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Eating Right for CKD Patients

Learning how to eat well is important

When kidney function starts to decrease, patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may need to adjust their diet to prevent excess waste and fluid from building up. The goal is to preserve existing kidney function and to delay the progression of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), particularly stage 5, which then necessitates dialysis or transplant. Dietary needs of patients may vary with the progression of their kidney disease.

  • Pre-dialysis patients require less protein than patients on dialysis.
  • Impaired kidneys are able to function in the earlier stages of CKD, however, they will still have a hard time removing all waste products from the body.
  • Consuming too much protein cause the kidneys to overwork which can lead to more damages to the kidneys.
  • Having adequate but not excessive protein intake helps to preserve kidney function and prevent additional stress on the kidneys. Your dietitian or doctor will tell you how much of protein you need to consume a day.
  • As the kidneys become less effective at filtering waste products, blood phosphate level rises.
  • Excessive phosphate level in the blood can lead to skin itchiness, joint pain, eye irritation, and weak and brittle bones.
  • Pre-dialysis patients may need to restrict phosphate intake in their diet when their estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) decreases and blood tests show higher phosphate.
  • Avoid high phosphate foods such as:
    • Sardines, anchovies (ikan bilis) and dried shrimp paste
    • Processed food and canned food (e.g. canned meat or fish, sausage, meat patty)
    • Dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese, yogurt).
    • Bean products (e.g. all forms of nuts, seeds, bean soup)
    • Malt drinks (e.g. Milo, Horlicks, Ovaltine).
    • Chocolate and related products
    • Organ meats (e.g. liver, intestine)
    • Bone-based soups (e.g. chicken feet and pork bone)
    • Colas
  • Potassium is a type of mineral which is important for the functioning of the nerves and muscles.
  • Excessive potassium level in the blood can cause muscle weakness, abnormal heart rates and in extreme cases, heart failure.
  • Potassium needs can be varied with the different stages of CKD. Pre-dialysis patients may need to restrict potassium intake if blood tests show high serum potassium level.
  • Avoid high potassium foods such as:
    • Fruits and vegetables from the high potassium group.
    • Wholegrain cereals, bread and biscuit.
    • Nuts, seeds and related products (e.g. chocolate, peanut butter).
    • Coconuts and related products (e.g. coconut milk, kaya).
    • All fresh/canned fruit and vegetable juice, herbal medicine drinks, strong tea/coffee, cocoa and malted beverage, milk, wine.
    • Brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, toffees, liquorice.
    • High potassium salt substitute, bottled sauces, meat and vegetables extract, essence of chicken, stock cube.

Tip! You can reduce the potassium content of vegetables by soaking vegetables that have been cut into smaller pieces in water for 1 to 2 hours.

  • Sodium is naturally found in all types of foods, and more commonly in packaged and processed foods. Salt is one of the main sources of sodium.
  • Sodium makes you feel thirsty and start drinking more. As a result, weight gain from fluid arises and consequently, an increase in blood pressure and added burden to the heart.
  • Sodium restriction in kidney disease helps to maintain normal fluid balance.
  • Tips to reduce sodium intake:
    • Limit amount of salt/sauces added to your cooking.
    • Avoid using stock cubes, meat and vegetables extracts e.g. Bovril and Marmite.
    • Avoid taking bottled chicken extracts.
    • Read labels on processed foods and choose products that contain less than 120mg sodium per 100g of the food product.
    • Minimise the consumption of canned and processed food. If you do choose to use them, do drain the brine.
    • Use fresh herbs and whole spices to replace salt/sauces in cooking.
    • To enhance the flavour of food, use fresh lime, lemon juice, or vinegar.

Important! Renal patients should exercise caution with salt substitutes as they are often high in potassium and should not be used without consulting your doctor or dietitian.

  • Fluids are generally not restricted in early stages of CKD patients unless instructed by their renal doctors.

*The above information and recommendations are general guidelines, and should not be viewed as specific advice for any individual. Please consult your doctor or other health care advisors for personal health decisions.

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General Enquiries

As there are limited car park lots available at NKF Centre visitors may need to park at the nearby HDB car parks in the vicinity.

NKF HQ Mondays –Thursdays
PH / Weekends
8.30am –6.00pm
8.30am –5.00pm
Dialysis Centres Mondays –Saturdays
7.00am –11.00pm
7.00am –11.00pm

We are open on most public holidays except for the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

NKF does not provide ad hoc dialysis treatment. Our patients are on long-term dialysis treatment. You may wish to check with private dialysis centres for ad hoc dialysis treatments.

NKF does not have an outpatient clinic and hence, we are unable to arrange an appointment for members of the public. You may wish to contact a hospital of your choice for outpatient service.

Currently, NKF does not provide health report interpretation service. You may consult your General Practitioner who will be able to assist you.

Someone with kidney failure may not experience any signs and symptoms until it is too late. It is best to do a routine health screening to understand your health status better and detect any abnormalities as early as possible so that you can delay and manage the disease progression.

To know about the signs and symptoms please click here to learn more.

