Looking for a healthy diet for your kidney or suffering from a kidney disease? Here are foods you should definitely avoid:
1. Avoid Protein Rich Diet:
Proteins are the building blocks of our body which ads in our growth, healing, and good health. But the excess of protein can affect the normal functioning of our kidneys. It is advisable to consult your dietician or doctor for the right amount of protein that suits your body size, activity levels, and health.
- Foods with high protein levels:
Diets rich in animal protein such as meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy products have high protein content in them.
- Consequences of a high protein diet:
Consumption of excess protein can exacerbate existing kidney problems and make it difficult for them to eliminate the waste. Metabolism of animal protein leaves an acidic residue in the body. In order to maintain an alkaline state, our body pulls calcium and other mineral salts from the bones. Diets with rich animal-based proteins can lead to kidney stones from uric acid as a result of increased calcium levels. This calcium can lead to calcium oxalate kidney stones.
- Healthy Alternatives:
A vegetarian diet is your big savior. Include a lot of veggies, grains, nuts, seeds in your diet. Foods like bread, pasta, rice and fruits have lower protein levels.
2.Avoid Sodium Rich Foods:
If you are suffering from kidney infections or simply looking for a healthy diet than either way you need to lessen the amount of sodium intake in your diet. It is advisable to avoid foods with more than 100 grams of sodium per serving.
- Foods with high sodium content:
Foods which are canned, highly processed, smoked and cured have the high amount of sodium present in them. Table salt contains sodium chloride (NaCl), anti-caking agents, dextrose and around 40% sodium with no minerals or healthy components.
- Consequences of a high sodium diet:
In order to balance the excess sodium levels in the body, kidneys retain water to dilute this electrolyte in the bloodstream for a proper functioning of the heart. This process of water retention places a lot of strain on the kidneys. As per Harvard School of Public Health, long-term intake of excess salt can cause damage to kidneys, heart, and aorta. Along with this, it may also raise blood pressure leading to damaged kidney nephrons.
- Healthy Alternatives:
Use herbs for flavoring instead of salt. You can also use a pinch of high-quality Celtic or Himalayan sea salt.
3. Avoid Consumption of Excess Caffeine:
Yes, we all love those caffeinated drinks- coffee, tea, soda that give us quick energy but are unfortunately not healthy for us. Caffeine is a stimulant which can stimulate blood flow and lead to increase in blood pressure and stress on the kidneys.
- Sources of high caffeine:
Coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, cocoa, some medications especially over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Impacts of high caffeine consumption:
It has been found that consumption of high caffeine leads to increase in calcium levels in urine and lead to kidney stone formation. This can even lead to a risk of renal failure in long run. Coffee consumption affects kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals. This further affects of a digestive system and hinder maintenance of bowel regularity.
People who consume caffeine on an empty stomach are highly vulnerable to a formation of kidney stones.
- Healthy Alternatives:
If you are addicted to your morning coffee then brew half regular and half naturally decaf coffee. This will reduce the amount of caffeine.
4. Stop Consuming Artificial Sweeteners:
Many of us are in the illusion that artificial sweeteners are healthy alternatives to sugar and calories for our body. Artificial sweeteners which promise to compensate for real sugar and help in losing weight are nothing but synthetic chemicals that are actually toxic and acidic in nature.
- Foods with artificial sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners can be found in diet sodas, low-calorie chocolates, low-fat ice creams, puddings, and as additives in many food items.
- How does it affect the body?
Consuming artificial sweeteners can affect the functioning of the kidney due to the toxin presents in the artificial sweeteners. As per scientists, two cans of diet soda can lead to the decline in renal function. Some of the popular sweeteners include aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc.
- Healthy Alternatives:Plant-derived stevia: Cut down consumption of carbonated drinks, diet sodas, and low-fat/calorie foods.
5. Genetically Modified foods:
Today science has found ways of producing seeds that are pest resistant and can produce higher yields. All this has been possible because of genetic engineering which has the power to produce genetically modified seeds.
- Common genetically modified foods:
Corn, soy, canola,rice, sugarcane, sugar beets: Impact of consuming GM foods: Although these genetically modified seeds can lead to higher crop yields but they have an adverse effect on the functioning of liver and kidney. Researchers have found that GM maize varieties lead to hepatorenal toxicity due to new pesticides present in GM maize. The foreign invaders which are injected in the food affect our kidneys and liver badly results into weakened bones.
- Healthy Alternatives: Go for organic foods. Avoid GM, processed foods.
Lead a normal life by choosing these fresh ideas and foods for healthy life with us at pee dee nephrology