Food and drink restrictions are not fun to talk about, but they are an important part of living as healthily as possible when you have chronic health conditions. Health issues such as renal disease are so greatly affected by what you eat that dietary changes are the number one treatment plan.
Diet is so important to renal disease that you can actually slow or stop the progression of kidney failure simply by maintaining a strict diet. You can ultimately avoid dialysis or ever needing a kidney transplant. In order to maintain the best diet, however, you must be very aware of your dietary restrictions.
Your diet may or may not have the same necessary restrictions, so it is important to talk to your doctor about your specific condition. For example, you might not have any protein restrictions, which is typically only an issue for very late stage kidney failure patients. Everyone is different, and therefore dietary needs may be different as well.
- Sodium — Sodium is one of the most dangerous food ingredients, especially for renal disease patients. Because your kidneys are not able to filter out excess waste, sodium can build up in your system and cause a lot of problems. Swelling, edema, high blood pressure, and many more serious issues can all arise due to excess sodium in your body. So it is very important that you are strict about sodium restrictions in your diet.
- Sugar — Kidney disease and diabetes are highly connected health conditions. This is because kidney disease can cause insulin resistance. Too much sugar in your blood is not only difficult for kidneys to process, but high blood sugar is a whole list of other complications and dangers. If you have kidney disease but do not have diabetes, you should still be very careful about your sugar intake.
- Meat — Diets that are high in high protein animal products, specifically meats, are more likely to cause kidney problems. Meat has a lot of byproducts that can be difficult for lower functioning kidneys to process. For this reason, it is recommended that kidney disease patients should eat a diet that is primarily plant based with only lean proteins.
- Dairy — Similar to meat products, dairy creates excess byproducts that are hard to your body to process. Dairy especially is known to create an increase in calcium production, which is not good for renal disease patients. Excess calcium can create problems such as kidney stones.
- Soda – Soda Pop is probably one of the worst things anyone can consume, even if they are perfectly healthy. Soda is full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and preservatives. There is nothing about soda that is good for you, and it should be avoided at all costs if you have kidney disease.
These are all foods that should be only eaten in moderation for people with normal diets, so it is understandable why they would be on a restricted list for renal disease patients. This list might seem very restrictive and you might be wondering what you can eat, but be sure that there are plenty of foods and beverages you can enjoy on a renal friendly diet. Eating a healthy diet can help you to avoid dialysis and live a longer, healthier, more comfortable life.
Get started on meal planning with a simple kidney diet starter kit here: https://www.renaldiethq.com/kidney-diet-starter-kit/
Also published on Medium.