Healthy eating habits before and after your dialysis access surgery can
make a big difference in your long-term health. In fact, making good food
choices is a good idea not only for you as a dialysis patient, but also for
everyone in your family.
The Dialysis Access Center offers a weight loss program for interested
patients with a high Body Mass Index (BMI). Optimal weight loss is
beneficial and also mandatory to prevent complications before, during and
after your transplant surgery.
Our nutritionist will provide you with the necessary tools and resources,
such as meal plans, recipes and educational materials, to help you achieve
a healthy weight. We encourage follow-up appointments every 4 to 6 weeks
with the nutritionist to check progress. Some patients may also benefit
from discussions with our psychologist, who can help address behavioral
issues linked to overeating, such as depression and stress, and set
strategies and goals.
Diet in Patients with Kidney Disease
Patients who are not yet on dialysis should speak with our nutritionist
regarding information on specific diet restrictions. These restrictions are
based on your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is a measure of your
kidney disease and your diet would need to be adjusted accordingly. Our
nutritionist is available to answer any of your dietary questions.
Immediately After Your Transplant
For the first few weeks after your dialysis access surgery, you will need
good nutrition to help your body heal. It is crucial to eat enough calories
and protein to help any incisions you may have heal and fight infection.
When planning meals, these recommendations will help ensure a healthy diet:
Eat three meals each day, and include protein in every meal. Good
protein sources include poultry (chicken and turkey), fish and seafood,
red meats and yogurt. Although high in cholesterol, eggs, nuts and
dairy products such as milk and cheese are also good sources of
Consider taking a multivitamin supplement to meet your vitamin and
mineral needs if your appetite is poor or if you are not eating a
balanced diet. Check with your doctor or nutritionist before you take
any vitamin/herbal supplements to make sure that they are safe for you.
Maintain a low salt and low potassium diet until the transplant team
says you can increase salt and potassium. Check with your nutritionist
for specific lists of food that are low in salt and potassium.
Be physically active, but consult with the dialysis access team before
you start a new exercise regimen to make sure it is safe.
Avoid concentrated sweets and food high in saturated/trans fats. It is
crucial to follow healthy eating guidelines long term to maintain good
To get the many nutrients your body needs every day, you must eat a variety
of foods. Use the following chart to help you choose the right amounts of
foods from each of the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grain
products, dairy products, and meats (or meat alternatives).
Suggested Daily Serving
Bread, cereal, rice and pasta
1 slice bread; 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal; 1/2 cup cooked
cereal, rice, or pasta; 1/2 medium potato; 2 to 5 whole-wheat
Five to 11 servings
1 cup raw, leafy vegetables; 1/2 cup cooked or chopped raw
vegetables; 1/2 cup vegetable juice
Three to five servings
1 medium apple, banana, or orange; 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or
canned fruit; 1/2 cup unsweetened fruit juice
Two to four servings
Milk, yogurt and cheese
1 cup low fat or fat free milk; 2/3 cup yogurt; 1 ounce natural
cheese; 2 ounces processed cheese
Two to three servings
Meats, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts
2 to 3 ounces cooked, lean meat (beef, veal, pork, chicken,
turkey, fish) or meat alternative (see below)
Two to three servings
Foods that equal one ounce of meat:
1/2 cup cooked dry beans or lentils
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/3 cup nuts
4 ounces firm tofu
Warning: Herbal Supplements
Please speak with your nutritionist or physician before taking any herbal
supplements, as they may not be safe and may have potential harmful side