The kidneys play a vital role in filtering waste from the bloodstream. When your kidneys don’t work as they should, dangerous waste and electrolyte levels accumulate in the bloodstream. For this reason, people with compromised kidney function should adhere to a renal or kidney diet to reduce the amount of waste in their blood. Waste is usually a byproduct of the foods and liquids you consume. Following a kidney diet Memorial Hermann Cypress is essential to promote kidney function and slow disease progression.
A kidney diet is low in phosphorus, sodium, and proteins. It also reinforces the importance of consuming high-quality proteins and reducing fluid intake. Some patients also need to limit their potassium and calcium intake. People have unique needs, making it crucial for each patient to work with a renal dietitian. A specialist formulates a diet tailored to meet a patient’s needs. Below are steps to help you eat right as you manage your kidney disease.
Purchase and consume foods with less salt and sodium
Most people use salt and sodium interchangeably, but these two are different. Salt is a compound of sodium and chloride, while sodium is a mineral in most natural foods. You shouldn’t have more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily; too much is harmful to people with kidney disease. When kidneys don’t function as they should, sodium accumulates in the blood, causing high blood pressure, increased thirst, edema, heart failure, and shortness of breath. The following tips can help you monitor your sodium intake.
- Cook foods at home; this way, you can control what goes into it. Canned foods, fast foods, and frozen dinners are high in sodium. If you have to eat out, choose lower-sodium versions of frozen dinners and other convenience foods.
- Buy fresh foods instead of processed or packaged foods. Processed foods contain too much sodium, which is harmful to your health.
- Substitute salt with herbs, spices, and sodium-free seasonings.
- Rinse canned beans, meat, fish, and vegetables with water before consumption to reduce sodium and salt levels.
When buying foods, read the labels carefully; consider foods with words like salt-free, sodium free, reduced, low, or no salt.
Consume the right amount and right type of proteins
When your body uses proteins, it produces waste that the kidneys need to filter out. The more proteins you consume, the higher the waste levels and the more your kidneys need to work. For this reason, you should eat small portions of protein foods.
Examples of animal protein foods include fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy. Plant-protein foods include nuts, grains, and beans. Most people eat animal and plant proteins, but you should consult your dietitian to choose the right protein food combinations.
Eat heart-healthy foods
Eat low-fat foods to keep fat from building in your blood vessels, kidneys, and heart; instead of deep frying your foods, boil, grill, bake, or roast. Use olive oil instead of butter when cooking. Remove skin from poultry and trim the fat before eating. Examples of foods healthy for the heart include beans, fish, vegetables, fruits, and lean cuts of meat.
If you have kidney disease, consult your doctor at Houston Kidney Specialists Center to know how you can adjust your diet.