What you eat on a daily basis can have a large effect on your chronic kidney disease. A good renal diet can help to strengthen kidney function and delay your progress to total kidney failure. It is important that you understand what a healthy renal diet consists of – as well as what foods should be avoided.
How Does Protein Affect My Renal Diet?
You will notice that once your doctor gives you dietary restriction, protein will be one of the things to watch. While protein is necessary for the bfody to function properly, those with CKD really have to limit their intake.
As our bodies digest protein, wastes are created. The job of healthy kidneys is to remove this waste from the blood. However, in chronic kidney disease, kidney function may not be good enough to remove the protein wastes, causing a dangerous buildup in the bloodstream.
This buildup can cause nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness.
Your doctor will assess your current stage of CKD when determining how much protein you can consume. Your limits will become stricter as your chronic kidney disease progresses. If you find yourself on dialysis, your protein restrictions may be lifted since the dialysis machine is removing the wastes from the blood.
Foods that should be avoided on a low-protein renal diet include some kinds of meats, eggs, and full-fat milk. Instead, opt for chicken breast, fish, and low-fat soy and dairy products.
How Does Sodium Affect My Diet?
Sodium is a common mineral found in many foods, but it can be harmful for your renal diet. You will likely have low-sodium recommendations added to your diet once you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
Your kidneys cannot properly filter excess sodium if you have CKD. The abundance causes your body to retain fluids, another agent your kidneys will have trouble removing. The result can be high blood pressure, edema, shortness of breath, or even heart failure due to overworking to compensate for the extra fluid in the bloodstream.
To avoid taking in too much sodium, you will want to stay away from fried foods, processed foods, canned soups, frozen dinners, and meats that have been smoked, cured, or dried.
What About Calories For A Renal Diet?
Calories are beneficial to our bodies, as they give us the energy we need to get through every day. However, on a renal diet you may find that you have to change your caloric intake. If you are overweight, you may be required to lower your calories to lose weight. Losing weight can also decrease high blood pressure or high glucose levels.
On the flip side, you may be required to increase your calories a bit if you are on a low-protein renal diet. This increase can help to avoid muscle loss or malnourishment from the limited protein.
To properly control your calories, you should avoid consuming fast food, fried foods, and sugary snacks and drinks. Include more fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet to take the place of the high-calorie foods.
Also published on Medium.