Stage 3 Kidney Disease and Diet: What can I eat?

Posted by carnes @carnes, Jun 11, 2018

It seems there is very little you can eat that is healthy for the Kidneys. The web site Davida has plenty of food on it but contradicts what other sources say. Anyone know anything for breakfast, lunch and dinner that does not have any sugar or flour bodies the obvious boring or bland foods good for Kidneys and I’m allergic to sugar of any kind of sweetener and flour. Thank you.

In addition to all the other diagnoses, I'm also a diabetic. For now I'm not strict about carbs (vegetarians do rely on them) but my long-acting insulin at night and pre-meal short-acting insulin during the day are working well and A1C is normal, finger sticks are normal. There may come a time when I have to be more careful about pasta and bread but for now it's ok. In addition, I limit soy products. Almond milk is better for me than soy milk, for instance. Just extraneous info, LOL.

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@kamama94

In addition to all the other diagnoses, I'm also a diabetic. For now I'm not strict about carbs (vegetarians do rely on them) but my long-acting insulin at night and pre-meal short-acting insulin during the day are working well and A1C is normal, finger sticks are normal. There may come a time when I have to be more careful about pasta and bread but for now it's ok. In addition, I limit soy products. Almond milk is better for me than soy milk, for instance. Just extraneous info, LOL.

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Hi @kamama94, I know Rosemary already mentioned some other discussions on Connect that might benefit from your insight. I'd like to add this one. Maybe you have some thoughts to add here:

– Confused About Stage 3 CKD Diet https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/confused-about-stage-3-ckd-diet/

Also, you might be interested in joining this recently formed exercise group in the Diabetes group.
– Lighten Your Limbs With Friends https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lighten-your-limbs-with-friends/

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@colleenyoung

Hi @kamama94, I know Rosemary already mentioned some other discussions on Connect that might benefit from your insight. I'd like to add this one. Maybe you have some thoughts to add here:

– Confused About Stage 3 CKD Diet https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/confused-about-stage-3-ckd-diet/

Also, you might be interested in joining this recently formed exercise group in the Diabetes group.
– Lighten Your Limbs With Friends https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lighten-your-limbs-with-friends/

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Hello, Colleen. Thank you for the links. One would think that a renal almost-vegan diet would be slimming but apparently not in my case. I do wheelchair yoga but I'm certainly no skinny Minnie and am interested in anything that will help me lose a few pounds. (Or lose a lot of them, LOL.)

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Things have changed in the last 20 years. When I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure at the end of that other century, yes, 1999. No one staged my kidney failure, so I do not really understand the numbers. (I had stage 4 lymphoma so I figure stage 4 renal failure is not good.) All I knew about my GITrack was that what I put in my mouth would affect my kidneys one way or another. The worst thing I could eat was animal flesh, beef destroys kidneys and it had to go. I was already having trouble with beef so it was not hard to give it up. I put myself on a vegetarian diet, I was not diabetic but what would it hurt me to do a diabetic-vegetarian diet. I was able to feel good and stay off dialysis for 3 years. At that time if you were told you had renal failure you could be on dialysis in 6 months.

I am happy that, today, others are on a diabetic-vegetarian diet and it is working for them too. Getting use to a new lifestyle change is not easy. For me it was not too hard, I lived by myself, fixed all my own meals and I did not buy things I could not eat – no junk food. I first made a list of foods I could have then went from there – not what I could NOT have. It is just like your wardrobe, you know what works well together so that is what you wear. I like trying new things, if it was on my new food list I would try them together. If I did not like them I would not do it again.

The hard part is if you do not live alone. When my father was diagnosed with diabetes everyone went on the same diet, everyone lost weight and felt better. If your family will not help with your lifestyle change (for medical reasons) then they should not be welcome at your table or you should not eat at theirs. If you grew up eating beef and it was 75% of your meal or any other animal flesh then be thankful you made it this long. A good salad is wonderful, I can make it my entire meal. All fresh vegetables are good to eat raw and good for your body. I might cook some macaroni, adding all the fresh raw vegetables in my refrigerator with a little olive oil and vinegar. I like frozen white corn and petite peas in my salad. I just microwave them for about a minute and they are delicious. I might add carrots, mushrooms, a small amount of lettuce, low-sodium seeds or nuts, cheese and/or cooked white chicken meat, and whatever I have in a big bowl. If I have low sodium crackers I will have them too,

I am thankful that what I did over 15 years ago is now a regular diet for End Stage Renal Failure. I know my doctor had his new patients start a diabetic-vegetarian diet and they did not have to begin dialysis ASAP. He was very happy that I managed to stay off dialysis for 3 years, he never had anyone stay off that long before just from what they ate. I also took my meds as directed.

