There are a lot of foods to avoid with kidney disease and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three American adults with diabetes also has chronic kidney disease (CKD). A renal diet grocery list that's also diabetic-friendly helps with meal planning.
Renal Diet Grocery List
For the best results, plan on meeting with a registered dietician who understands nutrition for both diabetes and CKD. Together, you can create a plan that not only keeps your blood sugar levels stable but also reduces the amount of waste your kidneys handle on a daily basis.
The good news is, your rental diet grocery list will contain CKD-diet-friendly foods because many of them are the same. Beware, however — there are some differences that should be considered. According to the American Kidney Fund, your CKD diet may be adjusted depending on the stage you're in. The further the condition progresses, the more strict you can expect your diet to be.
The CDC says there are many foods someone with both diabetes and CKD can eat, so you'll want to add all of them to your renal diet grocery list. These include:
- Proteins: eggs, lean meats (poultry and fish) and unsalted seafood
- Fruits: plums, apples, berries, cherries and grapes
- Vegetables: eggplant, bell peppers, garlic, carrots, onions, turnips and cauliflower
- Carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, unsalted crackers, bagels and sandwich buns
- Drinks: water, unsweetened tea and clear diet sodas
Your dietician can provide additional safe foods and help you find recipes that taste good while allowing steering you away from foods to avoid with kidney disease and diabetes.
For instance, if you're used to drinking orange juice to address low blood sugar, opting for apple or grape juice is the more kidney-friendly option. You'll be able to boost your blood sugar without the high potassium.
When you are dealing with an emergency where you may be unable to travel to dialysis and dealing with power outages, the National Kidney Foundation recommends that you have some things at hand.
With the meal plan they provide, you'll be on a stricter version of your usual diet. However, the plan is intended to keep the buildup of fluid and toxins at bay while you're going without dialysis appointments. You should have:
- Plenty of distilled/bottled water
- Two weeks worth of all prescription medications
- Extra insulin and batteries for your meter
- List of names and phone numbers for your doctor, dialysis center and local hospital
- Measuring cups and scale
- Disposable plates and utensils
During this time, you're advised to limit your fluid intake to only 16 ounces per day. If you feel thirsty, chew gum to help you.
Don't use salt or salt substitutes with your meals. Avoid high-potassium foods. Diabetics should keep instant glucose tablets, hard candy and low-potassium fruit juices on hand to address low blood sugar. Follow the renal diabetic diet sample menu for three days, and if the disaster keeps you from attending dialysis longer than that, repeat the meal plan.
Renal Diet Foods to Avoid
According to the CDC, It's important to avoid foods that are high in sodium. It's not only a good move for your diabetes, but it's crucial for CKD because, over time, your kidneys may lose their ability to control the sodium-water balance. When you consume less sodium, you'll lower blood pressure and decrease fluid buildup in the body.
Aim for mostly fresh and homemade food, eating only small portions of packaged and restaurant foods because those are fairly high in sodium. Ideally, packaged food should contain 5 percent or less sodium per serving.
Depending on the stage of your kidney disease, you may also need to limit the phosphorus, potassium and protein in your diet. This means avoiding things like:
- Whole grains
- Dark-colored soda
Your body will still require protein, but eating too much of it will make your kidneys work harder than they need to and worsen your CKD. Your dietician will help you determine the optimal protein intake and guide you with both plant and animal sources.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, if you're both diabetic and on dialysis, the key is to balance your carbohydrates. Everybody needs carbs, so it's not a good idea to cut them out completely. Instead, focus on portion size and limit your overall intake.
A slice of bread, one-half cup of pasta, one-half cup of cooked cereal (oatmeal, grits) and one-half cup of cereal all count as one serving of carbohydrates.
In late-stage CKD, you need to limit the amount of liquid you consume to prevent swelling. Your nutritional needs will also change, possibly requiring you to eat more. Your blood sugar may improve with late-stage CKD, likely due to changes in how the body uses insulin.
However, when you're on dialysis, blood sugar may increase because the fluid used to filter your blood is high in sugar. The need for insulin and other diabetes medications will be hard to predict, meaning that your doctor will have to closely monitor you.
Renal Diabetic Diet Sample Menu
If you're struggling to come up with ideas for things to eat that are acceptable for your diet, here's a day's worth of meals and snacks to get you started:
- Snack: Bagel with low-fat cream cheese
- Snack: Strawberries with unsalted pretzels
Check in with your dietician as recommended to keep your diet where it needs to be as your conditions change. She'll also ensure you're not stuck eating the same meals all the time so you can still get the flavor and variety you crave by providing you with a renal diabetic diet sample menu at each visit.