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PHOSPHORUS is a mineral closely associated with calcium in the body. In kidney disease, phosphorus levels in the blood tend to go up and calcium levels go down. In an attempt to bring calcium levels back to normal, calcium moves from the bones to the blood. This leaves the bones brittle, weak, painful and easily broken.

Depending on your blood phosphorus level, you may have to limit your intake of foods high in phosphorus, to achieve good blood phosphorous levels. Limit foods such as milk and milk products and nuts and seeds. Since phosphorus is found in so many foods, it is difficult to limit in the diet. In most cases, medications such as TUMS, Renagel or Magnesium Hydroxide are used to help control phosphorus levels. Your phosphorus-binding medication should be taken with meals and snacks especially when you are eating meat or dairy products. The amount depends on your diet. A large meal that contains more phosphorus may need more binder. A small meal that is low in phosphorus may need less. You will learn how to control your diet and take the binders as prescribed. This will help keep your bones in good health.

Foods High in Phosphorus to Limit or Avoid


Dairy Products High quality
Protein foods
Other phosphorus foods
Limit to 1.5 choices a day Use as prescribed Avoid these foods:
(3/4 cup a day)
‘ milk ‘ meat ‘ nuts and grain seeds
‘ cream soup ‘ chicken such as sunflower orsesame
‘ ice cream ‘ turkey ” wholegrain, dark rye
‘ milk pudding ‘ fish and pumpernickel breads
Limit to 3 choices week: ‘ egg · legumes and lentils
‘ 1 ounce cheese ‘ salmon with no bones ‘ organ meats
· 1/4cup cottage cheese ‘ chocolates and cocoa
‘ cola drinks
· beer


Phosphorus Foods to Limit or Avoid

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Milk and Dairy Products: limit to 1 1/2 cup serving per day

  • Cheese
  • Pudding
  • Cottage cheese
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cream Soups
  • Yogurt
  • Macaroni & Cheese



Whole Grains and Cereals to Avoid

  • Granola
  •  Wheat Crackers
  • Biscuit Mix (Bisquick)
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Bran Muffins
  •   Pancake Mix
  • Raisin Bran
  • Brown Rice
  • Frosted Mini Wheats
  • Bran Flakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Life Cereal
  • Cheerios
  • Corn Bread and Muffins


  • Nuts and Seeds to Avoid
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Coconut
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Soy nuts
  • Soy nut butter
  • Pecans
  • Filberts
  • Macadamia Hickory nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Chestnuts
  • Nut butters
  • Pistachios
  • Pine nuts
  • Tahini

Dried Beans/Legumes: limit to 1 —1/2 cup serving 1 time per week

  • Black-eyed peas                               Kidney Beans                     Navy Beans
  • Northern Beans                               Pinto Beans                        Refried Beans
  • Soy Beans                                           Lentils                                   Adzuki Beans
  • Baked Beans                                     Black Beans                         Chick peas
  • Cranberry Beans                            Pigeonpeas                           Pink Beans
  • Red Beans                                         Miso                                        Tempeh
  • Yard Long Beans

Other Foods to Avoid    

  • Sardines
  • Cola Soda (Coke, Pepsi, etc…)
  • Raisins, Dates, Figs
  • Caramel (any candies containing caramel)
  • Molasses
  • Chocolate, Cocoa powder, Hot chocolate
  • Mushrooms
  • Hot dogs, Sausages, Pizza
  • Liver and Organ Meats
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