17 Kidney Friendly Foods To Savor

Unsalted Popcorn - A Kidney-Friendly Food

Unsalted Popcorn – An Ideal Kidney-Friendly Snack

Are you “kidney conscious”?

Because of what the Institutes of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health tell us, we all (especially people over 50) need to pay attention to kidney health.  One of the most important ways to be kidney conscious is to maintain a healthy weight.  Why?  Because one of the primary associations with Type 2 Diabetes is obesity.  Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure lead to kidney damage when they are not managed well, so these considerations all play into being “kidney conscious”.

What do Kidney Friendly Foods look like?

Kidney friendly foods are mindful of calories and the make-up of those calories (proteins, carbs, fat). And they are mindful of appropriate portions which is tied back to maintaining a healthy weight, maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels, and keeping blood pressure in check.  The following items all take core minerals – sodium, potassium, and phosphorous –  into account.

With that in mind, here is a quick list of go-to foods to maintain a healthy kidney.

Ideal Snack

Fresh Vegetables

Raw is best, but if you buy canned products, be conscious of sodium.  Look for “no salt added” on the label.  Don’t forget to read Are Canned Soups Healthy?

  • Lettuce – Iceburg, Bibb, Boston, & Romaine
  • Cabbage – Cooked or raw are both low in potassium and good for you.
  • Cauliflower
  • Squash – Summer and Zucchini

Fresh Fruits

If you buy canned fruits, look for “juice-packed” only, not syrup-packed.

  • Berries – Any berries – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple

Whole Grain Breads

We are looking for fiber here.  These breads will help us maintain good balance of sodium, potassium, and phosphorous.

  • Pita Bread
  • Tortillas
  • French Bread


  • Water – The primary focus in this category
  • Juice – Juices labeled as “100 percent juice” on the label.

Pastas and Rice

  • Pastas and Rice – These should be in controlled portions (again, we are paying attention to weight and blood sugar levels).

Want a quick grocery shopping tip that can change your eating habits for good?  When you go to the grocery store, shop down the sides and out back.

From the Registered Dietitians at 2YourHealth

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Author: Carla Spencer

Carla Spencer is a Registered Dietitian and founder of 2 Your Health. Her extensive career working with individuals with health challenges led her to create this site dedicated to helping people enjoy their lives while working to prevent or minimize the impact of kidney disease.

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