Diet and Nutrition

When you have chronic kidney disease, you may have to adjust or change the way you eat to help keep you healthy. The food choices you make can also help you to slow down the kidney disease so that your kidney function lasts longer.

"The dietitians were always available to help"

"I would encourage any patient to make use of the team"


Each person has different nutrition needs. Your Dietitian will work with you and your family or caregivers to help you create a nutrition plan that works for you! Each renal clinic and unit has a Dietitian, so help is close by.
Read on for the topics below:

  • How could my diet change?
  • What if I have to follow other types of diets?
  • What to expect from a visit with the Dietitian
  • Trusted nutrition websites

How could my diet change?

Some diet changes may include:

  • Eating less salt or sodium from foods and beverages (in homemade, store-bought, and restaurant foods)
  • Eating less potassium from foods and beverages
  • Eating less phosphorus from foods and beverages
  • Making healthy food choices for both diabetes and kidney disease
  • Eating more protein and calories, if you have lost too much weight

Remember: you may not have to make all of these changes. Talk with your Dietitian to make an eating plan that works for you.

What if I have to follow other types of diets?

Your Dietitian can help with that too! Talk with your Renal Dietitian if you need help making food choices for the kidney diet plus any other dietary needs, such as:

  • Crohn’s/Colitis
  • Food allergies/intolerances
  • Celiac disease (gluten-free diet)
  • Diabetes
  • Vegetarian Diet

What to expect from a visit with the Dietitian:

  • The Dietitian will answer any questions that you may have about food and nutrition
  • A review of the food and beverages you usually eat to help the Dietitian make a plan that includes the foods you enjoy
    (Tip: you can save time at your appointment by writing down what you eat and drink for 1to 3 days before your visit to share with your Dietitian)
  • Healthy meal and snack ideas
  • How to read food labels
  • And much more – it is up to you what we talk about!

Trusted Nutrition Websites:

Some of the information included in these websites may conflict with the information provided by your Renal Dietitian. To avoid confusion, please speak with your Dietitian. If you have not met with your Dietitian yet, please ask to see them at your next clinic appointment.

Culinary Kidney Cooks:

Lots of recipes and nutrition information for people with kidney disease. Please note that this is an American (US) website, so some recipe ingredients may not be available in Canada. Plus, it refers to the American Food Pyramid instead of Canada’s Food Guide.


For renal recipes, tips, and other kidney disease information

Kidney Community Kitchen:

From the Kidney Foundation of Canada – information and recipes to help you manage your renal diet

Public Health Agency of Canada:

A variety of health information

Dietitians of Canada:

General nutrition information from Canadian Dietitians

Health Canada:

For general nutrition information, like how to read a food label.