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Quick links  Measure Up and CKD 

Evidence shows that improving your diet and being more physically active can help prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases, such as kidney disease. If you carry excess weight around the middle, in the interest of your health follow a diet plan lower in kilojoules and total fat (particularly saturated fat).

'Swap It Don't Stop It'
KHA is proud to promote Swap It Don't Stop It program

It's never too late to make positive changes to your lifestyle!
You can make small everyday changes to start a healthier lifestyle. Make healthier choices e.g. swap inside for outside, big meal for small. Get healthy without giving up the things your love! www.swapit.gov.au


Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables not only contributes to good health but also protects against a many diseases and helps maintain healthy weight. 

Most Australians eat only half recommended amount of fruit and vegetables - at least 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables every day (preferably of 3 or more colours) with leafy greens, beans and peas, salad vegetables, pears, apples, oranges etc.

Useful weblink: Low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods - enter < 55

Eating well and keeping active
Improve long term health and quality of life

There are no “magical” solutions to lose weight. It takes time to put on weight - it takes time to lose it. You’re more likely to have long term success if you lose weight slowly - make changes to your lifestyle that you can stick with for life. This includes building more physical activity into daily life. Go for 2&5® website

Tips on how to get extra fruit and veg in your day

  • eat plenty of cereals including breads, rice, pasta and noodles, preferably wholegrain.
  • include lots of fish (salmon, tinned tuna are easy options), poultry (take skin off), lean meat and/or protein alternatives such as eggs, legumes and nuts.
  • include milk, yoghurts and cheeses and/or alternatives - reduced-fat varieties ideal.
  • drink fresh water instead of sugar filled fruit juice or soft drinks.
Other general hints of what NOT to eat
  • limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
  • choose foods that are low in salt
  • limit your alcohol intake, if you choose to drink, consume only moderate amounts of sugars, and foods and drinks containing added sugars
  • limit your intake 'sometimes' foods like unhealthy snacks and takeaway foods
  • be mindful - sugar and wheat can really impact on your body weight

Refer to New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 344:3-10 January 4, 2001 No 1) 'Effects on Blood Pressure of Reduced Dietary Sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet proven to help lower blood pressure. Or a plain English version In Brief: Your guide to lowering your blood pressure with DASH from National Institute for Health USA.

It is important to vary your diet
It's easy to make food choices tasty and interesting. Choose foods from five food groups. Helpful tips>

Nutritional characteristics of the 5 main food groups

Food group
Bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles
Vegetables, legumes
Milk, yoghurt, cheese
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes
Main distinguishing nutrients
iron, thiamine
Vitamin A (beta-carotene)
especially vitamin C
Calcium, protein
Protein, iron, zinc
dietary components
Energy, protein, fat, fibre, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin, niacin equivalents, folate & sodium
Carbohydrate, fibre, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, folate & potassium
Carbohydrate, fibre
& folate
Energy, fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12, sodium & potassium
Fat, cholesterol, niacin equivalents & vitamin B12

Vitamins and minerals - and a healthier lifestyle

If you are not getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from the foods you eat, vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended or prescribed by your doctor or dietitian. Usually a well-balanced diet will supply you with enough vitamins and minerals to keep you in good health.

It is important to take only vitamin supplements that have been recommended for you as certain vitamins and minerals can be harmful to persons on dialysis.This is why it is important for you to consult your treating doctor.

Vitamins may be useful to supplement your health when you have, or experience, any of the following:

  • chronically poor or erratic eating habits
  • reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting
  • taste changes or food aversions
  • undesirable weight loss
  • food insecurity
  • vitamin loss during dialysis


Kidney Health Australia recognises this product as a smart choice for the health of your kidneys. KidneyVital is a good supplement choice for people with an existing concern for their kidneys as well as anyone interested in supporting general wellbeing. Available in convenient tablet form, it can be taken whole or crushed. More>

Quick reference links
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and note Dietary Guidelines for Australians
Healthy eating resources: Measure Up Program In many languages other than English
Tomorrow People Indigenous Australians for a healthier & longer life – today, tomorrow & in the future
Dietitians Association of Australia Smart Eating: recipes, nutrition A-Z
Drop the Salt Program  Australia - World Action on Salt & Health (AWASH)
ood for Kids  CHOICE - easy food products your kids and family will eat
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) content labelling and food safety
Heart Foundation  Info on the importance of healthy eating and drinking for heart health
Nutrition Australia  Scientific nutrition information to encourage optimal health
Nutrient Reference Values  General guide your kilojoule requirements for the day

Updated 8 April 2014  Disclaimer: Information provided is intended as an introduction to this topic and not meant to substitute for your doctor's or health professional's advice. All care is taken to ensure this information is relevant and applicable to each Australian state. Kidney Health Australia recognises each person's experience is individual and variations do occur in treatment and management due to personal circumstances. Consult a healthcare professional for specific treatment recommendations.

  The material contained on this site does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for information purposes only. Published by Kidney Health Australia. Privacy Policy. For information about website content please contact the National Communications Manager.

© 2008 Kidney Health Australia

Last updated: Apr 2014.