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Stocking a kidney-friendly pantry


Amy Braglia-Tarpey, MS, RD, CNSC


Chronic kidney disease and diet/nutrition

When you have a condition like chronic kidney disease (CKD), it’s important to always have healthy foods and snacks on hand. It’s a good idea for people with CKD to have a two-week supply of food in the house. A well-stocked pantry limits your trips to the grocery store, which reduces your risk of being exposed to germs and infections. Extra staples can also help you round out a meal if you don’t feel up to going out.


Make your shopping list for kidney disease

On your next shopping trip, fill your cart with these kidney-friendly items. If you’re not sure if a food fits into your CKD meal plan, be sure to check with your health care team.

Canned Foods

Shelf-stable foods

Canned or sealed foods often contain salt, so it’s important to read the labels and only choose low-sodium items. A good tip to know: draining and rinsing canned vegetables under cold water can reduce up to half of the salt.1

Vegetables (low sodium or no salt added)

This includes asparagus, bamboo shoots, beets, carrots, corn, green beans, green peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts. Avoid foods that are high in potassium such as pumpkin, spinach and tomatoes.

Beans (low sodium or no salt added)

This includes black beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, Great Northern beans, peas, pinto beans, lentils. If you are also on a low-potassium diet, limit your serving size to 1 ½ cups.

Fish and poultry

This includes chicken, low-sodium tuna, salmon, turkey.

Fresh foods


Some fresh fruits and vegetables can last for weeks when stored properly.


Refrigerate: apples, applesauce, grapefruit.

Don’t refrigerate but use within a day, or use frozen instead: blueberries, blackberries, peaches, raspberries, strawberries.


Refrigerate: cabbages, carrots, garlic, radishes, pre-sliced vegetables.

Don’t refrigerate: onions, shallots, turnips.

Dry goods

This includes all-purpose flour, cereals (corn and rice), couscous, noodles (also called pasta), pearled barley, sugar, white rice, yeast for baking.

Snacks (unsalted)

This includes crackers, popcorn, pretzels, rice cakes. Avoid chocolate since it’s high in phosphorus and potassium.


This includes cooking oils (such as canola, grapeseed and olive), honey, jam and jelly (if you have diabetes, choose sugar-free varieties), low-sodium mayonnaise, mustards, tahini, vinegars.

Dairy alternatives

This includes almond, soy or rice milk. Nondairy creamer without phosphate additives.


This includes low-sodium or reduced-sodium soups and broths with less than 500 mg sodium per serving can be used as an emergency staple if you have CKD in stages 1 through 4.


About the author

Amy Braglia-Tarpey, MS, RD, CNSC

Amy Braglia-Tarpey is a registered dietitian with nearly 20 years’ experience working in the areas of CKD and nutrition support. Amy is currently the senior advisor for nutrition programs at Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services.


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