Comprehensive Good Foods List for Your Kidneys

RenalTracker Team: May 22, 2019

A lot of you have been asking, “What are the foods I should eat?”  Whether you are a CKD patient or living someone with CKD, here's a good foodst list for the kidneys. 

Meat / Protein Foods

Note: For portions and sizes should be as per direction of your doctor/or dietitian.

  • Beef (fresh, lean cuts)
  • Chicken
  • Eggs / egg substitutes
  • Fish (fresh)
  • Lamb
  • Pork (make sure to use fresh, lean cuts only)
  • Shellfish (clams, lobster, crabs)
  • Tofu
  • Tuna (canned in water)
  • Turkey
  • Veal

Fruits

Note: serving size = medium-sized fruit or ½ cup, fresh. If canned, make sure there is no added sugar.

  • Apples / applesauce
  • Apricots (canned)
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Figs (fresh)
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Grapefruit (½)
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Limes / Lime juice
  • Lychees
  • Peaches (canned) 
  • Pears (canned)
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon

Vegetables

Note: serving size = ½ cup, cooked, no added salt (especially for green leafy vegetables).

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bean sprouts
  • Beets (canned)
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chili peppers
  • Chives
  • Coleslaw
  • Corn
  • Hominy
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Gingerroot
  • Green beans
  • Jalapeños (fresh)
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • White Shitake Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas (English)
  • Pimientos
  • Radicchio
  • Radishes
  • Seaweed
  • Kelp
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet peppers (green, red, yellow)
  • Tomatillos
  • Turnips / turnip greens

Bread, Cereals, and Grains

Note: For portions and sizes should be as per direction of your doctor/or dietitian.

  • Bread (white, French, Italian, rye, soft wheat)
  • Bread sticks (plain)
  • Cereals (dry or cooked, low salt)
  • Couscous
  • Crackers, popcorn, or pretzels (unsalted)
  • Dinner rolls
  • English muffins
  • Hamburger buns
  • Macaroni
  • Melba toast
  • Noodles
  • Oyster crackers
  • Pita bread
  • Rice cakes
  • Spaghetti
  • Tortillas (flour)
  • White rice

Dairy and Dairy Substitutes

Note: serving size = ½ cup or 1 ounce a day

  • Non-dairy creamers
  • Non-dairy frozen desserts and toppings
  • Rice milk, unfortified
  • Almond milk
  • Soy milk

Beverages

Note: Always consult your physician and keep your fluid restriction in mind.

  • Fruit punch
  • Ginger ale
  • Juices (apple, cranberry, grape)
  • Nectars (apricot, peach, or pear; ½ cup servings)
  • Root beer
  • Soda (cream, grape, lemon-lime)
  • Tea (herbal)
  • Water

Fats

Note: For portions and sizes should be as per direction of your doctor/or dietitian.

  • ​Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetable oils (preferably olive oil)

Seasonings and Spices

  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Caraway seed
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Dill
  • Extracts (almonds, lemon, lime, maple, orange, peppermint, vanilla, walnut)
  • Fennel
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Lemon juice
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Pepper (ground)
  • Pimientos
  • Poppy seed
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Vinegar

Desserts, Snacks, and Sweets

Note: for people with diabetes, please use with caution and with recommendations from your dietitian.

  • Animal crackers
  • Cakes (angel food, butter, lemon, pound, spice, strawberry, white, and yellow)
  • Candy corn
  • Chewing gum
  • Cinnamon drops
  • Cookies (ginger snaps, shortbread, sugar, vanilla wafers)
  • Corn cakes
  • Cotton candy
  • Doughnuts
  • Fruit ice
  • Graham crackers
  • Gumdrops
  • Hard candy
  • Lollipops
  • Marshmallows
  • Sherbet / sorbet

A friendly reminder:

This list should NOT be taken as absolute and applicable for every CKD patient. Some people, especially those in the most advanced stages of CKD, might need to significantly limit or entirely avoid a few of the entries in this list.

Our recommendation is to always consult your nephrologist and/or dietitian for the appropriate foods to eat with regards to your CKD stage.

P.S. We would love to have you on our RenalTracker Support Group in Facebook. Anyone who needs help and/or wants to help is very welcome to join. Click this link if you want to join the support group.

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