It has been shown that dietary glycemic index (GI) and fiber could have a role in the development of chronic diseases; however, the link between carbohydrate nutrition and development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is unclear. We aimed to determine whether cross-sectional and longitudinal associations exist between carbohydrate nutrition (mean dietary GI, dietary intakes of carbohydrate, sugar, starch, and fiber) and CKD. Data included 2600 Blue Mountains Eye Study (1997–1999) participants aged ≥50 y. Baseline biochemistry including serum creatinine was measured. Moderate CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 60 mL⋅min−1⋅1.73 m−2. Dietary data were collected in a semiquantitative FFQ. Cross-sectionally, participants in the 4th quartile of mean dietary GI intake compared with those in the first quartile (reference) had a 55% increased likelihood of having eGFR < 60 mL⋅min−1⋅1.73 m−2 [multivariable-adjusted OR = 1.55 (95% CI = 1.07–2.26); P-trend = 0.01]. After multivariable adjustment, participants in the 4th quartile of dietary cereal fiber intake compared with those in the first quartile (reference) had a 50% reduced risk of incident moderate CKD (P-trend = 0.03). Higher baseline consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor sources of carbohydrate (e.g. cookies) yielded a 3-fold higher risk of incident CKD (P-trend = 0.01). In summary, we observed a novel link between high cereal fiber intake and reduced incidence of moderate CKD and this was supported by the cross-sectional association with dietary GI. Conversely, our data suggest that higher intake of energy-dense, nutrient-poor sources of carbohydrate, potentially through acute hyperglycemia, could impair renal function.