Diet and nutrition

After your kidney transplant, you may need to adjust your diet to keep your new kidney healthy and functioning well. You'll have fewer dietary restrictions than if you were receiving dialysis therapy before your transplant, but you still may need to make some diet changes.

Your Mayo Clinic transplant team includes a nutrition specialist (dietitian) who can discuss your nutrition and diet needs and answer any questions you have after your transplant.

Some of your medications may increase your appetite and make it easier to gain weight. But reaching and maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is just as important for transplant recipients as it is for everyone else to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

You may need to keep track of how many calories you consume or limit foods high in sugar and fat.

Your Mayo Clinic dietitian will also provide you with several healthy food options and ideas to use in your nutrition plan. Your dietitian's recommendations after kidney transplant may include:

  • Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Avoiding grapefruit and grapefruit juice due to its effect on a group of immunosuppression medications (calcineurin inhibitors)
  • Having enough fiber in your daily diet
  • Drinking low-fat milk or eating other low-fat dairy products, which is important to maintain optimal calcium and phosphorus levels
  • Eating lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Maintaining a low-salt and low-fat diet
  • Following food safety guidelines
  • Staying hydrated by drinking adequate water and other fluids each day
June 24, 2016
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