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Patients on dialysis need to follow a certain diet, known as dialysis diet. The dialysis machine is used to help the body to remove waste products, since the body (specifically the kidneys) of such patients cannot perform this task. By following specific eating rules, patients on dialysis can decrease the amount of waste produced in the body. People on peritoneal dialysis are usually more limited with their diet than patients on hemodialysis.

It is done by controlling the amount of sodium, potassium, phosphorus and liquids in your diet. At the same time, dialysis diet needs to ensure proper amount of proteins and calories to make you healthy. Dialysis diet also takes into consideration your medical condition and problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, diabetes or anything else you are suffering from.

Meat for Dialysis Patients

Meat and meat substitutes should not be used with salt. This includes one ounce of different meats such as beef (pieces like round, porterhouse steak, rib, sirloin, T-bone, ground beef or chuck) or pork (chops, fresh ham, loin roasts, cutlets or tenderloin). Lamb and poultry are also allowed if unsalted and in amounts of one ounce.

One ounce of any fresh or frozen fish or the same amount of shrimps, clams, lobster or scallops is also recommended. Apart from that you can consume one and a half ounce of oysters or crab as well as one ounce of unsalted sardines, canned salmon or an ounce of canned tuna.

Patients on dialysis are allowed to have a quarter of a cup of some low cholesterol egg products, one large egg or two egg whites or two egg yolks.

Avoid eating deli-style meats, canned salmon and sardines, cottage and other cheeses, sausages, bacon and various lunch meats. Do not use peanut butter, nuts, peas, lentils or dried beans. All these products contain plenty of sodium and some even contain high amounts of phosphorus and saturated fats and should not be used if you are on dialysis.

Recommended Vegetables

Certain vegetables are low in potassium and, therefore, considered good for patients undergoing dialysis. This include veggies such as raw cabbage, peeled cucumber, bean sprouts, green or wax beans, one green sweet pepper or a cup of alfalfa sprouts or some lettuce.


One slice of bread or a half of a hot dog/hamburger bun is recommended for dialysis patients. These people can also take 2 tortillas (six inch, made of corn). They can also have one small hard roll or dinner roll, half of a small Danish pastry, sweet roll, small plain bagel or plain English muffin.

Dairy Products and Desserts

A person on dialysis may take half of a cup of milk (low fat or fat free), ice milk, ice cream, yogurt (plain or fruit), nondairy creamer or nondairy frozen desserts or topping.

For dessert, dialysis patients may opt for one and half ounces of cake, half of a cup of sweetened gelatin, 10 vanilla wafers, 1/8 of a fruit pie (cherry, apple or berry fruit pie) or 4 sandwich cookies.

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