Diabetic Renal Diet: Care Instructions

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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 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.
  • Eat regular meals. Do not skip meals or go for many hours without eating. To help control your blood sugar, try to eat several small meals during the day, rather than three large ones.
  • 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 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. Avoid foods that list salt, sodium, or MSG as an ingredient. 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

  • Spread carbohydrate throughout the day. This helps to prevent high blood sugar after meals. 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 cream and gelatin desserts such as Jell-O.

To limit potassium

  • Fruits that are low in potassium include blueberries and raspberries.
  • Vegetables that are low in potassium include cucumbers and radishes.

To limit phosphorus

  • 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, beans, organ meats, and sardines.
  • Avoid cola drinks.
  • Avoid bran breads or bran cereals. They are high in phosphorus.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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