide until the updated
version goes live.)
|Leaflets to check and
monitor your potassium and phosphate are found here to
|Different dietary guidelines for the
different ways of doing dialysis - download
here (Renal Dietitians' talk given at the information