List of Food Safe For People With Diabetic Kidney Disease 

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sidharth Bawa, MBBS November 10, 2021

Kidney ailments are common problems influencing around 10% of the population. Kidneys are small bean-shaped organs responsible for several important functions. Kidneys are important for filtering waste products, producing urine, balancing the body fluids, releasing hormones that control blood pressure, and numerous other vital functions. Several factors are responsible for the damage of these vital organs, diabetes and hypertension being the common risk factors for the renal disorder. Other factors can be genetics, gender, obesity, smoking, or age adding to this risk. Can kidney disease cause high blood sugar? Read this blog to know about food to eat or avoid in kidney disease and diabetes.

When the blood sugar and blood pressure go out of control, it can bring about damage to the blood vessels present in the kidneys, lowering down their ability to work in an optimal way. Thus, it’s very essential for individuals having renal problems to follow a special diet. In this article, you can know about what should a diabetic with kidney disease eat, and foods to avoid with a kidney disease list?

Role of Diet in Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Dietary limitations differ based on the extent of kidney damage. For instance, individuals in which kidney disease is recently diagnosed have varied diet limitations as compared to people with kidney failure, also referred to as end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

If any person has been diagnosed with kidney disease, it’s best to follow the concerned doctor’s advice for dietary needs. For individuals with an advanced form of kidney ailment, it’s advisable to stick to a kidney-friendly diet that assists in reducing the amount of waste in the blood. These renal diabetic diet foods are of great help in boosting kidney function together with preventing its added damage. It’s commonly suggested that individuals having kidney disease must limit the intake of the following nutrients:

  • Sodium: It is found in several foods and is the main constituent of table salt. The levels of sodium in the blood increase as the damaged kidneys fail to filter out too much sodium. Thus, sodium levels must be restricted to below 2000 mg per day.
  • Potassium: This mineral plays several roles in the body; however individuals with kidney ailments must restrict the intake of potassium so as to avoid seriously high potassium levels in the blood. Thus, the recommended intake of potassium is below 2000 mg per day
  • Phosphorus: Mineral present in varied foods, and damaged kidneys fail to remove too much of this mineral. Their blood can rise in the blood causing damage to the body. Thus, dietary phosphorus is limited to below 800 to 1000 mg per day.
  • Protein: Just another nutrient that is required to be restricted in people with renal disease as damaged kidneys fail to remove waste products from protein metabolism.

Every individual with kidney disease is different; thereby it’s significant to discuss with a suitable healthcare provider about the dietary requirements. And fortunately, several delicious and healthy alternatives having a low amount of phosphorus, potassium, and sodium are available. And make a list of foods to avoid for kidney health.

Also Read: Asana helpful in maintaining normal blood pressure

foods to avoid with kidney disease and diabetes

Diabetes Diet

A kidney-friendly diet for diabetics is pretty much similar to any healthy diet for any other person with loads of fruits, leafy greens, lean proteins, and healthy fats; less sugar, salt, as well as foods containing high amounts of refined carbs (for example, crackers, cookies, or soda). The individual carbohydrate goal depends upon the person’s age, activity level, and the concurrent drugs the person is consuming. A proper meal plan is just great to keep the blood glucose levels in check and also prevent further damage to the kidneys.

Kidney Diet

Say No to Herbal Supplements: These are generally not safe if a person has been diagnosed with kidney disease. Kidneys can get damaged and even the condition may worsen more. Some vitamins may produce kidney problems as well and must be avoided. Discussion with a doctor is a must before consuming any vitamins or supplements.

In a kidney-friendly diet, certain foods should be avoided or limited so that kidneys can remain protected. And certain foods should be added to obtain energy and nourishment. Particular diet is based upon whether the person is in early-stage or late-stage chronic kidney disease or the patient is on dialysis.

Foods to Avoid With Kidney Disease and Diabetes

Consume less salt or sodium content. This is great for people with diabetes and very essential for people with kidney disease too. With time, kidneys fail to control the sodium-water balance in the body. If there is less sodium in the diet, blood pressure can get reduced and can be well-controlled. And also there is a reduced buildup of fluids in the body, very common in kidney problems.

