NOTE: The original version of this video was missing 1 important section. YouTube doesn’t allow you to replace a video, so I had to upload the new version and delete the old one.
It’s that time of year – SUMMER – and watermelon is a popular staple at most summer events. Is watermelon safe for people with Chronic Kidney Disease – or should it be avoided by anyone with chronic kidney disease. The Internet is full of conflicting information, but the short answer is that it depends on what stage of chronic kidney disease you are in. There are 3 important areas to consider before deciding if Watermelon can be part of your chronic kidney disease diet —portion size, potassium, and fluid.
• Portion: The typical portion is a wedge of watermelon—equal to about 3 cups. For a dialysis diet that includes limited potassium and fluid, a wedge of watermelon contributes too much potassium and fluid. Most chronic kidney disease dietitians advise limiting watermelon to a 1 cup serving. Instead of cutting a wedge, cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces and measure into a cup.
• Potassium: Knowing how many fruits and vegetables to eat and the best portion size is essential to controlling potassium intake. A wedge of watermelon contributes 560 mg potassium but a smaller 1 cup serving contains only 180 mg potassium. Since a one cup portion of watermelon is smaller than a typical portion, try measuring your servings until you can successfully guesstimate a 1 cup portion. You can also cut your portion into small triangular pieces as sometimes seen when watermelon is placed on a salad bar or used as a garnish. Most other melons are much higher in potassium compared to watermelon. For this reason, watermelon is usually the only melon included in a low potassium diet plan.
• Fluid: It’s easy to exceed your fluid goals if you don’t count watermelon as part of your fluid intake. That’s because watermelon is 92% fluid and has little fiber. A wedge of watermelon has close to 3 cups of fluid! For dialysis patients on a fluid restriction, watermelon is limited to 1 cup and may be counted as a replacement for fluid if water weight gains are a concern.
Nutritionally, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and more. As mentioned, when consumed in small portions it is also low in potassium, and naturally very low in phosphorus and sodium.
I currently avoid watermelon as part of my chronic kidney disease diet and did so when I was diagnosed at Stage 5. It is just too hard for me to go overboard and exceed my daily potassium level, so I just keep it away. Even now at Stage 3 I personally don’t feel comfortable eating more than a cup of it. I personally do not recommend people with Chronic Kidney Disease to have watermelon as part of their kidney diet due to the challenges of sticking with only a single portion. As a matter of fact, I do not recommend any melons for people with Chronic Kidney disease due to potassium and most Nephrologist and Kidney Dietitians recommend avoiding watermelon (or greatly limiting it).
To learn more about the strategy I used in fighting and beating Chronic Kidney Disease, visit https://www.DadviceTV.com/
IMPORTANT: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Patients should always be under the care of a physician and defer to their physician for any and all treatment decisions. This video is not meant to replace a physician’s advice, supervision, and counsel. No information in the video should be construed as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made by the patient and a qualified physician. This video is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE.
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