- The role of the kidneys
- Foods to eat for healthy kidneys
- Foods to avoid with kidney disease
- The connection between diet and kidney health
- The benefits of a kidney-friendly diet
- The best foods for kidney health
- Recipes for a kidney-friendly diet
- Tips for following a kidney-friendly diet
If you’re interested in learning more about what food is good for kidneys, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the best foods to eat for kidney health.
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Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They’re located near the middle of your back, just below your rib cage. Kidneys filter your blood and remove excess fluid, minerals, and wastes from your body. These wastes are then excreted in your urine.
Your kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production. When kidney function is impaired, waste products can build up in the blood and make you feel sick.
The role of the kidneys
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine.
Your kidneys filter waste and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. They also regulate electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium and phosphate; control blood pressure; and produce hormones that help regulate blood sugar and promote red blood cell production.
A healthy diet is important for kidney function, but there are certain foods that may be especially beneficial.
Here are 10 evidence-based benefits of eating kidney-friendly foods.
Foods to eat for healthy kidneys
There are many things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy and avoid kidney disease.
A healthy diet is an important part of this. Here are some tips for healthy eating if you have kidney disease.
Protein is important for everyone, but especially for people with kidney disease. A high-protein diet may help to prevent kidney disease, or slow its progression. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. legumes (beans), nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein, but they contain other substances that may be harmful to the kidneys and should be eaten in small amounts or avoided altogether.
Fat is an important part of a healthy diet, but you need to choose the right type of fat. Healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil are better for you than saturated fats such as butter and lard. Avoid trans fats altogether. These are found in some commercially baked goods and fried foods.
Carbohydrates should make up the largest part of your diet – around 50-60%. Choose high-fibre foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables every day. These foods are also good sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are important for overall health.
Fluids Drink plenty of fluids every day – around 6-8 cups (1.5-2 litres). Water is the best choice but you can also drink fruit juices (without added sugar), tea and coffee (without added sugar or cream). You may need to limit fluids if your kidneys cannot get rid of excess fluid from your body efficiently. Your doctor or dietitian will advise you about this. Salt To help control blood pressure, it is important to eat less salt (sodium chloride). Most people in Australia eat more salt than they need. The average adult should eat no more than 1 teaspoon (5 g) of salt per day which is about 2000 mg of sodium.
Foods to avoid with kidney disease
If you have kidney disease, it’s important to limit certain foods in your diet to help control your condition. Here are some foods to avoid with kidney disease:
-Salt: Too much salt can raise your blood pressure and cause fluid retention.
-Sugar: People with kidney disease need to limit their intake of sugar because it can worsen their condition.
-Animal protein: Animal protein is high in phosphorus, which can cause calcium loss and lead to bone problems.
-Dairy products: Dairy products are high in phosphorus, which can cause calcium loss and lead to bone problems.
-Alcohol: Alcohol can increase blood pressure and may damage the kidneys.
Of course, you should always check with your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
The connection between diet and kidney health
There is a strong connection between diet and kidney health. People with kidney disease need to be careful about the amount of sodium, phosphorus, and potassium in their diet. They also need to limit fluids. A registered dietitian can help you create a healthy eating plan.
Sodium is found in salt (sodium chloride) and is used to add flavor to food or as a preservative. It is also found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats. Too much sodium can cause fluid retention, which can lead to high blood pressure and stress on the kidneys. The recommended amount of sodium for people with kidney disease is 2 grams per day (about ½ teaspoon of salt).
Potassium is a mineral that is found in almost all foods. It helps with muscle function and keeps the heart beating at a steady rate. Too much potassium can cause irregular heartbeat, nausea, and muscle weakness. People with kidney disease need to limit their intake of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach. The recommended amount of potassium for people with kidney disease is 2 grams per day.
Phosphorus is a mineral that is found in many foods such as milk, cheese, nuts, beans, and whole-grain cereals. It helps keep bones healthy and aids in muscle function. Too much phosphorus can cause calcium to be removed from bones, which can lead to weak bones. People with kidney disease need to limit their intake of phosphorus-rich foods such as milk, cheese, nuts ,and beans The recommended amount of phosphorus for people with kidney disease is 700 mg per day
The benefits of a kidney-friendly diet
A kidney-friendly diet is one that helps protect your kidneys from further damage and promotes kidney function. This diet limits certain foods to prevent the minerals in those foods from building up in your body. A kidney-friendly diet also includes foods that are lower in sodium, potassium and phosphorus.
