Foods Low in Phosphorus for People with Kidney Disease

Foods Low in Phosphorus for People with Kidney Disease

Phosphorus is an essential mineral that makes up around 1% of a person's body weight, most of which is in bones and teeth.

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) typically have to restrict and monitor their intake of phosphorus. Most refined oils, fruits, vegetables, and refined grains are low in phosphorus. People should avoid eating meat, which typically contain more easily absorbed phosphorus than found in plants. Since meats are restricted in a CKD diet, egg whites can be a good low-phosphorus source of protein. Soymilk may also work.

The National Kidney Foundation cautions people with CKD to avoid preservatives and additives which use phosphorus. Phosphorus is added to a lot of foods, check ingredient labels for anything with the letters PHOS that includes:

  • Dicalcium phosphate
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Monosodium phosphate
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Sodium hexameta-phosphate
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Sodium tripolyphosphate
  • Tetrasodium pyrophosphate

The list below is a sample of foods low in phosphorus that are also low in other minerals (sodium, potassium, etc...) typically restricted on a CKD diet.

List of Foods Low in Phosphorus

Vegetable Oil1 Refined Oils (Rice Bran Oil)
Phosphorus
per Tblsp
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
0mg
(0% DV)
0mg
(0% DV)
0mg
(0% DV)

1 tbsp of rice bran oil contains 0mg of sodium, 0mg potassium, 0mg magnesium, and 0mg calcium.

Egg whites2 Egg Whites
Phosphorus
per Egg White
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
5mg
(0% DV)
15mg
(2% DV)
57.7mg
(6% DV)

1 egg white contains 55mg of sodium, 54mg potassium, 4mg magnesium, and 2mg calcium.

See all dairy and egg products low in phosphorus.

Grapes3 Grapes
Phosphorus
per Cup
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
9.2mg
(1% DV)
10mg
(1% DV)
29.9mg
(3% DV)

1 cup of grapes contains 2mg of sodium, 176mg potassium, 5mg magnesium, and 13mg calcium.

See all fruits low in phosphorus.

A head of lettuce4 Lettuce
Phosphorus
per Cup
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
10.4mg
(1% DV)
29mg
(3% DV)
386.7mg
(39% DV)

1 cup of shredded lettuce contains 10mg of sodium, 70mg potassium, 5mg magnesium, and 13mg calcium.

See all vegetables low in phosphorus.

Apples5 Apples
Phosphorus
per Cup
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
13.8mg
(1% DV)
11mg
(1% DV)
42.3mg
(4% DV)

1 cup of apples contains 1mg of sodium, 134mg potassium, 6mg magnesium, and 8mg calcium.

See all fruits low in phosphorus.

Leeks6 Leeks
Phosphorus
per Leek Cooked
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
21.1mg
(2% DV)
17mg
(2% DV)
109.7mg
(11% DV)

1 medium leek contains 12mg of sodium, 108mg potassium, 17mg magnesium, and 37mg calcium.

See all vegetables low in phosphorus.

Cornmeal7 Cornmeal (Grits)
Phosphorus
per Cup Cooked
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
32.6mg
(3% DV)
14mg
(1% DV)
43.1mg
(4% DV)

1 cup of cornmeal contains 5mg of sodium, 51mg potassium, 12mg magnesium, and 2mg calcium.

See all grains low in phosphorus.

Shiitake Mushrooms8 Shiitake Mushrooms
Phosphorus
per Cup Cooked
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
42.1mg
(4% DV)
29mg
(3% DV)
103.6mg
(10% DV)

1 cup of shiitake mushrooms contains 6mg of sodium, 170mg potassium, 20mg magnesium, and 4mg calcium.

See all vegetables low in phosphorus.

Pecans9 Pecans
Phosphorus
per Oz
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
78.7mg
(8% DV)
277mg
(28% DV)
80.2mg
(8% DV)

1 oz of pecans contains 0mg of sodium, 116mg potassium, 34mg magnesium, and 20mg calcium.

See all nuts low in phosphorus.

Cottage Cheese10 Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
Phosphorus
per Oz
Phosphorus
per 100g
Phosphorus
per 200 Calories
151.4mg
(15% DV)
134mg
(13% DV)
372.2mg
(37% DV)

1 oz of cottage cheese contains 115mg of sodium, 17mg potassium, 1mg magnesium, and 17mg calcium.

See all dairy and egg products low in phosphorus.

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

About Nutrient Targets

Setting targets can provide a guide to healthy eating.

Some of the most popular targets include:
  • Daily Value (%DV) - The %DV is a general guideline for everyone and accounts for absorption factors. It is the most common target in the U.S. and is the target on the nutrition labels of most products. It is set by the U.S. FDA.
  • Reference Dietary Intake (%RDI) - The Reference Dietary Intake (RDI) is a customized target accounting for age and gender. It is set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. The RDI for amino acids is set by the U.N. World Health Organization. The daily value (%DV) builds on the reference dietary intake to create a number for everyone.
  • Adequate Intake (%AI) - Sets a target for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. The Adequate Intake is also set by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It represents a number to ensure adequacy but lacks the same level of evidence as the Reference Dietary Intake. In short, the number is less accurate than the RDI.
  • See the Guide to Recommended Daily Intakes for more information.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central
  2. National Kidney Foundation on a Low Phosphorus Diet
  3. Medline Plus on Phosphorus in Diet
  4. Low Phosphorus Foods from Davita.com