Emphasize fresh, home-based food. Consume little quantities of restaurant foods as well as packaged foods, generally having loads of sodium. It’s best to search for low sodium (5% or less) on food labels.

Also, the intake of phosphorous, potassium, and protein must be limited in the diet based upon the stage of kidney disease. Several foods that constitute an essential part of a healthy diet might not be appropriate for a chronic kidney disease patient’s diet. These are some of the worst foods for kidney failure in people with diabetes and these should be limited.

Phosphorus is a mineral responsible for keeping the bones and other body parts healthy and strong. The kidney fails to remove added phosphorus from the blood marvelously. An excess of phosphorous weakens the bones and can cause damage to the heart, blood vessels, and eyes. High phosphorus content is found in dairy, meat, nuts, seeds, whole-grain bread, as well as dark sodas. Also, many packaged foods contain high phosphorous amounts.

The acceptable potassium level ensures the proper functioning of nerves and muscles. With chronic kidney problems, an excess of potassium gets accumulated in the blood resulting in severe cardiovascular problems. High potassium-containing foods are tomatoes, oranges, whole-grain bread, bananas, potatoes, as well as other foods. Is apple juice good for your kidneys? White bread, carrots, and apples are lower in potassium. The physician might recommend a potassium binder, drugs that aid the body in getting rid of additional amounts of potassium.

Consume an appropriate quantity of protein. A high protein diet can make the kidneys work harder and can even worsen the chronic kidney problem. But the too small amount is not healthy as well. Protein is present in both plant and animal foods. A good nutritionist can help a person in figuring out the correct combination and the quantity of protein for consumption.

Also Read: Why is watermelon bad for diabetics 

Renal Diabetic Diet Sample Menu

Below are some of the best foods for diabetics with kidney disease:


Blueberries are one of the best sources of nutrients like antioxidants. Particularly, these sweet berries consisting of antioxidants are known as anthocyanins. These antioxidants help in defending against various heart problems, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline. In addition, it is an incredible part of a kidney-friendly diet, as they contain low amounts of potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. One cup (roughly 148 grams) of fresh blueberries is composed of sodium: 1.5 mg, potassium: 114 mg, and phosphorus: 18 mg.

blueberries and blood sugar

Red grapes

Are grapes bad for kidney disease? Red grapes are sweet fruits, appetizing, and provide a ton of nutrition in a small package. The fruit contains high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants referred to as flavonoids, found to lower down inflammation. In addition, red grapes are rich in a type of flavonoid, resveratrol. This compound has been found to benefit cardiac health and guard against mental decline and diabetes. They are kidney-friendly, with a half cup (75 grams) consisting of sodium: 1.5 mg, potassium: 144 mg, and phosphorus: 15 mg.

high blood sugar and kidney disease


Cabbage falls under the class of cruciferous vegetables and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and several plant compounds. Also, it is a significant source of vitamins K, C, and B. Moreover, it delivers insoluble fiber (a form of fiber) that keeps the digestive system healthy by supporting regular bowel movements as well as including bulk to stool. In addition, cabbage is found to contain low amounts of minerals. One cup (around 70 grams) of shredded cabbage consists of sodium: 13 mg, potassium: 119 mg, and phosphorus: 18 mg.

diet for kidney patients with diabetes pdf


Cauliflower is a wholesome veggie that is one of the good sources of nutrients, such as vitamins C, K, and folate. Also, the veggie is packed with great anti-inflammatory compounds such as indoles and is an outstanding source of fiber. One cup (about 124 grams) of cooked cauliflower is composed of sodium: 19 mg, potassium: 176 mg, and phosphorus: 40 mg.

is sugar good for kidney disease

Egg whites

Even though egg yolks are very healthful, they consist of rich quantities of phosphorus, making egg whites an improved option for individuals following a kidney diet. Egg whites offer a first-rate, kidney-friendly protein source together with an excellent option for individuals who are going through dialysis treatment, with greater protein requirements but require to restrict phosphorus. 2 large egg whites (about 66 grams) is composed of sodium: 110 mg, potassium: 108 mg, and phosphorus: 10 mg.

