Do you have kidney disease and wonder what kind of juice you can drink? Need some more beverage options other than water?
In this article we discuss what’s the best juice for kidney disease. As a Renal Dietitian I’ll give you my top 10 best juices for kidney disease that I recommend to my clients and patients. I’ll also tell you what juices you need to avoid with kidney disease.
I’ll discuss what juice is healthy and show you what to look for on the food label. If you’re diabetic or need to follow a low potassium diet, we’ll discuss options for you too!
Table of Contents
Whole Fruit Compared to Fruit Juice
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps reduce chronic disease such as heart disease, protects against certain types of cancer and reduces the risk of obesity.
It’s recommended for adults to consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.
As a renal dietitian, I encourage my patients to consume whole fruit most of the time over juices.
Whole fruit has fiber that helps you feel full and satisfies your hunger. Most Americans don’t get the recommended 25 grams of fiber per day. Eating whole fruit and vegetables can help you achieve that. Fiber also helps reduce constipation.
Juices are more concentrated in sugar, calories, potassium and sometimes sodium than whole fruits and vegetables.
If you’re on a fluid restriction, juice will be counted towards your allotted fluid for the day. If you eat the whole fruit, you don’t need to count it towards your fluid intake.
But, I get it! Sometimes juice is just tasty and refreshing. It’s okay to enjoy it occasionally. A kidney friendly portion size for juice is ½ cup or 4 fl. oz.
The Best Juice for Kidney Disease
The best juice for kidney disease is 100% fruit juice of the following. To note, not everyone with kidney disease will need to limit potassium.
Low Potassium Juice
The best juices for kidney disease listed here are low in potassium so it works well for people on dialysis or needing to limit potassium. Each of the juices listed contain less than 200 mg of potassium in a 4 fl. oz. serving size.
- Apple juice
- Grape juice
- Cranberry juice*
- Pineapple juice
- Beet juice
- Grapefruit juice**
*Cranberry juice should be avoided if you have kidney stones because it’s high in oxalates.
**Grapefruit juice can interact with certain medications. (1) Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you need to avoid grapefruit juice with the medications you’re prescribed.
Other Best Juices for Kidney Disease
If you don’t need to limit potassium in your diet. The following juices are the best juices for kidney disease. Choose 100% juice. Each of the juices listed have 200mg or potassium or more per 4 fl. oz. serving size.
- Orange juice
- Prune juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Cherry juice
The best juice for kidney disease is 100% juice. It will not have any added sugar. When looking at the food label. Look at the total carbohydrates. Under that it will list the total sugar and then under the total sugar it will list added sugar.
Best juices for kidney disease will not have any added sugar. The sweetness will be from the natural sugars found in the fruit. If it has added sugar, it’s not 100% fruit juice.
Avoid juices labeled “drink” or “cocktail” in the name. These aren’t 100% juice and will likely have a lot of added sugar.
Juices to Avoid with Kidney Disease
The following juices should be used with caution if you have kidney disease. They tend to be high in potassium and sodium.
- Pickle juice
- Tomato juice
- Vegetable juice or “green juices”
The best juice for kidney disease is low in sodium. Vegetable juices are also higher in potassium. If you’re limiting potassium in your diet you will want to limit these. Not everyone with kidney disease needs to avoid high potassium foods.
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in vitamin K that helps blood clot. Someone taking blood thinners and consuming high vitamin K foods can lead to increased clotting of the blood.
If you have kidney stones, dark green leafy vegetable juices are higher in oxalate and will need to be limited in your diet. It’s also recommended to avoid cranberry juice if you have kidney stones because it’s high in oxalates.
Juice for Diabetics
For people that have diabetes and kidney disease, whole fruit is by far the best choice as discussed. If you have diabetes and are prone to low blood sugars, it’s a good idea to keep juice on hand to treat a low.
Portion size is also very important. Stay with a 4 fl. oz. or ½ cup serving of 100% juice listed above. If you want to drink more volume, add 4 fl. oz. of sparkling water to 4 fl. oz. juice. That way you can keep calories and natural concentrated sugars low.
There are no juice or juice cleanse regimens that will cleanse or cure your kidney disease. Your liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract are all your body needs.
Feeding your body and kidneys the appropriate food will help keep you healthy.
If you need more guidance on choosing the best foods to eat for you and your kidney health, book a call with me to learn more about my services.