What’s New with the Renal Diet?

In 2020, the National Kidney Foundation Quality Guidelines for Nutrition were updated to recommend a healthier plant based, whole foods diet for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with or without dialysis. 
With this in mind, renal diet recommendations encompass more heart healthy guidelines. This will allow for a greater variety of food offerings for the renal diet without compromising nutrition status.  The new heart healthy recommendations are similar to the Mediterranean Diet concept.
          You will notice some of these items are typically considered higher phosphorus foods (cheese, legumes, whole grains). For most patients who are limiting intake of processed and fast foods, monitoring portions and taking phosphorus binders as instructed, these heart healthy foods should be tolerated if desired in your diet. If legumes and nuts are used as the protein source for your meal, it should balance phosphorus intake overall. This may be a big change from what you were previously taught. It will take some time for me to get used to saying you can work in beans or whole grains, but with the right combination of foods and fresh food choices, phosphorus control can be achieved (and your heart will thank you for it as well). 

Super easy meal ideas


  • Boiled eggs (made ahead) + fruit
  • Overnight oatmeal (made ahead w/  whey protein powder) + berries
  • Nut butter and apple on whole wheat toast or English muffin
  • Greek yogurt + fruit + unsalted nuts


  • Sandwich with 2 fried eggs, or tuna/chicken/egg salad on whole wheat bread + raw veggies/fruit
  • “Grain bowl” with kale, quinoa or bulgur, feta cheese, roasted or raw veggies, olive oil and balsamic vinegar 
  • Whole wheat pasta tossed with olive oil, pesto sauce, grilled chicken, leftover roasted or sautéed vegetables, and a squeeze of lemon juice 

Carol Jones


Registered Dietician

Certified Renal Specialist

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