food bad for kidneys list

Skinless chicken

Although a limited protein intake is necessary for some people with kidney issues, providing the body with an adequate amount of high-quality protein is vital for health. Skinless chicken breast contains less phosphorus, potassium, and sodium than skin-on chicken. When shopping for chicken, choose fresh chicken and avoid pre-made roasted chicken, as it contains large amounts of sodium and phosphorus. Three ounces (84 grams) of skinless chicken breast contains sodium: 63 mg, potassium: 216 mg, and phosphorus: 192 mg.

foods not to eat when you have kidney disease


Onions offer sodium-free essence to kidney-friendly dishes. Lessening the consumption of salt can be difficult; this makes the tangy salt options a must-buy. Onions can be sautéed with olive oil and garlic adds flavor to dishes without compromising renal health. In addition, onions contain rich amounts of vitamins B, C, manganese, and prebiotic fibers that aid in keeping the digestive system healthy by feeding valuable gut bacteria. One small onion (roughly 70 grams) consists of sodium: 3 mg, potassium: 102 mg, and phosphorus: 20 mg.

renal diet recipes for diabetics


Turnips are a vital part of a renal diabetic diet and make an outstanding replacement for veggies rich in potassium like potatoes as well as winter squash. These root veggies are packed with a decent source of Vitamin C, B6, manganese, and fiber. Turnips can be boiled or roasted as well as mashed as a healthy side dish that works well for a kidney-friendly meal plan. A half-cup (about 78 grams) of cooked turnips is composed of sodium: 12.5 mg, potassium: 138 mg, and phosphorus: 20 mg.

diabetes and kidney disease meal plan

Also Read: Yoga For Diabetes


Cranberries are good both for kidneys as well as urinary tracts. This little, tart fruit consists of phytonutrients named A-type proanthocyanidins. These help in preventing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract and bladder lining, as a result preventing infection. This is useful for people with renal disorders, as they are at an enhanced risk of urinary tract infections. Cranberries contain very low amounts of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. One cup (approximately 100 grams) of fresh cranberries is composed of sodium: 2 mg, potassium: 80 mg, and phosphorus: 11 mg.

snacks for renal patients with diabetes

Also Read: Best Glucometer in India

Olive oil

Olive oil contains rich amounts of fat and is phosphorus-free. This makes it a great option for individuals with chronic kidney problems. Normally, individuals with the advanced renal disorder face difficulty in keeping weight. The main fat present in olive oil is a monounsaturated fat referred to as oleic acid, with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, these fats remain stable at high temperatures, making this oil a healthy option for cooking. One tablespoon (about 13.5 grams) of olive oil is composed of sodium: 0.3 mg, potassium: 0.1 mg, and phosphorus: 0 mg.

what should a diabetic with kidney disease eat

The renal-friendly foods mentioned above are brilliant options for diabetics following a renal diet. It’s important to check with a doctor about the food choices to ensure that the best diet is being followed for meeting up the individual requirements.  Chronic kidney problems and diabetes both modify with time, thus a diet as well.


Diet plays a significant role in managing diabetes type 2, particularly for any person who has developed renal illness owing to his or her condition. This is due to the fact that when the kidneys fail to work normally, too many toxins, nutrients, as well as fluids can get accumulated in the blood. It can be difficult to balance good nutrition with dietary limitations obligatory to promote renal health in diabetes.

Also Read: What type of doctor specializes in diabetes


How can an early stage of kidney disease developing from diabetes be identified?

The earliest symptom of a diabetic renal problem is an augmented excretion of albumin in the urine. Weight gain and inflammation of the ankle can also occur.

Is it good for kidney patients to eat oatmeal?

Oatmeal contains a rich amount of potassium and phosphorus than refined grains, however can be added to a majority of kidney diets.

How can people with diabetes lessen their risk of kidney damage?

The best way to delay kidney damage in diabetics is by keeping the levels of blood glucose well controlled; with the help of a balanced diet, exercise, and, if required, insulin or anti-diabetic medicines.

Are canned foods safe for people with kidney problems and diabetes?

No, canned foods are unsafe for people with kidney problems and diabetes.




The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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