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Developed by CORU registered kidney (renal) dietitians

Phosphate Additives and the Kidney Diet

‘Advice from the Kidney (Renal) Dietitians on the importance of avoiding food containing phosphate additives’

Phosphate additives are added to foods for many reasons. They can be used to extend shelf life, improve colour, enhance flavour, or retain moisture.
The phosphates in food additives are especially dangerous if you have kidney disease since our bodies absorb them much more efficiently than the phosphates that occur naturally in foods like dairy foods, lentils and whole-grains.
Unfortunately there is no complete list of all foods containing phosphate additives because there are too many of them. Some examples of processed foods which may contain these additives are listed below.

Processed meats, processed fish and cheese, dried foods, dessert and cake mixes, cola drinks, alcoholic beverages, salt substitutes, instant pasta, sauces and bakery products.

Many products marketed as “low sodium” contain high amounts of phosphate additives. Cold meats with phosphate additives may contain up to 70% more phosphates than brands containing no additives.

How to avoid phosphate additives in your Kidney Diet = Read the Labels
Reading labels is the key. Try to read the food labels of processed foods that you use regularly. Food additives are considered ingredients and must be listed in the ingredients list by specific name or designated E number.

The most common ones are listed below:

E338    Phosphoric acid

E339    Sodium phosphates

E340    Potassium phosphates

E341    Calcium phosphates

E343    Magnesium phosphates

E450    Diphosphates

E540    Dicalcium diphosphate

E541    Sodium aluminium phosphate

E542    Bone phosphate

E544    Calcium polyphosphates

E545    Ammonium polyphosphates

Foods containing these ingredients are best avoided on the Kidney (Renal) Diet.

Compare products and choose those without phosphate additives.

Look for foods labelled “free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives”.

If you need help or advice ask your Kidney (Renal) Dietitian.