What Is a Fluid Restricted Diet?

A fluid restricted diet limits the amount of fluid that you take in each day. Both drinks and foods contain fluid.

Why Should I Follow This Diet?

This diet helps prevent fluid from building up in your body. You may need to eat this way if you have end-stage kidney disease, are on dialysis, or have heart failure. Too much fluid can cause stress in the bodies of people with these health problems.

How Much Fluid Can I Have?

How much fluid you can have depends on things like your body size and health problems. Your care team will tell you how much is right for you.

What Foods Should be Limited?

These foods should be limited:

  • All drinks
  • All foods that are liquid at room temperature:
    • Ice cubes
    • Gelatin
    • Ice cream
    • Yogurt
    • Soups
    • Sauces
    • Watery fruit

Suggestions

  • Keep a fluid log:
    • Write down your daily fluid intake.
    • Make sure you know how much fluid your bowls, mugs, and glasses hold. (Fill each with water, then pour the water into a measuring cup to find out.)
    • Weigh yourself each day or as often as your doctor tells you to do it. A rapid change in weight can be from fluid gain or loss.
  • To ease thirst and dry mouth:
    • Eat a diet that is low in sodium.
    • Chew on ice chips.
    • Suck on sugar-free hard candy.
    • Chew gum.
  • Work with a dietitian to make a meal plan that is right for you.
RESOURCES:

American Society for Nutrition
http://www.nutrition.org

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
http://www.kidney.ca

REFERENCES:

Controlling fluid intake in heart failure. Queensland Health website. Available at: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/150119/cardiac_fluid.pdf. Updated June 2017. Accessed June 14, 2019.

Heart failure: how to limit your fluids. CardioSmart—American College of Cardiology website. Available at: https://www.cardiosmart.org/~/media/Documents/Fact%20Sheets/en/tb1470.ashx. Updated June 2015. Accessed June 14, 2019.

Heart failure and kidney disease. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated November 9, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2019.

Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN  Last Updated: 12/31/2019