Phosphorus Friendly Foods for CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease)

By Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS

Contributor: Caraline Watkins

Everyone needs minerals and that’s a good thing! However, for CKD (chronic kidney disease) folks, the key to maintaining good health is: Mega Moderation.

In America, 14% of people have CKD and need to carefully watch their diet. Just like with any diet, there are foods with certain ingredients that you should carefully monitor. In this case, the mineral phosphorus is one of them.

In addition to calcium, phosphorus is an important mineral in the body that helps keep your bones strong.  Phosphorus is filtered by the kidneys and when there is too much phosphorus in your blood and your kidneys are impaired, they cannot keep up.  In people with kidney disease and on dialysis, this causes the need for more dialysis, due to increased phosphorus levels in the bloodstream because of reduced kidney function.

So how do you proactively conquer this phosphorus challenge?

Let’s start by identifying foods to limit and avoid and also the ones that are high in phosphorus.

Foods High in Phosphorus

It is recommended to limit certain dairy products, like milk, cheese and yogurt.  It’s important to note that the different percentages of milk (1%, 2%, whole, etc.) all contain the same amount of phosphorus. Also, keep in mind that fast food, canned food and other processed foods usually contain phosphorus in the form of an additive or preservative which is readily absorbed by the body and should be avoided.

Foods Low in Phosphorus

There are many dairy and dairy-like products that are naturally ‘lower’ in phosphorus. These products include whole butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, ricotta cheese, brie cheese, non-dairy whipped topping, and sherbet. Fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries are low in phosphorus and very tasty as well. Some health packed and low-phosphorus veggies to go along with these options include cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and snow peas.

Spoiler Alert – Meal planning tip!  When it comes to vegetables, try boiling and straining them. This removes about 50 to 75 percent of the phosphorus and other mineral content. That said, this is a once in a while thing, and should not be your everyday go-to method for reducing your phosphorous, as your body still needs adequate levels of phosphorus and other minerals.

Other ‘Good List’ items:  Protein products are also on the ‘good’ list when it comes to low phosphorus foods. These options include egg whites, soy products, beans, lentils, mahi mahi and whole grains.

It’s always a great idea to get your necessary daily dose of phosphorus from all-natural, unrefined foods as much as possible. In addition, keep in mind that the further away from its natural state, the more processed your food becomes.  Processed foods of any kind may pose very serious health risks for someone who is already suffering from kidney disease because of the levels of additional minerals and other ingredients. Be an educated and healthy consumer and read your labels carefully.

In the meantime, let Healthy Meals Supreme do the shopping, measuring,  nutritional calculating and cooking for you. Here are three recommendations of  delicious, low in phosphorus meals for you to enjoy:

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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