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Foods Low in Phosphorus for People with Kidney Disease

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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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 meats 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 Oil

#1: Refined Oils (Rice Bran Oil)

Phosphorus per TblspPhosphorus per 100g
0% DV (0mg)0% DV (0mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Rice Bran Oil
1 tbsp of rice bran oil contains 0mg of sodium, 0mg potassium, 0mg magnesium, and 0mg calcium.
Egg whites

#2: Egg Whites

Phosphorus per Egg WhitePhosphorus per 100g
0% DV (5mg)2% DV (15mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Egg Whites (Raw)
1 egg white contains 55mg of sodium, 54mg potassium, 4mg magnesium, and 2mg calcium.

See all dairy and egg products low in phosphorus.
Grapes

#3: Grapes

Phosphorus per CupPhosphorus per 100g
1% DV (9.2mg)1% DV (10mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Grapes
1 cup of grapes contains 2mg of sodium, 176mg potassium, 5mg magnesium, and 13mg calcium.

See all fruits low in phosphorus.
A head of lettuce

#4: Lettuce

Phosphorus per CupPhosphorus per 100g
1% DV (10.4mg)3% DV (29mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Green Leaf Lettuce
1 cup of shredded lettuce contains 10mg of sodium, 70mg potassium, 5mg magnesium, and 13mg calcium.

See all vegetables low in phosphorus.
Apples

#5: Apples

Phosphorus per CupPhosphorus per 100g
1% DV (13.8mg)1% DV (11mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Apples
1 cup of apples contains 1mg of sodium, 134mg potassium, 6mg magnesium, and 8mg calcium.

See all fruits low in phosphorus.
Leeks

#6: Leeks

Phosphorus per Leek CookedPhosphorus per 100g
2% DV (21.1mg)2% DV (17mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Leeks
1 medium leek contains 12mg of sodium, 108mg potassium, 17mg magnesium, and 37mg calcium.

See all vegetables low in phosphorus.
Cornmeal

#7: Cornmeal (Grits)

Phosphorus per Cup CookedPhosphorus per 100g
3% DV (32.6mg)1% DV (14mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Yellow Cornmeal (Grits)
1 cup of cornmeal contains 5mg of sodium, 51mg potassium, 12mg magnesium, and 2mg calcium.

See all grains low in phosphorus.
Cottage Cheese

#8: Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Phosphorus per OzPhosphorus per 100g
15% DV (151.4mg)13% DV (134mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Lowfat Cottage Cheese (1%)
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.
Shiitake Mushrooms

#9: Shiitake Mushrooms

Phosphorus per Cup CookedPhosphorus per 100g
4% DV (42.1mg)3% DV (29mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Shiitake Mushrooms
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms contains 6mg of sodium, 170mg potassium, 20mg magnesium, and 4mg calcium.

See all vegetables low in phosphorus.
Pecans

#10: Pecans

Phosphorus per OzPhosphorus per 100g
8% DV (78.7mg)28% DV (277mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Pecans
1 oz of pecans contains 0mg of sodium, 116mg potassium, 34mg magnesium, and 20mg calcium.

See all nuts low in phosphorus.

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
  2. National Kidney Foundation on a Low Phosphorus Diet
  3. Medline Plus on Phosphorus in Diet
  4. Low Phosphorus Foods from Davita.com
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