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Previously, we have discussed that when you’re diagnosed with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease, you are already at risk for health complications but can start making certain dietary changes in order to avoid more kidney damage and progression of kidney failure. 

From there, we have listed down the 10 Foods to Avoid for Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease which focuses on limiting the amount of your sodium, potassium, protein, phosphorus intake, and gave tips on healthier options to opt for. 

So, here’s another list of foods to avoid for Stage 3 CKD:


ckd and oranges

Both orange and orange juice are high in potassium. One orange contains around 255mg of potassium [18] and one cup of orange juice contains about 443 mg of potassium [19]

So, if you have been instructed by your kidney doctor or dietitian to limit your potassium intake, avoiding both orange and orange juice is something you want to do.

TIP: Instead of eating oranges and drinking orange juice, look for a kidney-friendly alternative like pineapple or pineapple juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, or even grape juice.  


ckd and potatoes

Potatoes are naturally high in potassium. For example, one medium potato contains around 610mg of potassium [20]. But there are ways to reduce its potassium content. One of the best ways to do so is called “leaching” in which you have to soak the potatoes in water before actually cooking them. 

Another effective way to remove potassium through leaching is by cutting them up into small pieces and boiling them in water for about 10 minutes. By doing so, you can reduce its potassium content by at least half the original amount. [21]

[21] The effects of boiling and leaching on the content of potassium and other minerals in potatoes


ckd and tomatoes

Tomatoes are high-potassium fruits that are often limited or restricted for those who are in CKD stage 3. 

This also includes raw tomatoes and tomato sauce. For example, 1 cup of tomato sauce can contain around 910mg of potassium [22]. While one medium tomato contains around 292mg of potassium [23]. So, it’s best that if you are instructed to limit potassium, you should avoid tomatoes.

TIP: Instead of using tomato sauce, you can go for a delicious roasted red pepper sauce since it has less potassium content per serving.  


granola ckd

While granola is a healthy option since it’s made with oats, it should be limited because of its potassium content. For example, two ounces has about 306mg of potassium. [24]

TIP: Instead of buying granola in a store, you can make your own kidney-friendly homemade granola with an even lower potassium content.  


beans ckd

Although beans are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, they can increase the amount of potassium and phosphorus in your blood if consumed in large quantities. 

There are studies that have suggested that beans and legumes are a good source of protein for people who have Chronic Kidney Disease. [25] But guidelines still recommend limiting the intake of beans due to their potassium and phosphorus content. For example, 1 cup of cooked pinto beans contains about 251mg of phosphorus and 746mg of potassium. [26]

TIP: Leaching the beans and legumes before cooking can decrease the potassium content. However, it’s still important to speak with your dietitian to discuss the amount of high-potassium vegetables you should leach that you can safely consume.  

Pickles and Relish

pickles relish ckd

Since both are cured foods, they are high in sodium and should be avoided on any kidney diet. 

For example, one large pickle contains around 1,630mg of sodium and since a kidney-friendly diet usually recommends a person to stay below 2,300mg per day, it’s also best to avoid it. [28]

TIP: If you ever you are craving for a pickle, opt for low-sodium pickles to limit your daily intake. But it’s important to read the food labels just to be sure it fits your recommended sodium intake since low-sodium options still contain sodium.  


apricots ckd

It’s best to avoid apricots because of their potassium content. For example, one cup of sliced apricots has about 427 mg of potassium. [29] Moreover, 1 cup of dried apricots contains about 1,510 mg of potassium and could easily take up your daily recommended potassium intake which is typically less than 2,000 mg per day. [30]

TIP: You can choose a kidney-friendly fruit such as peaches or plums to stay within your recommended daily potassium intake. 

Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Beet Greens

spinach ckd

Most leafy greens such as swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are not recommended on a kidney diet because of its potassium content. For example, 1 cup of cooked spinach contains about 839mg of potassium, which is almost half of the daily recommended amount for people with CKD stage 3. [32]

TIP: You can consume lower potassium green vegetables like beans, lettuce, asparagus, and even celery to help limit your daily potassium intake. 

Dried Fruits

dried fruits ckd

There are many dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, and prunes that are high in potassium, sugar, ang calories. For example, 1 cup of prunes contain about 1,270mg of potassium [33] However, the potassium if in raw state, is significantly reduced. Another example, one cup of plums contains about 259mg of potassium [34]

TIP: Instead of dried fruits, you can go for fresh fruits that are low in potassium such as figs, plums, or even grapes. 

Pretzels, Chips, and Crackers

pretzels chips and crackers ckd

These types of foods are usually high in sodium and they also lack the important nutrients that  your body needs to function properly. 

Since potato chips are made from potatoes, they are high in potassium and should be avoided. For example, one small bag of potato chips (about 22 chips) contains around 150mg of sodium and 336 mg of potassium. [35]

TIP: Choose kidney-friendly low-sodium snack options such as unsalted popcorn, low-sodium crackers, and pita chips. 


avocados ckd

Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy fats and contain important vitamins and minerals that your body needs. However, they are also high in potassium. For example, one avocado contains about 690mg of potassium. [12]

TIP: Even though they are high in potassium, you can try enjoying them in small quantities as part of your kidney-friendly diet. You can limit the amount to about ¼ of a medium-sized avocado to keep your daily potassium intake low.  


Can you eat beans with stage 3 kidney disease?
In stage 3 kidney disease, the individual's kidney function is moderately impaired, indicating a decline in their kidneys' ability to filter waste and excess fluids from the body. At this stage, dietary modifications become crucial to manage the condition effectively. One common question that arises is, "Can you eat beans with stage 3 kidney disease?" Beans, being a rich source of plant-based protein, are indeed a popular food choice. However, individuals with stage 3 kidney disease should exercise caution when consuming beans due to their high potassium and phosphorus content. As the kidneys struggle to eliminate these minerals from the bloodstream, their accumulation can lead to further complications. Hence, it is advisable for individuals with stage 3 kidney disease to consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to assess their specific dietary requirements and develop a personalized meal plan that takes their condition into consideration.

Can someone with stage 3 kidney disease eat spinach?

A person in stage 3 kidney disease may have concerns about their diet and wonder if they can consume spinach. It is important to note that individuals in this stage of kidney disease typically experience a moderate decline in kidney function. Although spinach is generally considered a nutritious vegetable, it contains high levels of potassium. In cases of kidney disease, excessive potassium levels can be harmful to the kidneys and may lead to further complications. Therefore, it is advisable for someone with stage 3 kidney disease to consult their healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before including spinach or any other high-potassium food in their diet. These professionals can provide personalized dietary recommendations based on the individual's specific health condition and needs.

What about "Renal Diet Oranges"?

The renal diet is a dietary regimen recommended for individuals with kidney disease, which helps to maintain optimal kidney function and manage symptoms associated with the condition. One component of this specialized diet is the consumption of certain fruits, such as oranges. Oranges provide important nutrients like vitamin C and fiber, which are beneficial for overall health. However, individuals following a renal diet need to be cautious about their orange consumption due to their high potassium content. Although oranges can be included in a renal diet, it is essential to monitor and limit the intake of these citrus fruits to maintain a balanced potassium level in the body and prevent potential complications related to kidney function.

 Further note on Renal Diet Orange Juice

A renal diet restricts certain nutrients to support kidney health. While orange juice is high in potassium, individuals following a renal diet should consume it in moderation. Opt for low-potassium alternatives like apple or cranberry juice to better align with a renal diet.

Your Next Step 

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