As you probably understood from nutrition and kidney health article, it is very important to keep the whole organism in balance. How to achieve that? As a board-certified nutritionist, I can say that diet changes are a very important part of tackling kidney disease.

The National Kidney Foundation states that “kidneys help to keep the right balance of nutrients and minerals in your body. But if you have kidney disease, your kidneys may not be able to do this job very well. You may need to make some changes to your diet.”[1] Your doctor will know some dietician or similar specialist who can make the most appropriate kidney failure diet menu. It is not easy to make the best food choices especially if the labels at many times are very misleading.

Kidney diet menu should be based on the test results (mainly blood) and personal lifestyle. There are foods to avoid kidney disease and diabetes, as well as high blood disease and worsening of kidney disease itself. Medicare covers meeting a professional to discuss the best treatment and changes in what you eat. It is important to understand that there is no one particular diet chart for kidney patients that will fit everyone. It needs a personal and professional evaluation to make progress and fight against having more problems.

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What is the possible focus points of diet changes for kidney disease?

  • It is important to follow the amount of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium.
  • Limit nutrients
  • There might be a need to limit fluid intake
  • Consume the right amount of calories to help with daily tasks, build muscles, tissues, keep healthy weight (avoid weight gain), etc.

Protein

About its importance, you can read here. Too much protein is not good if you have kidney disease because it makes waste buildup in the blood. Kidneys will have even harder time to remove the waste.

Potassium

It affects different muscles, including the heart. High levels of potassium are in certain fruits and vegetables, milk and yogurt, dried beans and yogurt, salt substitutes, protein-rich foods (pork, meat, poultry, fish).

Phosphorus

This mineral needs additional attention. It can be in dairy products, peanut butter, nuts, ran bread and cereals, etc.

Calcium

The problem with calcium is that good food sources also contain a lot of phosphorus. Calcium (e.g., Balance-Buffered C) or vitamin D supplements might help.

Sodium

Kidneys control its level, but in the case of a kidney disease, the body can have sodium buildup. That results in strain on the heart, high blood pressure, swelling, etc. You might need to avoid table salt, seasonings, most canned, restaurant, and processed foods.

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It is important for any dietitian or nutritionist to prescribe the right amount of different minerals or vitamins, as well as foods or other solutions to help kidneys.

 

Reference:

[1] Nutrition and Early Kidney Disease (Stages 1–4). Accessed from: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nutrikidfail_stage1-4rel=”nofollow”