Dialysis patients must manage how much potassium they consume. This mineral affects cell, nerve, and muscle function.1 Potassium also affects heart rhythm, and too much or too little potassium can cause heart failure.
You might have heard someone say they eat bananas to minimize leg cramps. Potassium is critical in many of the body’s functions, such as
- Building proteins & muscle
- Breaking down & using carbohydrates
- Maintaining normal body growth
- Controlling electrical activity of the heart (Potassium is an electrolyte.)
- Controlling the acid-base balance
My potassium level tends to run on the lower end of acceptable levels. So I know to eat more of these potassium rich foods. If you are limiting potassium, avoid the foods in this chart.
The renal diet encompasses nearly every aspect of eating, and potassium in the diet of a kidney patient is a big consideration, particularly because many foods high in potassium are also high in phosphorus.
I know first-hand how difficult the renal diet can be, especially for diabetics. Renal-friendly recipes provide hope when your diet is limited. My dietician gave me a great book named, “Fill Your Plate! A World of Tasty Recipes for the Kidney Community”. Davida also provides hundreds of recipes on-line. You can see them here.
We all benefit from sharing and learning together. Tell us in the comments your favorite kidney-friendly recipes or recipe resources! If you don’t have a go-to recipe, visit the RESOURCES below.
If you or someone you care about is facing dialysis, share your experiences and concerns. This is a forum for learning and inspiration where we can ask questions and be honest with others in the same situation. We are going through the same trials with different outcomes. What are your successes and challenges with dialysis?
1 “Living Well on Dialysis: A Cookbook for Patients and their Families”. ©1991-2012, National Kidney Foundation, New York, NY
“Fill Your Plate! A World of Tasty Recipes for the Kidney Community” ©2011 Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.