Best Bread for Kidney Disease

A common thing that people with kidney disease search for early on is the best bread for kidney disease.

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Like all packaged foods, we need to keep an eye on sodium and avoid phosphorus additives, and it can be difficult to find a low sodium bread or a low phosphorus bread.

Low Sodium Bread

For people living with kidney disease, eating less sodium can help lower blood pressure, reduce thirst, reduce stress on your heart, and prevent you from gaining too much fluid weight and feeling tired and short of breath.

Bread is the number one source of sodium in the American diet, so finding a lower sodium version to use can make a big impact on your health. However, finding a low sodium bread is also very challenging.

It is recommended that people with kidney disease eat less than 2,300mg of sodium per day. A good rule of thumb when reviewing food labels is to search for foods with less sodium than calories.

What if I can’t find a low sodium bread?

Depending on where you are shopping, there is a decent chance that you may not be able to find a bread that has less sodium than calories. There are a couple of options in that case:

  • Consider an alternative – making a sandwich? Consider using lettuce and making a lettuce wrap. Or use a low sodium, no added phosphate corn tortilla and make a small wrap or taco with your sandwich ingredients. Using it to make toast for breakfast? Consider choosing a different type of carbohydrate like oatmeal for breakfast. If you are looking for dinner rolls to add as a side to your meal, consider swapping to a different starchy side item like rice.
  • Buy your bread online – many groceries can be purchased online now and delivered to your home. If you can’t find the foods you need at your in-store grocer, consider ordering online.
  • Ask you grocery store to stock your preferred bread – Many stores are willing to order specific foods if you ask.
  • Choose the bread with the least sodium and pair it with very low sodium foods – so you’ve compared all the breads and they all have too much sodium. Pick the one with the least amount of sodium and no added phosphates, and then pair it with some very low sodium foods. For example, nut butters such as cashew butter or peanut butter are both very low sodium foods. Adding a thick smear of nut butter to a piece of bread will usually even out the sodium.
sandwich made with low sodium bread low phosphorus bread best bread for kidney disease

Low Phosphorus Bread

Many breads also contain phosphorus additives, which are bad for your cardiovascular health. Phosphorus is an ingredient in baking powder, so it is common for baked goods to have phosphorus added to them. However, not all bread contains phosphorus!

To determine if a bread contains phosphorus, read the ingredient lists. If you see any ingredients with “PHOS” in the name, then you should choose a different bread.

One thing to consider with bread is that most bread contains yeast. While humans do not have the correct enzymes in their body to digest many plant-based phosphorus sources, yeast organisms do. In theory, foods containing yeast may have a higher phosphorus bioavailability, meaning that your body will absorb more of the phosphorus from the food.

If you are struggling with high phosphorus levels, I would first be sure that you have eliminated all sources of phosphorus additives in your diet. You should also take a look at any digestive enzymes that you take to ensure those are not affecting your phosphorus.

If you have eliminated all phosphorus additives in your diet and are still struggling with controlling phosphorus, then you may want to consider replacing yeast containing foods like bread with alternate sources of carbohydrate. Similarly, sprouted grains will have a higher phosphorus bioavailability.

Low Potassium Bread

Some people with kidney disease are concerned about their potassium levels. In general, we consider a food to be low in potassium if it contains less than 200mg of potassium per serving. Most bread will be considered low potassium.

White breads tend to be lower in potassium than whole grain breads, so it can be tempting for people with kidney disease to choose white bread. However, in our research, we were unable to find any white breads that were considered low in sodium and contained no phosphorus additives, so we do not recommend white bread.

There are many reasons that potassium levels could become elevated that are unrelated to the potassium content of the food you eat. Unless you have been instructed to do so by a healthcare provide, we do not recommend avoiding healthful foods based on their potassium content. Whole grain breads are higher in fiber, which is an important factor in managing potassium levels.

What is the best bread for kidney disease and diabetes?

If you have CKD and diabetes, you may need to be mindful of your carbohydrate intake. Bread is considered a starchy food, so it will raise your blood sugar. If you choose to eat bread, choose a bread that is lower in sodium, contains no phosphorus additives, and contains adequate fiber. All of the kidney friendly breads identified below would meet this criteria.

Limit bread to one serving per meal and be sure that you understand what a single serving is. For bigger sliced bread, the serving size is often one piece of bread while smaller or thinner sliced bread may allow two slices per serving.

Be mindful of any additional sources of carbohydrates in your meal.

Pair your bread with a high fat food such as avocado or nut butters. The fat will help slow down the digestion of the sugars and help maintain more even blood sugar levels after you eat.

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Best Breads for People with Kidney Disease

Low sodium AND Low Phosphorus Breads for Kidney Disease

The following breads contain no phosphorus additives AND are considered low in sodium since they don’t have more sodium than calories. You can also check out our shopping list on Amazon.

