Is Watermelon Good For Kidneys?

Is Watermelon Good For Kidneys?

Sharing is caring!

It’s summertime here in the US. Lots of bbqs, picnics, pools and outside activities. One of the most loved fruits during summertime is watermelon. It’s cool, juicy, sweet and refreshing. But when you have kidney disease you may be wondering if watermelon is good for kidneys. 

Some people with kidney disease are told to avoid watermelon while others are told it’s okay. Why the conflicting advice? 

In this article we’ll discuss produce and kidneys, potassium, portion sizes, and fluid. We’ll also talk about other summer fruits and vegetables that are kidney-friendly. 

Produce and Kidneys

There are many health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They provide soluble and insoluble fiber, help with digestion and improves constipation, provides prebiotics and probiotics, contains beneficial antioxidants and phytochemicals, helps with blood pressure control, and decreases acid production to the kidneys.

Some people with kidney disease may need to follow a lower potassium diet and choose low potassium containing fruits and vegetables. If you need to follow a low potassium diet, produce can certainly fit into your low potassium diet. 

Watermelon and Kidneys

Watermelon offers so many nutritious benefits. It’s high in vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

The main concern with fruits and vegetables when you have kidney disease is the amount of potassium it contains. Most melons like honeydew and cantaloupe are high in potassium. But watermelon contains the least amount per portion.

The 3 main things to pay attention to when eating watermelon when you have kidney disease is portion size, potassium, and fluid.

Portion Size

Even though watermelon is lower in potassium than other melons, it still has potassium in it. The bigger the portion size you consume the more potassium.

An appropriate portion size for watermelon when you have kidney disease is 1 cup cubed or balled. According the USDA Food Database, 1 cup (150g) of watermelon provides

  • 46 calories
  • 141g water
  • 1 g protein
  • 12 g carbohydrates
  • 17 mg phosphorus
  • 172 mg potassium

Compared to a wedge of watermelon (approximately 1/16 of a melon, 286g)

  • 86 kcal
  • 261 g water
  • 1.7 g protein
  • 22 g carbohydrates
  • 31 mg phosphorus
  • 320 mg potassium

As you can see, portion sizes go a long way. Cut your watermelon into small, bite size cubes and measure out 1 cup so you can enjoy this refreshing fruit without over consuming fluids and potassium. (Trust me, I know how hard this is!)


When you have kidney disease watermelon can fit into your diet, even if you’re on a potassium restriction. Knowing how many fruits and vegetables you can have a day and consuming sensible portion sizes, you can enjoy your favorite produce.

If you’re on dialysis or if you’ve had a high potassium level in the past, you may need to limit how much potassium you consume. Generally speaking, a low potassium diet is 2,000mg of potassium or less a day.


If you are on a fluid restriction, you may have a certain limit of fluids you can drink and consume per day. Anything that melts down at room temperature will be considered a fluid. Most fruits have some amount of water in them. Since watermelon has mostly water in it, it can contribute to your fluid intake and may need to be counted towards your fluid consumption for the day.

1 cup cubed watermelon has approximately 6 fluid ounces of water vs. 1 wedge of watermelon will have 11 fluid ounces. Again, watermelon portion sizes will be a major contributor in how much potassium and fluid you consume.

Ways to Include Watermelon in Your Kidney Diet

  • Make a smoothie
  • Shorbet
  • Popsicles
  • Slushie
  • Make a fruit salad or watermelon cucumber salad
  • Watermelon makes a great renal diet snack!

Kidney Friendly Summer Fruits

Kidney Friendly Summer Vegetables


Watermelon is a kidney friendly fruit that can fit into any level of potassium restricted diet. Portion size is key to enjoying this juicy summer fruit in order to stay within your potassium and fluid goals. Be sure to also enjoy other fruits and vegetables that are in season this summer!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top