Foods to Maybe Avoid With Failed or Failing Kidneys.

I found an article on titled “17 Foods to Avoid If You Have Bad Kidneys” While they have pointed out foods that are well known to be “high” in phosphorus, potassium, or sodium, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some. Portion control is the key to eating these foods.

I assumed a kidney diet that limits phosphorus to 1,000 mg, potassium to 2,000 mg, and sodium to 2,000 mg.

Below are listed the first six items on the list with their percentage of the assumed daily quotas.

1. Dark Colored Sodas

Fast Food Cola, 16 oz.


34.7 mg of phosphorus is only 3% of daily quota. The article is definitely correct about the phosphorus absorption issue. Note that a 16 oz. cola from a fast food restaurant uses only .3% of your potassium and .7% of your sodium quotas!

Root Beer, 16 oz


Root Beer has no phosphorus.

2. Avocados, 1 NLEA Serving of 50 grams


An NLEA serving size is the amount of food that is generally consumed by one person during a single eating occasion.

A 50 gram serving will take 12% of your daily budget for potassium.

3. Canned Foods

low salt

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive And Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a food label showing a Percent Daily Value for Sodium of 5% or less (120mg) is considered low sodium. However, the NIDDK's definition of low salt is based on a daily allowance of 2400 mg of sodium.  That's 20% more than my nephrologist recommends for my 2000 mg per day kidney diet!

All packaged prepared foods that I have checked have high sodium counts. Even the “healthy” ones!. Read about it in my blog about low salt here

4. Whole Wheat Bread, One Slice (32g)


One slice of whole wheat bread contains 7% of your daily quota of phosphorus, 4% of your daily quota of potassium, and 7% of sodium’s daily quota. As long as you keep a running count of your potassium and phosphorus, you should be able to find room in your diet for at least one slice of whole wheat bread. Two slices would be only 8% and 14% respectively.

5. Brown Rice Cooked (Uncle Ben’s), One Cup


The article is correct about portion control, but then that is true of all food. One cup has only 15% of your phosphorus limit.

6. Banana, Raw, Medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long)

Medium Banana


Bananas require extra  vigilance since 422 mg is almost a quarter (21%) of your daily limit of phosphorus. While I was on dialysis, I would eat a half of a medium banana sliced into my morning cereal.

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If your would like to see more of these, please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks so much,


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