Researchers in Italy have created a Phosphorus Pyramid to help teach patients with chronic kidney disease how to reduce dietary phosphorus.

According to the researchers, the aim of the phosphorus pyramid is to support dietary counseling in order to reduce the dietary phospohorus load. The Phosphorus Pyramid is a visual tool that was designed to present the phosphate load of various foods. It was built upon the current nutritional databases and the existing literature on dietary phosphorus content, bio-availability, and processing, the researchers said. The objective is to help the viewer identify which foods cause a lower or a higher effective phosphate load without the need to memorize the phosphorus content of each food item.


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The pyramid consists of six floors in which foods are arranged on the basis of phosphorus content, phosphorus to protein ratio and phosphorus bioavailability. Each level has a colored edge (from green to red) that corresponds to recommended intake frequency.

The pyramid is shown and described in an open access article on BMC Nephrology.