What Did You Say Phosphorous Is?

I’ve discussed phosphorus before but another point of view, or another way of explaining it, is always helpful. As usual, you benefit from my research.  I especially like the substitutions for high phosphorous content foods in The National Kidney Foundation’s Phosphorous Fact Sheet.  I’ve reproduced most of the Fact Sheet here, but you can find the complete Fact Sheet at:  http://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/fs_new/phosphorusCKD.cfm



What is phosphorus?

Phosphorus is a mineral found in your bones. Along with calcium, phosphorus is needed for building healthy strong bones, as well as keeping other parts of your body healthy.

Why is phosphorus important to you?

Normal working kidneys can remove extra phosphorus in your blood. When you have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) your kidneys cannot remove phosphorus very well. High phosphorus levels can cause damage to your body. Extra phosphorus causes body changes that pull calcium out of your bones, making them weak. High phosphorus and calcium levels also lead to dangerous calcium deposits in blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and heart. Phosphorus and calcium control is very important for your overall health.

What is a safe blood level of phosphorus?

A normal phosphorus level is 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL.


How can I control my phosphorus level?

You can keep you phosphorus level normal by understanding your diet and medications for phosphorus control. Your dietitian and doctor will help you with this. Below is a list of foods high in phosphorus.


  chocolate drinks cocoa
  drinks made with milk
canned iced teas
dark colas
Dairy Products cheese cottage cheese
  custard ice cream
  milk pudding
  cream soups yogurt
Protein carp crayfish
  beef liver chicken liver
  fish roe organ meats
  oysters sardines
Vegetables dried beans and peas:  
  baked beans black beans
  chick peas garbanzo beans
  kidney beans lentils
  limas northern beans
  pork ’ n beans split peas
  soy beans  
Other foods bran cereals brewer’s yeast
  caramels nuts
  seeds wheat germ
  whole grain products  

What are medications for phosphorus control?

Your doctor may order a medicine called a phosphate binder for you to take with meals and snacks. This medicine will help control the amount of phosphorus your body absorbs from the foods you eat. There are
many different kinds of phosphate binders. Pills, chewable tablets, and   powders are available. Some types also contain calcium, while others do  not. You should only take the phosphate binder that is ordered by your doctor or dietitian.

What do I do if my phosphorus level is too high?

When your phosphorus level is too high, think about your diet and substitute lower phosphorus foods for a while. Talk to your dietitian and doctor about making changes in your diet and ask about your phosphate binder prescription.

  Phosphorus (mg)     Phosphorus (mg)
8 ounce milk 230   8 ounce nondairy
creamer or4 ounce milk
8 ounce cream soup made with milk
  8 ounce cream soup made with water 90
1 ounce hard cheese 145   1 ounce cream cheese 30
½ cup ice cream 80   ½ cup sherbet or 1 popsicle 0
12-ounce can cola 55   12 ounce can of Ginger Ale or lemon soda 3
½ cup lima or pinto beans 100   ½ cup mixed vegetables or green beans 35
½ cup custard or pudding made with milk 150   ½ cup pudding or custard made with nondairy creamer 50
2 ounce peanuts 200   1 ½ cup light salt/low fat popcorn 35
1 ½ ounce chocolate bar 125   1 ½ ounce hard candy, fruit flavors or jelly beans 3
2/3 cup oatmeal 130   2/3 cup cream of wheat or grits 40
½ cup bran cereal 140-260   ½ cup nonbran cereal, shredded wheat, rice cereals, or corn flakes 50-100

I find this refresher, well, ummm, refreshing.  Think about it and maybe try making just one change this week.

Until Friday,

Keep living

One last word from The National Kidney Foundation:

The National Kidney Foundation would like to thank theCouncil on Renal Nutrition for the development of this fact sheet.

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

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