Decreased urination Swollen hands and ankles Sleep disturbances
Blood in the urine (tea-coloured or fresh blood) Puffiness around the eyes High blood pressure
Nausea and vomiting Itching Loss of appetite

All dialysis centres operate on 3 dialysis shifts –morning, noon and evening.

Morning Noon Evening
7.00am –12.00pm 12.00pm – 6.00pm 6.00pm –11.00pm
Timing of your dialysis schedule may vary for each dialysis centres.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday (1,3,5) OR Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (2,4,6)


Our Admissions Counsellor will contact you once your application is finalised. They will be in contact with you soon.

From the day we receive the application form, it will take approximately 3 working days to a week for us to get back to you if you have submitted all completed supporting documents together with your application form to us. Generally, the whole process will take 6 months for the approval.

The overall application review process will take approximately 6 months before the applicant can start the first dialysis treatment. However, if the applicant is able to provide all completed supporting documents and if there is a slot available at the dialysis centre with a right match to the time slot, the waiting time could be shorter.

Currently, we do not have status checking service online. NKF Admissions Counsellor will be in contact with the applicants regarding the status.

You may pick it up from the NKF main office at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836 or call us at 6506 2187 to have the forms sent to you.

Means Test is used to determine the amount of subsidies each person needing care is eligible for. Persons from lower income households will be granted higher subsidies under the means test framework.

Means Test subsidies calculation is based in accordance to MOH guidelines.

Our NKF Admissions Counsellor in-charge will contact you in regards to your means test status.

The Medical Social Workers at your hospital will be able to advise you on the different type of subsidies based on your financial situation.

Kidney Live Donor Support Fund

For information on kidney donation in Singapore, you may wish to contact the National Organ Transplant Unit at Tel: 6321 4390 or email

NKF’s Kidney Live Donor Support Fund covers annual health screenings and medical follow-ups; one-time reimbursement for loss of 2 months actual income of $8,500, whichever is lower: reimbursement of hospitalisation and surgical insurance premiums (capped at MediShield Life premiums); pre-transplant screening and evaluation costs for up to 2 potential donors per kidney recipient; and insurance coverage for Group Living. Policy based on sum insured of $200,000.

For more information and eligibility, please click here. 

Donation & Volunteering

You can make the donation through different platforms:

  1. For online donation: please visit
  2. Or you may like to issue a cheque made payable to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF” and mail it to us at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836.
  3. Alternatively, you may contact us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) or email us at to send you the donation form.
  4. Road Singapore 328836.

Thank you for your generosity. The cheque should be issued to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF”.

Thank you for bequeathing your CPF contributions to NKF. You can fill up the CPF nomination form which can be downloaded from the CPF website. NKF’s UEN is 200104750M.

Thank you for your generosity. You may like to visit the Ministry of Law’s website where you can find a list of lawyers based in Singapore. Please visit

Our UEN/ Company Registration No. / GST Registration No. is 200104750M.

Please send us an email at or call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) and we will assist you accordingly.

You may email your new mailing address to , Please include your full name, contact number, old mailing address and UEN or NRIC/FIN (last 3 digits)

You may email us at to get the donation form. Please fill up your new GIRO/credit card number, donation amount and sign the form. Thereafter, post the GIRO form back to NKF for processing.

For credit card, you may wish to scan the form and send it to NKF via either of these options:

Email –

Fax – 6253 0417

Mail – 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836

Please email us at with your full name, UEN/NRIC/FIN and mailing address.

Please email us at to have the termination form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us for processing and auditing purposes.

All outright cash donations to NKF are entitled to tax deduction because NKF is a registered charity with an IPC (Institutions of Public Character) status. We are able to issue tax deductible receipts for qualifying donations to our donors.

You are entitled to a tax deduction of 2.5 times the value of your donation in the preceding year.

You may sign up via our website at

If you do not have access to the internet, please call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) to have the application form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us at 81 Kim Keat Road Singapore 328836.

Once we receive your application, our colleague from the Donor and Volunteer Management Department will contact you for a phone interview. After which, you will be invited to attend our volunteer orientation. This is to allow you to have a better understanding of the volunteering activities.

The minimum age is 13 years old. For volunteers who are below the age of 21, you will need to get parental consent. You may download the consent form here.

We strongly encourage our volunteers to commit at least a year so that we can better support our patients. Our programmes and activities are flexible, you can choose your volunteering schedule according to your interest and availability.

You may volunteer with us basing on your availability. We will send a weekly email to our volunteers indicating the up-coming volunteering opportunities. You can then match your availability to the activity schedule.

We have an array of volunteering activities to suit your interest and availability. To learn more about the volunteering activities we offer, please visit

Anyone and everyone can join us as a volunteer. All applicants will be required to undergo a mandatory orientation session where you will gain insights into the Foundation’s cause, kidney disease as well as learn more about the volunteering activities we offer. Regular trainings are also conducted for all volunteers so that they can better perform their role.

Most definitely! We welcome schools, companies and community groups to volunteer with us as part of their Values In Action and Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Please get in touch with us on your interest by sending an email to

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