Kidney-friendly diet: what you need to know

Yes, you can eat bananas and tomatoes (in the right amounts and served with the right foods) and no, you don't need to triple-boil your potatoes. Many of the things patients believe about following a kidney-friendly diet aren't true. We checked with our Kidney Kitchen dietitians to set the record straight about how to eat when you're living with CKD.

Kidney-friendly diet fact: not everyone with kidney problems needs to avoid high potassium foods

Not all people with kidney problems need to reduce high potassium foods in their diet and there is no benefit to reducing the amount of high potassium foods you eat if you do not need to. 

You should follow the guidance of your kidney dietitian or kidney team.

Kidney-friendly diet fact: people with chronic kidney disease can eat bananas

If you have been advised to eat less potassium-rich food then you should limit bananas to once or twice a week. 

However, if you have not been advised to reduce potassium-rich foods then you can enjoy bananas as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Kidney-friendly diet fact: you don't need to double boil potatoes

Double boiling potatoes is unnecessary. If you've been advised to eat fewer potassium-rich foods, boiling potatoes once, in plenty of water, is adequate. Just be sure to drain and discard the water.

Kidney-friendly diet fact: eating fewer potassium-rich foods will keep my kidneys healthy

You should only lower the potassium in your diet if you have been advised to by a kidney specialist.

Otherwise, you should enjoy a varied and healthy balanced diet, including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. 

Kidney-friendly diet fact: the whole family can enjoy kidney-friendly meals

If you've adapted your diet to be more kidney-friendly, you don't need to worry about preparing special meals for the rest of the family.

Kidney Kitchen recipes have been developed to support the dietary needs of people with kidney disease, but they are suitable for everyone to enjoy!

If you’re finding it hard to to provide a healthy balanced diet for your family while lowering your potassium, please seek help and support from your kidney dietitian.

Kidney-friendly diet fact: all salts should be used in moderation

All of us should be careful about the amount of salt we use, whether it’s sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, celery salt, garlic salt or table salt! Instead, use herbs, spices, lemon and lime juice and vinegar to boost the flavours in your food.

More kidney-friendly diet advice and support

  • Eating tomatoes when you have CKD

    In the right amount and served with the right foods, tomatoes can still be enjoyed safely by people who have been advised to lower potassium in their diet. Laura Kyte, Renal dietitian at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust, offers advice about eating tomatoes if you are living with CKD.

  • Natural phosphate and added phosphate – what you need to know

    When you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may need to manage the levels of phosphate in your diet. Understanding the difference between natural phosphate and the phosphate found in processed foods will help you make the healthiest choices for you, with the support of your kidney dietitian.

  • Kidney Kitchen recipes

    You can enjoy a wide variety of delicious and healthy food when you are living with kidney disease. All Kidney Kitchen recipes are analysed and approved by kidney dietitians. Search through our kidney-friendly recipes or filter them by category below.