Diet is one of the most important ways you can help keep your kidneys healthy to prevent or manage CKD. A healthy diet that helps to manage health conditions like diabetes and hypertension can help you have healthy kidneys. As noted earlier, Diabetes and hypertension is the commonest cause of CKD (Post hyperlink of symptoms of CKD).
A kidney-friendly diet should:
- Limit sodium (salt) intake – Limiting your sodium intake helps to keep your blood pressure under control. If blood pressure is controlled, it keeps the kidney healthy. Blood pressure should be kept below 140/90 mmHg.
- Limit fat diet (cholesterol) – Diets that are high in fats increase the risk of heart disease — and what’s bad for your heart is bad for your kidneys. The heart constantly pumps blood throughout the body and the kidneys continuously filter the blood in order to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. If the heart function is affected, the amount of blood supply to the kidney is reduced, which leads to the accumulation of waste products in the body which is bad to your health. Again, the kidneys are deprived of energy and oxygen when there is a reduction in blood flow to its tissues. This leads to kidney failure.
- Be mindful of protein intake: When you eat protein, your body produces waste that’s filtered through your kidneys. While protein is an important part of a healthy diet, eating more protein than you need to may cause your kidneys to work harder. If you already have CKD, then it is recommended to lower protein intake in diets so you don’t overwork the kidneys. Increase protein diet in CKD conditions causes accumulation of waste by-product of proteins because of the inability of the kidneys to filter it out of the body. Speak to a dietitian to know the right amount of protein for you.
- Reduction of simple carbs: simple carbs — such as added sugars in desserts, sweetened beverages, and many packaged foods, for example, candy, sugary drinks, and table sugar, — can spike blood sugar and increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol is a waste product that your kidneys have to filter out of your blood — and it makes your kidneys less efficient. It also has a dehydrating effect on the body, which can affect the kidneys’ ability to regulate your body’s water levels. It can affect your liver function, which in turn can impact blood flow to the kidneys and lead to CKD over time. And a high alcohol intake has been liked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney disease.
Diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats (seafood, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products) to have healthy kidneys.