Food For Life Ezekiel Bread

  • Calories: 80
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 15g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 75mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 81mg
  • Calcium: 9mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 0g
The “Food for Life” brand has a lot of low sodium breads that are great for people with kidney disease (because they are also low phosphorus breads). You’ll only find this kidney friendly bread in the frozen food aisle because they contain no added preservatives. Keep it stored in your freezer until ready to use, then keep it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. This bread is considered low potassium as well. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Food for Life Low Sodium Ezekiel Bread

  • Calories: 80
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 15g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 82mg
  • Calcium: 9mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 0g
This kidney friendly bread is also found in the frozen food section and must be frozen or refrigerated to maintain freshness. It contains ZERO sodium, so is definitely a low sodium bread and this is great if you are trying to make big changes in your sodium intake. This kidney friendly bread would also be considered a low potassium food. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Bread

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 21g
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 110mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 110mg
  • Calcium: 40mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 4g
This is a great, low potassium kidney friendly bread. It has more calories than sodium, so it is a low sodium bread. It also contains no phosphorus additives, so it is considered a low phosphorus bread too! The slices are big, so you may find that cutting one piece of bread in half is enough to make a sandwich. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Pepperidge Farm Honey Wheat

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 21g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 105mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 100mg
  • Calcium: 20mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 4g
Another low potassium and low sodium bread from pepperidge farm that is also a low phosphorus bread because it contains no additives. The slices of this kidney friendly bread are large, so you may only need to use one slice to make a sandwich. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Pepperidge Farm Thin Sliced Whole Wheat Bread

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 130mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 120mg
  • Calcium: 50mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 3g
If you prefer a more standard sized slice of bread, Pepperidge Farm also offers their thin sliced bread. This whole wheat version is considered a low sodium bread and low potassium. It also contains no additives which make it a low phosphorus bread. Pepperidge farm makes two different thin sliced whole wheat breads. Double check the nutrition label when purchasing to make sure you are picking the lower sodium one! Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Low Phosphorus Breads for Kidney Disease

These breads have a bit more sodium than our top choices above, but they contain no phosphorus additives which makes them great second choices if you can’t find a low sodium option. In our Academy mealplans, we find that it is pretty easy to accommodate a higher sodium bread choice as long as you are choosing some other low sodium foods throughout the day to balance it out.

Arnold / Brownberry / Oroweat Whole Wheat Bread

arnold low phosphorus whole wheat bread
  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 21g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 100mg
  • Calcium: 45mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 3g
Arnold (also known as Brownberry or Oroweat depending on what part of the country you are in) makes several lines of whole grain bread that contain no phosphorus additives. They are all a bit higher in sodium, but you can balance that out in the rest of your day with other lower sodium choices. Click the link below to check prices and reviews.

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Angelic Bakehouse

angelic bakehouse low phosphorus sprouted rye
  • Calories: 90
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 18g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 170mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 100mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 2g
If you need whole grain rye with no added phosphates, then check out this option from Angelic Bakehouse. It is nut/soy/egg/dairy/and sesame free, so it is also a good choice for people with allergies. Click the link below to check prices and reviews.

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Canyon Bakehouse

canyon bakehouse gluten free low phosphorus bread
  • Calories: 70
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 13g
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 95mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 50mg
  • Calcium: 10mg
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 2g
If you need a gluten free bread option that is also low in phosphorus, consider the Canyon Bakehouse brand. It is also soy, dairy, and nut free. This bread is very low in fiber though, so be sure to pair it with some higher fiber foods to ensure you are meeting your fiber goals for the day. Click the link below to check prices and reviews.

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Dave’s Killer Bread

daves killer bread low phosphorus kidney friendly
  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 22g
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 170mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 100mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 5g
Dave’s Killer Bread makes a variety of breads that contain no phosphorus additives, but are a bit higher in sodium. These breads contain no preservatives, so be sure to use the bread up quickly or freeze it. If you don’t eat it or freeze it within a few days, you do run the risk of it spoiling. Click the link below to check prices and reviews.

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Kroger Simple Truth Whole Wheat Bread

simple truth organic whole wheat bread low phosphorus
  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrate: 13g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 115mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 60mg
  • Calcium: 10mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 2g
If you are lucky enough to live near a kroger, they have a store brand organic whole wheat bread that contains no added phosphates. They also have a store brand sprouted wheat bread that you can find in the frozen food section that also contains no added phosphates.

Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread

udis low phosphorus kidney friendly bread
  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrate: 22g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
If you need a gluten free bread option, then Udi’s Whole Grain Sandwich Bread contains no added phosphates. This bread is very low in fiber, so be sure to pair is with some other high fibers foods in your meals to ensure you are meeting your fiber goals. Note that this bread is typically found in the frozen foods aisle of grocery stores. Click the link below to check prices and reviews.

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Whole Foods Whole Wheat Bread

whole foods kidney friendly bread no phosphorus additives
  • Calories: 80
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 14g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 135mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 80mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1g
This low phosphorus bread from Whole Foods is a bit higher in sodium than some of our Best Breads for Kidney Disease, but it can be a great second choice for anyone looking to make a kidney friendly sandwich. Click the link below to check prices and reviews.

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