Phosphorus and kidney disease

Many foods contain phosphorus, a mineral that’s good for bone health. But if you have kidney disease, you should limit the amount of phosphorus in your diet.

When your kidneys are healthy, they regulate phosphorus in your body. But when they don’t work well, they can’t remove extra phosphorus.

Too much phosphorus weakens bones. It also affects your blood vessels, heart, lungs, and eyes. If it’s not treated, it raises your risk of heart attack or stroke.

High phosphorus foods to avoid

Phosphorus is often found in food additives in many packaged and processed foods. On a food label, these are things like phosphoric acid, dicalcium phosphate, and monosodium phosphate. It can be hard to keep track of these names. A good trick is to look for words containing "phos" on food labels.

Your dietician can help you know which foods are lower in phosphorus. You’ll get a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid.

There are many foods to steer clear of, like:

  • Beer, drinks made with milk, and bottled drinks with phosphorus additives.
  • Certain dairy products like cheese, milk, and cream-based soups.
  • Protein like beef liver, fish roe, and oysters.
  • Candies like caramels and chocolates and some muffins.

If you have questions about keeping a low-phosphorus diet, ask your doctor or your dietician.