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Kidney Diet Tips: Is watermelon safe for kidney disease patients on a renal diet


Episode 33: Kidney Diet Tips: Is watermelon safe for kidney disease patients on a renal diet? It’s that time of year and watermelon is a popular staple at most summer events but is watermelon good for kidney disease patients as part of their kidney diet or is it a high potassium foods to avoid with kidney disease? The Internet is full of conflicting information about Kidney Disease, but the short answer is that it depends on what stage of chronic kidney disease you are in and how much watermelon you want to eat. There are 3 important areas to consider before deciding if Watermelon can be part of your kidney disease diet / renal diet — portion size, potassium, and fluid.

• Portion: The typical portion is a wedge of watermelon—equal to about 3 cups. For a dialysis diet that includes limited potassium and fluid, a wedge of watermelon contributes too much potassium and fluid. Most chronic kidney disease dietitians advise limiting watermelon to a 1 cup serving. Instead of cutting a wedge, cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces and measure into a cup. This can be a challenge for many - can you limit yourself to just 1 cup of watermelon?
• Potassium: Knowing how many fruits and vegetables to eat and the best portion size is essential to controlling potassium intake. A wedge of watermelon contributes 560 mg potassium but a smaller 1 cup serving contains only 180 mg potassium. Since a one cup portion of watermelon is smaller than a typical portion, try measuring your servings until you can successfully guesstimate a 1 cup portion. You can also cut your portion into small triangular pieces as sometimes seen when watermelon is placed on a salad bar or used as a garnish. Most other melons are much higher in potassium compared to watermelon. For this reason, watermelon is usually the only melon included in a low potassium chronic kidney disease diet plan.
• Fluid: It’s easy to exceed your fluid goals if you don’t count watermelon as part of your fluid intake are on on Dialysis or a fluid restriction. That’s because watermelon is 92% fluid and has little fiber. A wedge of watermelon has close to 3 cups of fluid! For dialysis patients on a fluid restriction, watermelon is limited to 1 cup and may be counted as a replacement for fluid if water weight gains are a concern.

Nutritionally, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and more. As mentioned, when consumed in small portions it is also low in potassium, and naturally very low in phosphorus and sodium.

I currently avoid watermelon as part of my chronic kidney disease diet and did so when I was diagnosed at Stage 5. It is just too hard for me to go overboard and exceed my daily potassium level, so I just keep it away. Even now at Stage 3 I personally don’t feel comfortable eating more than a cup of it. I personally do not recommend people with Chronic Kidney Disease to have watermelon as part of their kidney diet due to the challenges of sticking with only a single portion. As a matter of fact, I do not recommend any melons for people with Chronic Kidney disease due to potassium and most Nephrologist and Kidney Dietitians recommend avoiding watermelon (or greatly limiting it).

How to improve Kidney Health, Beat CKD, and Avoid Dialysis Playlist:

For more videos and kidney disease treatment strategy tips from a CKD patient, watch:
Kidney Failure Symptoms: CKD Tips to stop KIDNEY DISEASE and PREVENT RENAL FAILURE

Kidney Function: Optimizing your RENAL DIET to beat CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

Potassium And Kidney Disease Diet:

Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5 and Stage 4 Renal Diet

Overcoming sleep issues with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

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IMPORTANT: This video is intended to be informational only. It is not a medical consultation, nor is it personalized medical advice. This video is not meant to replace a physician's advice, supervision, and counsel. For medical advice, please consult your physician.

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