Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3 Diet

Doctor with senior patient
Doctor conversing with his patient. (Image: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images)

The primary objectives of a diet for stage 3 chronic kidney disease are to slow the progression of CKD and treat associated complications. A diet for CKD should support healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This typically involves limiting salt and protein intake, as well as following a diet that supports optimal blood sugar control. Because of the specialized requirements of living with reduced kidney function, a CKD diet may restrict consumption of foods containing other minerals, including potassium and phosphorus.

Blood Pressure Control

Doctor taking patient's blood pressure
Doctor checking senior woman's blood pressure. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

High blood pressure is both a cause and a complication of chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure accelerates the decline in kidney function, so maintaining a healthy blood pressure should be a primary focus of a diet for CKD. People affected by CKD have an impaired ability to excrete sodium, which leads to an increased blood pressure. Reducing sodium intake is known to help lower blood pressure. The National Kidney Foundation recommends that people with CKD limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day.

Protein Intake

Raw beef steak.
Three pieces of raw steak on a cutting board. (Image: ValentynVolkov/iStock/Getty Images)

People with stage 3 CKD should avoid excessive protein intake. The 2012 nutrition guidelines for CKD published in "Kidney International" recommend avoiding high protein consumption to minimize the decline in kidney function. Daily protein intake for stage 3 CKD should not exceed 0.6 gram per lb of body weight. Roughly 0.36 gram per lb of body weight is adequate for health, and this lower value may slow the progression of CKD. People with diabetes, in particular, should adhere to the lower number.

Blood Sugar Control

Woman makes testing  high blood sugar.
A woman checks her blood sugar. (Image: Victor_69/iStock/Getty Images)

Uncontrolled blood sugar is a fundamental cause of organ damage, and diabetes is the leading cause of CKD. Good blood sugar control is important for anyone with CKD, but it is especially important for people with diabetes and CKD. Achieving and maintaining optimal blood sugar control may slow the decline in kidney function and reduce the risks for other complications, including cardiovascular disease. It is important to work with a nutritionist who specializes in CKD to determine what optimal glucose control means for you and how to achieve it.

Individualized Nutrition and Intake

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Hand holding two white pills. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

CKD may require further changes to your diet such as restricting foods containing potassium and phosphorus. Your nutritionist, working with your doctor, will advise when, or if, these changes are needed. The National Kidney Foundation stresses the importance of individualized, expert nutrition counseling for people with CKD. This complex disease requires regular monitoring of kidney function, blood pressure, blood sugar and other key health indicators to determine the best diet for you. Finally, people with CKD should be aware that certain common over-the-counter pain medications, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, should be avoided. Consult with your doctor regarding safe pain management.

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