Many people like to enjoy a fresh glass of orange juice with breakfast. Its citrusy nature can be the wake up call some need to start their day. However, can you still enjoy your morning OJ once you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and given a renal diet to follow?
Let’s find out!
Orange Juice Nutrition Facts
The nutritional benefits – and potential dangers – of orange juice differ based on how the juice is prepared. For this article, we will look at raw, freshly-squeezed orange juice.
While it has very little fat and calories, one cup of orange juice does contain over 450 mg of potassium. It can also be high in sugar, at about 20 g per cup. These two ingredients alone can make it dangerous for those suffering from CKD.
Dangers of Orange Juice for Chronic Kidney Disease
Because of its high potassium content, orange juice may not fit into your renal diet. While potassium is needed for your heart to beat regularly and for your nerves and muscles to function properly, it is a difficult nutrient for your kidneys to break down and eliminate – especially once you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
This can lead to too much potassium in your blood, a condition known as hyperkalemia. The condition can cause harmful symptoms including arrhythmia or slow heart rate. You may also experience weakness, nausea, vomiting, tingling or numbness.
Because of the harmful effects of too much potassium, you may have to limit your orange juice consumption when you have chronic kidney disease.
Alternatives for Orange Juice on your Renal Diet
Even if you can’t have orange juice on your renal diet, there are other fruit juices you may be able to enjoy.
Apple Juice: This is a great substitute for juices that are high in potassium, namely OJ and cranberry juice. It contains much less potassium so it’s not a huge danger to your kidney health.
Cranberry Juice: Another option when you need an orange juice substitute is cranberry juice. Plus, cranberries are packed with a number of healthy antioxidants that can help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also assist the kidneys in functions better to remove wastes from the body.
A Word on Fluid Intake
Keep in mind that you will likely have fluid restrictions once you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. All liquids should be included, including juices, ice cubes and soups you consume.
Because of this, you may want to limit your juice intake so you can have plenty of water while not overdoing your fluid restrictions.
As you can see, orange juice may not be a good choice for your renal diet if you have potassium restrictions. Also, it’s important to maintain the appropriate fluid intake levels every day so your kidneys aren’t working overtime.