There are many benefits to following a kidney-friendly diet, including reducing your risk of developing renal failure, improving your cardiovascular health and helping to control your blood pressure.
When following a kidney-friendly diet, it is important to:
-Choose lean protein sources such as poultry, fish and tofu instead of red meat.
-Limit processed meats such as ham, bacon, sausage and lunchmeat.
-Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark leafy greens, berries and tomatoes.
-Limit high sodium foods such as canned soup, processed cheese and frozen meals.
-Choose low potassium foods such as carrots, green beans and applesauce.
-Limit high phosphorus foods such as organ meats, whole grain breads and nuts.
The best foods for kidney health
There are many different factors that can contribute to kidney damage, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and inflammation. While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for kidney health, there are some general guidelines that can help keep your kidneys functioning properly.
Some of the best foods for kidney health include:
-Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are all great for keeping your kidneys healthy. They are high in citric acid, which helps to prevent kidney stones from forming.
-Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which are great for preventing damage to the kidneys.
-Dark leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are all excellent choices for keeping your kidneys healthy. They are high in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium, which help to keep blood pressure under control.
-Fish: Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
-Beans: Beans of all kinds – black beans, kidney beans, lentils – are packed with fiber and protein. They also contain substances that help to prevent stones from forming in the kidneys.
Recipes for a kidney-friendly diet
There are many different types of kidney disease, and each one requires a unique diet. However, there are some general guidelines that all kidney patients should follow. These include eating a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; limiting salt, potassium, and phosphorus; and drinking plenty of fluids.
There are many delicious recipes that fit into a kidney-friendly diet. Below are some examples of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas that are all good for your kidneys.
-Oatmeal with fresh berries
-Whole grain toast with egg whites
-Greek yogurt with granola
-Chicken or tuna salad on whole grain bread
-Roasted vegetables with quinoa or brown rice
-Soup or chili with lean protein
-Lean protein (chicken, fish, tofu) with steamed vegetables
-Salad with grilled chicken or fish
-Roasted vegetables with whole grain pasta
-Fresh fruit or veggies with hummus or nut butter
-Greek yogurt topped with fruit or granola
-Whole grain crackers with cheese
Tips for following a kidney-friendly diet
When you have CKD, your kidneys are not able to do all of their jobs as well as they should. This means that it is important for you to eat a kidney-friendly diet. A healthy diet can help to keep your kidneys working as long as possible and can also help to control other health problems that often occur with CKD, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
There is no one perfect “kidney diet.” What you eat will be unique to you, depending on the stage of kidney disease you have, your other health problems, and your treatment plan. But there are some general tips that can help you create a kidney-friendly diet:
-Limit how much sodium (salt) you eat. This is important for everyone, but especially people with CKD. Too much sodium can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure, which can make CKD worse.
-Limit how much potassium you eat. Potassium is found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in dairy products and some meats. When your kidneys are not working well, potassium can build up in your blood to dangerous levels.
-Limit how much phosphorus you eat. Like potassium, phosphorus is found in many foods. It is also added to some processed foods (such as cold cuts and cheese) and sodas as an additive. Phosphorus can also be found in some over-the-counter medicines such as antacids (Tums® or Rolaids®) and vitamins/supplements (dairy calcium products). Too much phosphorus can cause calcium to be pulled out of your bones, making them weak and more likely to break. It can also cause itchy skin or bumps around your eyes (called xanthomata).
-Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but if you have CKD, you may need to limit how much protein you eat because your body may have trouble removing waste products from proteins properly when your kidneys are not working well.
Good sources of protein include lean meats (chicken or turkey without the skin), fish, tofu, legumes (beans), eggs, low fat dairy products, and nuts or nut butters
A healthy diet for people with kidney disease includes plenty of low-potassium fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of protein from both animal and plant sources, and limited amounts of sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and fluid.