A renal diet is generally prescribed for those suffering from chronic kidney disease, although a modified renal diet is sometimes used during a bout with kidney stones. Your recommended diet may change over time as your disease improves or worsens. Always adhere to your doctor’s specific recommendations, particularly if you have additional medical conditions. Additionally, always talk with your doctor before adding or subtracting any foods. In general, fruit juice can play an important role in a renal diet, provided you follow certain precautions. Avoid star fruit in any form, as it is a known kidney toxin.
All fluids are processed through the kidneys. If you have advanced kidney disease or are on dialysis, your kidneys may become overwhelmed by an abundance of liquids. Therefore, most renal diets require you to limit your overall intake of fluids, particularly once your disease begins to progress. It is very important to count all liquid products including ice cubes and soups in your overall daily total. Fruit juice provides essential vitamins and minerals and can be an excellent choice, but be careful not to exceed your total daily fluid intake.
Potassium is vital to maintaining a regular heartbeat, but too much potassium can be dangerous. Since potassium is regulated by the kidneys, a renal diet includes specific recommendations for potassium consumption. Orange juice and prune juice are particularly high in potassium. Depending on your specific guidelines, you may be able to consume these juices in moderation provided that you minimize other sources of potassium for the day. Apple juice and cranberry juice are relatively low in potassium.
Phosphorus is also regulated by the kidneys. A build-up of phosphorus can lead to calcium depletion, leaving you at risk for osteoporosis and other disorders. Your doctor will provide guidelines for phosphorus consumption. In general, fruits and fruit juices are low in phosphorus, but carefully read the labels for blended juice drinks.
Our bodies require some sodium, but too much can cause fluid retention and increase blood pressure. Restricting fluid intake can worsen these problems. Consequently, most renal diets require you to limit the amount of sodium you consume. Fruits are naturally low in sodium, but blended fruit drinks may have sodium added. Look for pure fruit juices or carefully read the label. Watch out for “low sodium” drinks, which may contain potassium-based salt substitutes.