The major parts of the renal diet part 1 (protein and potassium)
The most important foods to control are those containing protein, potassium, sodium, phosphorous and fluid. Your dietician will help you set up a meal plan which will contain the right amount of these nutrients for you, depending on body size, type of dialysis and medical condition. In this part, protein and potassium is covered, and the other micronutrients are covered in part 2.
What is potassium?
Potassium is an electrolyte. Healthy kidneys get rid of any excess potassium from food you have eaten. If your kidneys are damaged, they may not be able to excrete potassium well enough. Potassium then builds up in your body.
Too high potassium levels are dangerous. They can make your heart beat irregularly, or even stop. This can occur without warning.
In catabolic states where the patients are using body tissue as an energy source, the potassium release from the cells is increased.
Too little potassium in your diet is also harmful. Foods which contain large amounts of potassium include: 3-4 cups of coffee per day, especially when milk is added, whole wheat products, oranges, bananas, avocado pears, dried fruit, fruit juice, mangoes, potatoes, cauliflower and raw spinach.
Foods which are moderate potassium sources are: beef, mutton, poultry, vegetables (root and green), fish, eggs and cheese.
POOR SOURCES are: corn starch, honey, white sugar, marmalade, jam, oil, butter, margarine and tea.
Your dietician can help you plan a diet to limit foods high in potassium. You can control your potassium level by watching the size and number of portions and reading labels for ingredients.