People suffering from renal disease have some unique dietary challenges. Because healthy kidneys filter the blood, individuals with kidney diseases need to reduce certain foods in their diet so that waste does not build up in their bloodstream. It can seem overwhelming at first, but once you know which foods to reduce in your diet, managing your renal disease is easy.
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps the body maintain muscle mass and fight off infections. It’s important to consume protein as a part of a healthy diet. However, excess protein is stored in the blood. If your kidneys do not filter this protein out, serious complications can emerge. For those with renal disease, moderation is key. A low-protein diet can lighten the protein load in your blood and help reduce stress on your kidneys. A person considering a low-protein diet may want to limit the meat, fish, and eggs in their diet while consuming more healthy starches, like fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. A dietitian can help you determine the right amount of protein to aim for daily.
It’s also important for people with renal disease to watch their sodium intake. Too much sodium can cause bloating and high blood pressure, both of which can put extra pressure on your heart and kidneys. Try to avoid salt and salt substitutes when cooking. (While salt substitutes are low in sodium, they are often high in other minerals that those with renal disease should avoid.) While it may seem challenging to make your foods tasty without the salt, all it takes is a little experimentation to find delicious new flavor combinations. Use ingredients like lemon, pepper, fresh herbs, and dried spices to add bold flavors to your food without sodium. Make sure to read the labels on other ingredients as well. Many packaged foods contain high levels of sodium, even if they don’t taste salty!
For most people, consuming more calcium, potassium, and phosphorus is a great way to get healthy. However, people with renal diseases may need to be careful about consuming too much of these minerals. Once again, because renal disease affects the kidneys’ ability to filter blood, it can be dangerous for people with kidney conditions to have too much of these minerals in the bloodstream. A doctor or dietitian will be able to determine if you need to limit one or more of these minerals.
Get help managing your renal disease. Contact us today at (917) 747-1627 to schedule an appointment with Registered Dietician Traci Fields.