Nutrition & Fitness

A low-salt, kidney-friendly diet, along with regular exercise, can slow kidney disease down.

Take charge

Don’t wait! By following a kidney-friendly diet and exercising, you can slow or even stop kidney disease from progressing. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with kidney disease, read below for simple lifestyle changes that can have a big impact on how you feel.

 

Dialysis patient Iris Clay and registered dietitian Kimberly Langdon look at nutrient information to find foods suitable for Iris' kidney diet.

Diet and exercise tips

Slow your kidney disease and feel better


Lower the salt in your diet

To feel better and slow down your kidney disease, start by lowering your salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day. Do this by cooking at home; processed and restaurant foods are often loaded with salt. Less salt in your diet doesn’t mean you have to eat bland foods. Try some of our tasty low-salt recipes – they’re so full of flavor, you won’t even notice the salt is missing .

Meet with a dietitian

Meet with a dietitian to get guidance on a kidney-healthy diet tailored to your tastes and lifestyle. If you have chronic kidney disease but are not yet on dialysis, set up a one-on-one Medical Nutrition Therapy session with a dietitian for individual nutrition counseling. The service is covered by most health insurance plans. If you’ve already started dialysis, talk to your assigned dietitian.

Get moving

Exercise, exercise, exercise! No, you don’t need to join a gym or run a marathon. Work activity into your daily routine. Park away from the store so you have to walk farther, pull those pesky weeds in your yard or do some light stretches while you watch your favorite show. Talk with your doctor about other exercises that work for your ability level, or see our exercise chart for more ideas.

Make changes now

This is just the start. There is so much you can do to feel better now. Take control and learn more about specific changes you can make to your diet, and ways to add exercise to your day. You have the power to change the way you feel.

Get fitness tips and find out more about your kidney diet

Transplant recipient and former peritoneal dialysis patient Angela Pappas.