mlmcg

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@kamama94

Both neph and primary are pleased and say they expect further improvement.
When I first noticed my GFR was dropping several years ago I knew to lower K, P and Na.
After the dramatic drop last Feb post-flu in Dec-Jan and before I even consulted with the neph or a dietitian, I started a renal diet similar to that of my former CKD patients.
Then in May my neph suggested that a vegetarian diet MIGHT help. It was an easy transition since I already was limiting meat. We all believe it's at least partly responsible for improved renal function since a renal vegetarian diet doesn't stress the kidneys as much as a regular diet does.
Dietitian consult helped some but you'd be surprised how many professionals understand a vegetarian diet and know about a renal diet but not both combined into one. Vegetarian diets rely heavily on legumes, for instance, and tomatoes – no-nos for a low K & low P diet.
So I've spent a great deal of time reading labels, contacting food manufacturers to learn mineral content of their products (phosphorus is not required to be listed,) and going online to various websites to find nutrient values. I wish I could post links as two in particular are approved by my neph but as a new member I'm not allowed to post URLs.
BTW, I have only one functioning kidney, the left one stopped working years ago and finally atrophied but no one knew because I was asymptomatic, therefore no reason to suspect a problem requiring imaging. Last May neph, primary and I were all three surprised to see a tiny bean that used to be a kidney.

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Hi. I originally got on this site for my diverticulitis, and needing surgery for microperforation. I only have 1 kidney, which was my major concern. Had been doing ok, then a drop in GFR to 38, with elev Bun&Creatinin. Stage 3 B. Diet good for diverticulitis not so good for kidney. Glad to read I'm not alone. Don't know what to do now. What to try to fix first?
I'm a 61 year old nurse and feel like I should know the answers but I think I'm still in shock mode. Great diet suggestions.

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@mlmcg

Things have changed in the last 20 years. When I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure at the end of that other century, yes, 1999. No one staged my kidney failure, so I do not really understand the numbers. (I had stage 4 lymphoma so I figure stage 4 renal failure is not good.) All I knew about my GITrack was that what I put in my mouth would affect my kidneys one way or another. The worst thing I could eat was animal flesh, beef destroys kidneys and it had to go. I was already having trouble with beef so it was not hard to give it up. I put myself on a vegetarian diet, I was not diabetic but what would it hurt me to do a diabetic-vegetarian diet. I was able to feel good and stay off dialysis for 3 years. At that time if you were told you had renal failure you could be on dialysis in 6 months.

I am happy that, today, others are on a diabetic-vegetarian diet and it is working for them too. Getting use to a new lifestyle change is not easy. For me it was not too hard, I lived by myself, fixed all my own meals and I did not buy things I could not eat – no junk food. I first made a list of foods I could have then went from there – not what I could NOT have. It is just like your wardrobe, you know what works well together so that is what you wear. I like trying new things, if it was on my new food list I would try them together. If I did not like them I would not do it again.

The hard part is if you do not live alone. When my father was diagnosed with diabetes everyone went on the same diet, everyone lost weight and felt better. If your family will not help with your lifestyle change (for medical reasons) then they should not be welcome at your table or you should not eat at theirs. If you grew up eating beef and it was 75% of your meal or any other animal flesh then be thankful you made it this long. A good salad is wonderful, I can make it my entire meal. All fresh vegetables are good to eat raw and good for your body. I might cook some macaroni, adding all the fresh raw vegetables in my refrigerator with a little olive oil and vinegar. I like frozen white corn and petite peas in my salad. I just microwave them for about a minute and they are delicious. I might add carrots, mushrooms, a small amount of lettuce, low-sodium seeds or nuts, cheese and/or cooked white chicken meat, and whatever I have in a big bowl. If I have low sodium crackers I will have them too,

I am thankful that what I did over 15 years ago is now a regular diet for End Stage Renal Failure. I know my doctor had his new patients start a diabetic-vegetarian diet and they did not have to begin dialysis ASAP. He was very happy that I managed to stay off dialysis for 3 years, he never had anyone stay off that long before just from what they ate. I also took my meds as directed.

mlmcg

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Hello, mimcg. When my hubby was still alive and the kids were still home there would've been no way for me to adhere to a vegetarian renal diet. I grew up in a hunter-gatherer culture which relied heavily on venison and small game which now are a no-no for me, although they weren't back then. Now that I live alone I can cook the way I need to.

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Hi @nosurgery . I'm a 73 yo retired nurse, small world, eh? Although I don't have diverticulitis (yet, knock on wood) I do have divertiiculosis, which many people my age do have. A perforated bowel and peritonitis are no-joke risks so I see why you have to be so careful. At the same time, having only one kidney (me, too) means being careful about that as well. Although I've consulted with a renal dietitian I've found much better, more up-to-the-minute info at two websites. As a new member I can't post URLs but I can tell you that one is called self (capital S) nutrition data and another is my food data (no spaces) dot com; both list complete nutritional values of various foods, including potassium, phosphorus, fiber, and sodium. Maybe you'd like to google them? Meanwhile, good luck balancing diverticulitis diet with renal diet.

