Urological Health Kidney Disease Print Using the DASH Diet For Kidney Disease Should you tweak the popular DASH diet if you have kidney disease? By Veeraish Chauhan, MD | Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician | Updated May 09, 2019 Sean Gallup / Getty Images More in Urological Health Kidney Disease Bladder Health Penis Health Prostate Health Managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) usually takes a two-pronged approach. There is what the physician does with the tests and the fancy pills, but then there is what you do at home. And what you do at home is perhaps equally if not more important than what the nephrologist does for you in the office. You need to watch your blood pressure and eat at a kidney-friendly diet Let's take a moment to talk about the popular DASH diet eating plan that is probably the most recommended diet plan for people with high blood pressure. But is it applicable if you also happen to have kidney disease? WHAT IS THE DASH DIET EATING PLAN? Alarmed at the increasing incidence of high blood pressure (hypertension) in the US, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a multi-center study in 1992 to see how diet influences blood pressure, and what diet plan might be best for keeping blood pressure controlled. It compared typical American diets of the day to other diets including the so-called DASH diet. In a nutshell, the study found that people who ate the DASH diet showed a significant lowering of their blood pressure in as little as 2 weeks. The DASH acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The approach emphasizes intake of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy; while limiting intake of sodium, sugar, and red meat. It is low in saturated and trans fats and high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. Here is how you should be getting your daily calories if you stick to the DASH plan: (For a 2000-calorie diet. Table courtesy National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Total fat 27% of calories Saturated fat 6% of calories Protein 18% of calories Carbohydrate 55% of calories Cholesterol 150 mg Sodium 2,300 mg Potassium 4,700 mg Calcium 1,250 mg Magnesium 500 mg Fiber 30 g Understanding the DASH Diet in Plain English Knowledge of portion sizes can help the average person understand what to eat and in what quantities. Enter your friendly dietitian, who will put it together for you. Here is what it should look like, based on different levels of calorie intake: Food group 1,200calories 1,400calories 1,600calories 1,800calories 2,000calories 2,600calories 3,100calories Grains 4–5 5–6 6 6 6–8 10–11 12–13 Vegetables 3–4 3–4 3–4 4–5 4–5 5–6 6 Fruits 3–4 4 4 4–5 4–5 5–6 6 Fat-free or low-fat dairy products 2–3 2–3 2–3 2–3 2–3 3 3–4 Lean meats, poultry, and fish 3 or less 3–4 or less 3–4 or less 6 or less 6 or less 6 or less 6–9 Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3 per week 3 per week 3–4 per week 4 per week 4–5 per week 1 1 Fats and oil 1 1 2 2–3 2–3 3 4 Sweets and added sugar 3 or less per week 3 or less per week 3 or less per week 5 or less per week 5 or less per week 2 or less per week 2 or less per week Maximum sodium intake 2,300 mg/day 2,300 mg/day 2,300 mg/day 2,300 mg/day 2,300 mg/day 2,300 mg/day 2,300 mg/day Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Following the DASH Eating Plan. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash/followdash. Published September 16, 2015. Continue Reading How to Cope and Live Well With Chronic Kidney Disease From Diet to Dialysis: Treating Chronic Kidney Disease What You Should Know About Chronic Kidney Disease JNC 8 and Hypertension Potassium and Its Profound Impact on Your Health Electrolyte Problems in Kidney Disease: When Your Sodium Is Off Vaccines for Kidney Disease Patients Neuropathy in Patients With Kidney Disease What Are the Classic Signs of Kidney Disease? Treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease These Are the Causes of IgA Nephropathy Autoimmune Kidney Disease How Chronic Kidney Disease Is Diagnosed Medicare Coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): The Basics Can Drinking Too Much Coffee Give You Kidney Disease? Hepatitis B: Can It Cause Kidney Disease?