Nutr Res Pract.  2019 Aug;13(4):310-315. 10.4162/nrp.2019.13.4.310.

Registered dietitian nutritionists and perceptions of liberalizing the hemodialysis diet

  • 1Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, 61790, IL, United States.


The objective of this study was to assess the level of awareness, comfort, and likelihood of liberalizing the hemodialysis diet in practicing renal registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN).
An original, cross-sectional survey was sent to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Renal Practice Group in May 2017, consisting primarily of renal dietitians.
A total of 187 renal dietitians responded to the survey designed to assess their current practices regarding the renal diet for hemodialysis patients and how comfortable they would be liberalizing the current restrictions. On average, 16.3% of dietitians are extremely likely to liberalize the restrictions on various food groups including fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains.
RDN feel confident in their ability to interpret and apply evidence-based literature into practice, and they are moderately comfortable liberalizing the renal diet. The participants were generally more comfortable liberalizing the phosphorus restriction than the potassium restriction, and the sodium restriction remains important to control interdialytic weight gain and hypertension. Future research is needed to establish efficacy of a liberalized diet as well as interventions to help RDN feel more comfortable implementing a liberalization of the renal diet.


Hemodialysis diet; potassium; phosphorus; sodium; renal dietitian
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