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The hemodialysis diet is an eating plan tailored to patients who are on hemodialysis. It’s designed to reduce the amount of fluid and waste that builds up between hemodialysis treatments so that you can feel your best.

  • Eat more high protein foods.
  • Eat less high salt, high potassium, and high phosphorus foods.
  • Learn how much fluid you can safely drink (including coffee, tea, and water).

Salt & Sodium

  • Use less salt and eat fewer salty foods: this may help to control blood pressure and reduce weight gains between dialysis sessions.
  • Use herbs, spices, and low-salt flavor enhancers in place of salt.
  • Avoid salt substitutes made with potassium.

People on dialysis need to eat more protein. Protein can help maintain blood protein levels and improve health. Eat a high protein food (meat, fish, poultry, fresh pork, or eggs) at every meal, or about 8-10 ounces of high protein foods every day.

Unless you need to limit your calorie intake for weight loss and/or manage carbohydrate intake for blood sugar control, you may eat, as you desire from this food group. Grains, cereals, and breads are a good source of calories. Most people need 6 -11 servings from this group each day.

Limit your intake of milk, yogurt, and cheese to ½-cup milk or ½-cup yogurt or 1-ounce cheese per day. Most dairy foods are very high in phosphorus. The phosphorus content is the same for all types of milk – skim, low fat, and whole!If you do eat any high-phosphorus foods, take a phosphate binder with that meal.

Dairy foods “low” in phosphorus:

  • Butter and tub margarine
  • Cream cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Brie cheese
  • Non-dairy whipped topping
  • Sherbet

If you have or are at risk for heart disease, some of the high-fat foods listed above may not be good choices for you.

All fruits have some potassium, but certain fruits have more than others and should be limited or totally avoided. Limiting potassium protects your heart.


  • Apple cider
  • Grape juice
  • Cranberry juice cocktail
  • Lemonade

All vegetables have some potassium, but certain vegetables have more than others and should be limited or totally avoided. Limiting potassium intake protects your heart.Your hemodialysis diet will include a balance of nutrients to help keep your body healthy and strong while allowing the amount of potassium, phosphorus and sodium your body can safely handle.