The 1 Food You MUST Avoid If You Have Kidney Disease

As a renal dietitian, I’m a big fan of allowing as many foods as possible in each of my client’s diets.

I never want to tell them to not eat something, especially since food is such a big part of our lives and enjoyment. Almost all foods can be included, no matter the health conditions.

But this is a hard rule for me.

If you have kidney disease or kidney damage, DO NOT eat star fruit!

If you have kidney disease or kidney damage, DO NOT eat star fruit!

Averrhola carambola, commonly known as star fruit, is a MUST to avoid if you have any sort of kidney disease or damage.

Star fruit contains a neurotoxin called caramboxin that can be filtered by fully-functioning kidneys, but can cause further kidney damage and other health issues if you have any kidney damage. If it cannot be filtered by the kidneys, the toxin collects in the blood stream and results in neurological issues.

Symptoms may include:

  • hiccups

  • nausea/vomiting

  • confusion

  • seizures

  • DEATH in serious cases

While star fruit is not a common part of the American diet, it is more prevalent in the Asian, Filipino, and other tropical diets. Consuming the fruit whole or as a juice is not recommended at all as it cannot be safely processed and eliminated for those with kidney disease or damage.

Some cases have even shown those with fully functioning kidneys develop acute kidney damage/failure after drinking or eating star fruit. If you have a higher risk of kidney disease, it may be in your best interest to limit or avoid star fruit.

What puts you at higher risk of kidney disease?

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Over age of 65

  • Family history of kidney disease, diabetes, or hypertension

If you want have kidney disease or are at risk, I can help you prevent decline of your kidney function through diet and lifestyle changes. Work with me to help keep your kidneys up and running!

Reference Articles

Star fruit toxicity: a cause of both acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease: a report of two cases. R. A. Abeysekera et al. BMC Res Notes. 2015; 8: 796.

Association of renal function and symptoms with mortality in star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) intoxication. Chua SB et al. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2017 Aug;55(7):624-628.