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T.y. I will ck those out.

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@kamama94

Hi @nosurgery . I'm a 73 yo retired nurse, small world, eh? Although I don't have diverticulitis (yet, knock on wood) I do have divertiiculosis, which many people my age do have. A perforated bowel and peritonitis are no-joke risks so I see why you have to be so careful. At the same time, having only one kidney (me, too) means being careful about that as well. Although I've consulted with a renal dietitian I've found much better, more up-to-the-minute info at two websites. As a new member I can't post URLs but I can tell you that one is called self (capital S) nutrition data and another is my food data (no spaces) dot com; both list complete nutritional values of various foods, including potassium, phosphorus, fiber, and sodium. Maybe you'd like to google them? Meanwhile, good luck balancing diverticulitis diet with renal diet.

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kamama, here are the 2 links that you are referring to:
https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-facts.php and https://nutritiondata.self.com/

Liked by kamama94

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@kamama94 @rosemarya Well done, you two! Thanks!

Liked by kamama94

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@trishanna

@kamama94 @rosemarya Well done, you two! Thanks!

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😊@kamama deserves all the credit. I'm simply the messenger.

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@rosemarya

Thanks so much, Rosemary. They have proved invaluable to me personally.

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@kamama94

Hello, mimcg. When my hubby was still alive and the kids were still home there would've been no way for me to adhere to a vegetarian renal diet. I grew up in a hunter-gatherer culture which relied heavily on venison and small game which now are a no-no for me, although they weren't back then. Now that I live alone I can cook the way I need to.

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Venison is not the same as beef neither is small game. I ate them growing up. As long as animal flesh, at the top of the list is beef, is not your daily protein, you should be okay. I do not know what is in beef that makes it so unhealthy, it could be the way they are raised today, on the fast track to get them to the stockyards and not grass fed. If anyone wants animal flesh it should be less than a fourth of the meal. I eat some cheese (grass fed), plain yogurt, and a small amount of hummus, nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken or shrimp. No one else has to do this. (I only have to cook for one, me.)

When I was in the hospital with an open wound, unable to eat regular foods, the doctors were surprised how fast I was healing just from the amount of plain yogurt and cheese I was eating. So they must be good for me, don't know about anyone else. I know yogurt has "stuff" in it that is good for the gut and that is where my surgery was.

mlmcg

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If I already posted this here, please forgive my forgetfulness!
Please check for errors, always read labels, ask renal care providers if ok to eat.
Mac & cheese:
1 C cooked macaroni-approx ½ C dry (61.6 mg K, 81.2 mg P)
¼ C chopped onion (29.3mg K, 7.3mg P)
1 C non-dairy mozzarella flavored shreds (40 mg K, 40 mg P)
Sauté onion in sm amt EVOO, drain, stir into mac, stir in 1 C shreds, micro 1-2 min to melt
Total 140.9 mg K (7 %) 128.5 mg P (13 %)

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@rosemarya

@cehunt57, I want to introduce a new member, @kamama94. Do you have any thoghts/experience that you would like to add to this conversation?

How are you feeling these days? I am thinkng about you. Rosemary

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@rosemarya, thank you for the introduction to @kamama94. It is flattering. From her postings that I’ve seen it sounds like she has a pretty good handle on her dietary situation. I also am unsure of how to post links but there is a webinar offered by AKF (American Kidney Fund) on “Eating healthy with diabetes and kidney disease” on Wed, Nov, 28, 2018. I found this on Facebook and just registered for it. I thought it would be useful information for me as I deal with both ailments. I know many others do too. There is another conversation called “Confused About Diet for Stage 3 or 4 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)” that is part of the Discussion Kidney & Bladder. Some of those folk might find this webinar helpful.

Thank you for asking how I am feeling these days. I feel ok but I’ll try to provide a quick update. In September I went to Mayo for my annual pretransplant review. My GFR was 29 and my UNOS transplant listing status was changed to “inactive” for now. This means my kidney function is currently stable and I’m too healthy for a kidney transplant now. This is great since the transplant list is long and my search for a living kidney donor has not gone well. On the diabetes side of things I’m not doing so well. My beloved pancreas transplant (13 years now) is not keeping up. The endocrinologist I saw in September at Mayo emphatically declared that I am now a type 2 diabetic. He laid out some treatment options and we chose a non insulin injection for type 2 along with the basal insulin that I’m currently taking. Problem is my insurance doesn’t cover the new med and the insurance suggested alternatives are not appropriate for someone with my level of CKD! We’ve been going around in circles with departments at the insurance/pharmacy associates and 2 departments at Mayo that the physician works out of to get a decision on an appeal. This has been going on for months. 😒😔☹️

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