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Diet for People With High Creatinine

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Diet for People With High Creatinine
Eating less protein may help prevent creatinine levels from going higher and preserve kidney function. Photo Credit: Lew Robertson, Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Your body converts creatine, a chemical your muscles use for energy, into creatinine, a waste product that is excreted through your kidneys. High creatinine levels may be a sign that your kidneys are not functioning properly. The diet for people with a high creatinine is geared toward preserving kidney function and is low in protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. Consult your doctor about your diet if your creatinine levels are high.

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Limit Protein

If your creatinine levels are high, your doctor may suggest you limit the amount of protein in your diet. A registered dietitian can work with you to design a diet with the amount of protein that's right for you, based on your kidney function. Eating more protein than your body needs increases the amount of waste your kidneys need to remove, making them work harder. Most of your protein should come from high-biological value sources, such as lean meat, poultry, eggs and milk, to limit the amount of waste produced.

Watch the Sodium

Your kidneys are also responsible for removing sodium from your body. If your creatinine levels are elevated because your kidneys are not working properly, sodium levels build up in your body. Eating less sodium also helps you better manage blood pressure, which may also preserve kidney function. Your doctor can help you determine sodium limits, but you should at least limit your intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. To reduce sodium intake, trade in your processed foods, such as deli meats, chips and fast food, for more fresh foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood prepared without salt, pasta, rice, and milk.

Be Careful With High-Potassium Foods

If your high creatinine level is due to kidney problems, you may also need to limit your intake of foods high in potassium. Your kidneys are responsible for balancing the amount of potassium in your body. High levels of potassium may lead to an irregular heartbeat or even a heart attack. Fruits and vegetables are the primary source of potassium in the diet. Oranges, bananas, potatoes and broccoli are considered high-potassium foods. Eating mostly low-potassium fruits and vegetables, such as apples, blueberries, corn and cucumbers, may help you keep blood potassium levels within a normal range.

Phosphorus and Bone Health

Phosphorus is another nutrient in food you may need to be careful about when your creatinine levels are elevated due to kidney problems. Like sodium, your kidneys are responsible for removing phosphorus from your blood. Having high levels of phosphorus in your blood causes your body to pull calcium out of your bones, which may weaken them. Limiting your intake of foods high in phosphorus, such as chocolate, organ meats, beans and milk, may help improve blood phosphorus levels and keep your bones healthy and strong.

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