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Planning a Low Phosphorus Diet

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 6/21/2010

A low phosphorus diet is among the restrictions in a diet for someone with kidney disease.

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    Control Phosphorus In Your Diet

    Your kidneys regulate the amount of phosphorus in your blood. If they are not working properly, they cannot perform this function effectively. Elevated phosphorus levels tend to decrease the level of calcium in your blood; this can lead to bone disease. The problem here is that phosphorus can be found in most foods, so it is important to control the phosphorus in your diet. While you should not eliminate phosphorus from your diet, you need to limit your intake of phosphorus-rich foods.

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    Low Phosphorus Foods

    In planning a low-phosphorus diet, you need to avoid certain foods and substitute better food choices. Here are some healthy tips for low-phosphorus foods:

    • Dairy products: Use low-phosphorus dairy products. These include cream cheese, mayonnaise, sherbet, non dairy creamers, rice milk, and creamed soups. Use broth based soups.
    • Meat: Eat fresh or frozen fish and chicken; also eggs, beef, pork, and lamb.
    • Carbohydrates: For your carbohydrates, eat cream of wheat, white rice, white bread, pasta and dry cereal, bagels, English muffins, and croissants.
    • Vegetables: There is are more choices available here. You can eat as much as you want of fresh vegetables like asparagus, cabbage, bell peppers, beets, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, onions, green beans, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, wax beans, and summer squash.
    • Snacks and drinks: Try unsalted popcorn and hard candy. Drink ginger ale, lemon lime, or root beer.

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    Foods to Avoid

    Unfortunately, there are more foods to avoid than those to substitute. Here is a list:

    • Dairy products: Milk and milk products such as yogurt.
    • Meats: sausages, bologna, hot dogs, organ meats such as liver, tongue, kidney, heart, and giblets.
    • Carbohydrates: grain breads, crackers, brown rice dishes, crackers, biscuits, corn bread, pancakes, and waffles.
    • Vegetables: dried peas and beans, lentils.
    • Snacks and Drinks: peanuts, colas, soft drinks, chocolate snacks, and caramel.

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    Observe Phosphorus Limits

    While substitutes may help in a low phosphorus diet, there needs to be a limit for someone suffering from kidney disease. This limit is usually recommended by nutritionists as 800 to 1,000 milligrams (mg) of phosphorus per day. You need to consult with your doctor as to whether you should take a calcium supplement if he lowers your intake of phosphorus. You should also avoid medications and supplements which contain phosphorus. A registered dietitian can also be of assistance in helping you to meet your individual needs. Kidney disease may also involve limits on sodium, potassium, and protein; a registered dietitian can help here too.

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    Summary

    People with kidney disease must be aware processed foods contain many phosphorus food additives, so these types of food definitely need to be avoided. Read food labels carefully. Phosphorus is not usually listed on nutrition labels; you may, however, be able to detect the presence of phosphorus by different variations of the word phosphate. Choose more unprocessed foods when grocery shopping and prepare as many of your meals as possible at home so you can control the amount of phosphorus in your food.

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    References

    List of Low Phosphorus Foods

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/28689-list-low-phosphorus-foods/

    MayoClinic.com: Low-phosphorus diet: Best for kidney disease?

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/hq01212