Kidney-Friendly Diet Tips for Barbecue Lovers

Barbecues are great. They bring families and friends together to enjoy a beautiful day together, and the lure of delicious food is just the sauce on the steak (so to speak). However, those who suffer from kidney disease have many limitations in their diet, which can really put a damper on a barbecue lover’s spirit. Great news for those who suffer from kidney issues: just because you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease doesn’t mean you have to abandon your grill! Although there are some restrictions for patients with kidney issues, there is no need for them to have to give up eating barbecued meats and foods.


Those who have been diagnosed with kidney disease are advised to consume foods with low potassium, low sodium, and low phosphorus. Unhealthy kidneys are also less able to remove protein waste from the blood, which means that your protein (ie meat) intake is restricted as well.

Especially avoid red meat, dairy products, and alcohol. You should also avoid flour-based products like wheat, spelt, oats, barley. Instead have rice, corn, millet, and quinoa. Make sure to check your sugar intake and if you smoke, quit.

This isn’t to say that you can never enjoy these foods ever again, but you will need to be more careful. Taking your prescription medication and using kidney health supplements like Eu Natural Stone Breaker can also help your kidneys recover from the occasional indulgence in your favorites.


While you may not be able to give your foods that barbecue flavor through sauces and dips, you can flavor your foods other ways. Great flavoring sources include garlic, thyme, parsley, cilantro, pepper, and oregano. If you miss the salt, try substituting with some lemon. You can also try a low-sodium salt. Or try this kidney-friendly Spicy BBQ Sauce recipe from DaVita.

You may not be able to pig out on a rack of ribs or humongous steak like you used to, but fruits and vegetables taste great grilled, too — and they pack a real punch in the nutrition department. Try tossing the vegetables with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some spices. Some veggies you can grill include onions, lettuce, mushrooms, cabbage, sweet potato, and asparagus. Some fruits you can throw on the grill include pears, pineapple, and plums.

Stay hydrated

Swap out your default pack of BBQ-time beer for a pitcher of water with a little lemon. Drinking plenty of water is key to helping reduce the risk of exacerbating your kidney problems. Your kidneys’ functionality depends on the amount of water you drink throughout the day, the more you drink and the more you urinate, the healthier your kidneys will be.

So go ahead, get to that grill. Just because you have a kidney condition doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying good food with your friends and family this summer. Being aware and taking the right preventative measures can help you enjoy the summer sun, fun, and food while still being healthy and responsible.

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