Ask the Nutritionist
Q: My husband is undergoing treatment for kidney cancer. He also has underlying kidney disease (proteinuria) and psoriasis. His potassium levels have been on the high side. His doctor has put him on medicine to lower the potassium, but says major dietary modifications are not necessary. However, I would like some basic guidelines. I've gotten info on foods with low potassium, but wondered if you have a diet plan available?
Ellen, Cambridge, Massachusetts
A: Kidney disease is a complicated condition that can vary between people. We would suggest speaking to one of our registered dietitians and your husband’s doctor to come up with a specific diet plan based on his lab values and specific condition.
Overall, for help managing his comorbidities, we would suggest increasing the amount of plant protein and consuming more moderate potassium fruits and vegetables. These have anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate some symptoms your husband may be experiencing.
Some low to moderate potassium fruits include blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, watermelon, pineapple, apples and cherries. Some low to moderate potassium vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, kale, turnips, corn, eggplant, radishes and cabbage. These foods are part of an overall healthy diet and are beneficial in cancer survivorship.