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Foods you can eat while on dialysis

Updated on April 30, 2012


Dialysis is a process of removing waste and excess water from the blood. Dialysis is performed when you have chronic kidney disease. It helps the body to perform the functions of failed kidneys. There are two main types of dialysis such as hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis helps to remove waste, excess water and extra chemicals from the blood. Peritoneal dialysis means your blood is cleaned inside your body. If you have dialysis, your health care provider choose a diet with the right amount of sodium, pottassium, phosphorus and protein content. Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart disease and other health conditions. Here are some of the foods you can eat while on dialysis.

List of foods to eat while on dialysis:

Low potassium foods while on dialysis
Low potassium foods while on dialysis

1. Vegetables: You can safely eat vegetables such as lettuce, caulifower, snow peas, bean sprouts, radish, turnips, cucumber, coleslaw and eggplant. These veggies are low in potassium. Other veggies include onions, garlic, parsley, tomatoes and peppers. Potassium is essential for your heart. Consuming too much potassium can cause heart attack and other problems.

How to leach vegetables to lower potassium:

Leaching is a process to lower potassium. Some of the high potassium vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, rutabagas, beets, cauliflower, mushrooms, frozen greens and squash. It will not get all the potassium out of the vegetables you eat. Ask your health care provider about the amount of leached vegetables you can safely consume. Remember you must limit the amount of leached vegetables you eat.

First cut the vegetables into small portions. Wash the vegetables with water. Put the vegetables in the stockspot. Fill the vegetables with water. For example if you take 1 cup of potatoes, add 10 cups of water. Soak the potatoes for 2 to 4 hours. Take the vegatbles from the pot and rinse well. Cook the potatoes with 5 cups of water.

2. Fruits and juices: You can have apples, grapes, berries, blackberries, peaches, pineapple, raspberries and strawberries. These fruits are low in potassium.

You can have juices such as cranberry juice, grape juice and lemon jucie. Other juices include root beer and ginger ale that are low in phosphorus.

3. Milk products: You need to limit your dairy, because of the high phosphorus content. You can use non dairy substitutes on cereals and coffee. Other salfely use milk products include unfortified rice milk, non diary whipped cream, miracle whip, cottage cheese and sour cream. Soft cheeses are usually low in phosphorus than hard cheeses. Too much phosphorus in the blood can pull your calcium from the bones. Other milk based snacks include thank You brand canned pudding and Hunt's pudding cups. Some of the high phosphorus foods include milk, cheeses and colas.

4. Meats: You can choose meats such as lean chicken, eggs and fish. Season your meats with herbs such as lemon, pepper and tarragon. Always avoid deli meats, frozen foods and cured meats while you are on dialysis.

Nutri grain bars
Nutri grain bars

More foods to eat while on dialysis:

5. Snacks: Choose snacks such as animal crackers, rice krispies treat squares, vanilla wafers, low sodium wheat thins, redenbacher popcorn and nutri grain bars. These snacks are low in sodium. Some of the snacks low in potassium during dialysis include gingersnaps, hard candy, sherbet, popsicles, applesauce and fig bars.

6. Others: Other foods you have while on dialysis include unsalted pretzels, nestle crunch bar, unenriched rice milk, cream of wheat, pies such as apple pie, lemon pie, pineapple pie, strawberry pie and raspberry pie.


  • Fluids are very important while you are on dialysis. Two much of fluids can cause difficulty breathing and swelling. The best way to reduce your liquid intake is by choosing low sodium foods. Sodium can increase your thrist. Avoid salt to the foods you prepare. Salt intake may increase your fluid restriction very soon. Read the labels and avoid foods that contains the words such as salt and sodium.
  • You can freeze your juice such as cranberry juice in a freezer and eat like a popsicle.
  • Choose low protein products. Ask your doctor first.
  • Choose the foods that are low in potassium and phosphorus. Ask your doctor about how much potassium and phosphorus you can take every day.
  • Try to eat plenty of fiber every day. It helps to get rid of ample amounts of potassium from the body.

Dialysis treatment procedure:


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      Michelle 3 years ago

      You have cauliflower in both low potassium and high potassium ?

      Also I understood that fibre is high in phosphates?? That's why my dietician recommended only eating white bread .

      Also frozen food is fine, as long as you have made it yourself, then you know what has gone into it.

      You say about choosing low protein products, but some people need the protein as dialysis can remove proteins from the body, in particular haemodialysis patients. I understand that PD works differently and persons sometimes need a lower protein diet. As with all of these, best to speak with you doctor/dietician to clarify what is best for you as we all differ slightly.

      Wishing you well, and thanks for an informative page.