Diet Advice

Fibre

Fibre keeps your bowel habits regular and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which helps to prevent unnecessary snacking. Good sources of fibre include wholemeal/ wholegrain breads and cereals, brown rice/pasta, fruit, vegetables, oats and pulses (beans and lentils).

Salt (sodium)

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure and can make it difficult to control the fluid in your body, as it makes you thirsty. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet will make this much easier. Most of the salt we eat is found in processed foods such as soups, salted snacks, processed meats and some breakfast cereals. Avoid adding salt to your food while cooking or at the table. Do not use salt substitutes. Do not use salt substitutes such as LoSalt or Solo - these contain very high levels of potassium.

as these contain potassium as these contain potassium (see below).

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral found in your body and in many foods. Your kidneys control the amount of potassium in your blood. In kidney disease, you lose this control. Too much or too little potassium can affect your heart beat. Hence, you may be advised to decrease or increase (less common) your dietary potassium intake. You do not need to follow a low or high potassium diet unless you have been advised to by the kidney team.

Phosphate

Phosphate is a mineral found in your body and in many foods. In kidney disease, your blood phosphate levels can rise which can cause weak bones, itching and a build-up of phosphate in your blood vessels, joints or muscles. This can cause them to harden. If your phosphate levels rise, the dietitian will advise you on how to reduce the phosphate in your diet. Phosphate-binding medication will also help lower your phosphate levels.

Fluid

As your kidneys fail, they are unable to control the amount of fluid in your body. Fluid can build up causing your ankles or legs to swell and making you short of breath. It can also increase your blood pressure. In the long-term, this will damage your heart. Once you start dialysis, you will need individualised advice about the amount you can drink each day to ensure that fluid does not build up. Eating less salty foods will reduce thirst and thus help you to keep to your fluid allowance. For more information on fluids, read here.

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