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Diabetic Renal Diet: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

You may already be spreading carbohydrate throughout your daily meals. When you also have kidney disease, you need to avoid foods that make your kidneys worse. Keep your blood sugar and blood pressure as near normal as you can to reduce your chance of kidney failure.

Your doctor and dietitian will help you make an eating plan. It will be based on your body weight, size, and medical condition. You may need to limit salt, fluids, and protein. You also may need to limit minerals such as potassium and phosphorus. It takes planning, but there are plenty of tasty, healthy foods you can eat. Always talk with your doctor or dietitian before you make changes in your diet.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Work with your doctor or dietitian to create a food plan that guides your daily food choices.
  • Do not skip meals or go for many hours without eating.
  • You can use margarine, mayonnaise, and oil to add calories to your diet for energy. The healthiest oils are olive, canola, and safflower oils.
  • Talk to your dietitian about eating sweets, including honey and sugar.
  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Do not take any other medicine without talking to your doctor first. This includes over-the-counter medicines, and natural health products such as vitamins and herbal products.
  • Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day. Count it as part of your fluid allowance.

To get the right amount of protein

  • Ask your doctor or dietitian how much protein you can have each day. You need some protein to stay healthy.
  • Include all sources of protein in your daily protein count. Besides meat, poultry, and fish, protein is found in milk and milk products, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, and eggs. Check for protein on the Nutrition Facts label found on packages of food such as bread and cereal.

To limit salt

  • Do not add salt to your food. And look for "reduced salt" or "low sodium" on labels.
  • Do not use a salt substitute or lite salt unless your doctor says it is okay. (These products are high in potassium.)
  • Avoid or use very small amounts of condiments and marinades. These include soy sauce, fish sauce, and barbecue sauce. They are high in sodium.
  • Avoid salted pretzels, chips, and other salted snacks.
  • Check food labels to become more aware of the sodium content of foods. Foods that are high in sodium include soups; many canned foods; cured, smoked, or dried meats; and many packaged foods.

To control carbohydrate

  • Ask your dietitian how much carbohydrate you can have. Carbohydrate foods include:
    • Whole grain and refined breads and cereals, and some vegetables such as peas and beans.
    • Fruits, milk, and milk products (except cheese).
    • Candy, table sugar, and regular carbonated drinks.

To limit fluids

  • Know what your fluid allowance is. Fill a pitcher with that amount of water every day. If you drink another fluid (such as coffee) that day, pour an equal amount out of the pitcher.
  • Foods that are liquid at room temperature count as fluids. These include ice, gelatin, ice pops, and ice cream.

To limit potassium

Ask your healthcare provider how to change your diet to eat the amount of potassium that's right for you. Refer to Potassium and Your Kidney Diet for a complete list of potassium foods.

  • Fruits that are low in potassium include blueberries and raspberries.
  • Vegetables that are low in potassium include cucumbers and radishes.
  • Limit, or avoid high-potassium foods such as avocado, cooked greens, tomato and tomato products (like sauce and paste), milk and milk products (like yogurt and cheese), nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Avoid processed foods that have reduced salt. Many of these foods replace salt with potassium, always check the ingredient list.

To limit phosphorus

Ask your healthcare provider how to change your diet to eat the amount of phosphorus that's right for you.

  • Follow your doctor's or dietitian's plan for your limit on milk and milk products in your diet.
  • Avoid nuts, peanut butter, seeds, lentils, all legumes and pulses, processed and organ meats, salmon and sardines.
  • Avoid drinks with added phosphate such as: cola, iced tea, root beer, drink crystals, some flavoured waters.
  • Avoid whole grains and whole wheat bread, bran breads or bran cereals. They are high in phosphorus.

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