Diet, Nutrition & Exercise for people with Chronic Kidney Disease

As the famous proverb says “You are what you eat” maintaining a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle is very important especially in today’s era where life is so stressful and busy. A healthy diet not only reduces the risk of any dieses but it also overhauls while we are undergoing any treatment. A Healthy improves our health and also have a positive impact on our mood, productivity and well-being.  There are many benefits of healthy diet and nutrition, some of them are:

  • Helps you Live longer, live better
  • Keeps your skin, teeth and eyes healthy,
  • Strengthen your muscles,
  • Boosts immunity,
  • Keeps your bones stronger,
  • Helps you in thinking clear,
  • Improves your Mood,
  • Reduces the effects of Ageing.

According to WHO, a nutrient is a substance required by the body for survival, growth, and reproduction which means they give us strength and energy to do our task or day to day activity. There are 3 keys to obtain the nutrition which are right timings, right amount of in-take and right balance. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet especially when you are undergoing any treatment, this gives body extra energy to heal and recover faster.

But, what is nutrition? Our food is a mixture of different chemical compounds, that are used by our body to maintain the health and to perform the job properly. Mainly they are 6 essential nutrients which includes Carbohydrate, protein, fat, mineral, vitamins and water.

Diet and Nutrition for Dialysis Patients

Every treatment has its own Do’s and don’ts when it comes to the diet and the lifestyle. A Proper diet and exercise will boost the effects of treatment in our body and gives us best results. Same is the case of a person on Dialysis. One should make sure to balance the in-take of food and maintain the diet in such a way that it will have a positive impact on their treatment and gives them extra energy to heal.


A Dialysis patient is encouraged to eat high-quality protein because it produces less waste for removal during dialysis. There are plenty of great protein choices for your kidney-friendly diet: beans, beef, chicken, edamame, eggs, fish, lamb, lentils, tofu, turkey, quinoa, some dairy products such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Choosing all-natural, fresh meat is best and advisable.


Most patients on dialysis need to limit the amount of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in in their diet. Here are the few vegetables and fruits which are low on Potassium: Carrots, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Eggplant, Green beans, Lettuce, Onion, Summer squash and Sweet peppers in vegetables and among fruits we have Apples, Berries, Fruit cocktail, Grapes, Lemon, Peaches, Canned pears, Pineapple, Plums and Watermelon.


Rice is a great choice for the kidney diet—it provides energy and is low in minerals of concern for people with kidney disease or those on dialysis.


DON’TS: Here are some of the foods, vegetables, fruits and drinks which are to be avoided by a patient who is undergoing dialysis.

  • Dark-colored Soda,
  • Avocados,
  • Canned Food,
  • Spinach,
  • Whole grain,
  • Brown Rice,
  • Banana,
  • Kiwi,
  • Dates,
  • Processed meat,
  • Rajma,
  • Tomatoes,
  • Oranges,
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Are few to mention among others.

Exercises for kidney patients that can improve their quality of life

Healthy Diet and Healthy life style go hand in hand. Right amount of exercise at right time always gives best results. It’s a known thing that exercising is good for our physical and mental well-being and the same has been taught to us in our school days, sadly most of us forgot this while growing up. We got so busy in our life’s that we don’t have enough time to dedicate to ourselves as well. But we should now, make it point to dedicate some time to exercise as the proverb says “Good things come to those who sweat”

There is plethora of benefits of having a physical activity in our daily schedules.  Here are some of them:

  • Weight Management,
  • Strengthen bones and muscles,
  • Chances to live longer life,
  • Improves blood circulation,
  • Reduces heart risk,
  • Improves your brain and memory functions,
  • Improves quality of sleep,

Reduces Anxiety, depression and stress.

Can a Dialysis Patient exercise?

Yes, in fact it is very much necessary for them to exercise as Kidney damage will affect their muscles and bones making them feel weaker and tired easily. Exercise improves their blood circulation giving strength to their muscles and helps them in doing day-to-day activity. It also prevents kidney from further damage.

What type of exercises are best for Dialysis patients?

There are many exercises a Dialysis patient can do based on their strength, age, time and interest. Few basics of them are Walking, Running/Jogging, Swimming, Yoga, Cycling, Stretching, Gardening, Dancing. Skiing, among many others.


While exercising is important it is also advice to start any exercise gradually and then increase it as per your comfort and interest. Also, one should make sure that they are exercising regularly.

WALKING: It is the most basic and easiest form of the exercise which is not only free but can also be done by everyone irrespective of their age. It is the simplest yet very effective form of exercise. One can start with 15 minutes of each day and then can increase it gradually as per their strength.

STRETCHING: This is also another unique and easiest form of exercise which improves blood circulation in our body and strengthen our bones and keeps us fit and active.

CYCLING: Both indoor and out door cycling is good. It not only helps our legs but also improves our concentration and a friendly cycling match will also boost our energy.

YOGA:  Yoga is one the most ancient forms of exercise which is present and enjoyed by many till date. There are many forms of Yoga which is recommended and helps improves the kidney functions. Such as Salamba Bhujangasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Bhujangasana are few among many other yoga asanas present.

DANCING: While any form of dancing is accepted, Aerobatics and Zumba are highly recommended for a Dialysis patient. It not only improves your mood, but also brings positive energy in your body and life. Being in a healthy environment with few of your friends/family members will definitely have a huge positive impact in your treatment as well.

GARDENING: Indoor gardening will not only improve your physical activity but also have a positive impact on your mental health. Greenery and fresh Oxygen will improve your health. And growing few fruits/vegetables which are advisable to be eaten by Dialysis patient will be another win-win situation. As eating organic, fresh and from own kitchen garden will give another level of satisfaction.

These are just few of the examples, you may also include anything which interest you or a long-lost hobby which you always wanted to do or any other activities in which you need to move large muscle groups continuously. Low-level strengthening exercises may also be beneficial as part of your program.

The bottom line is to have a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle filled with positive and good energy, which will have a huge impact in and itself in your life and treatment and helps you heal faster both mentally and physically.

NOTE: Dietary restrictions and nutrient intake recommendations will vary based on the severity of the kidney damage and the type of Dialysis a person is undergoing. It is best advised to consult a Doctor or Dietitian before planning your diet or exercise.


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