With over 2000 Australians admitted into hospital every day with kidney disease, it’s a health problem worth paying attention to. Healthy eating patterns are associated with lower rates of death in people with Kidney disease (Kelly, 2016) as well as a delay in the progression of chronic kidney disease (Wai, 2016)
A renal diet is one of the more complex diet plans around merely because specific nutrient requirements vary depending on the stage of chronic kidney disease. Recently, it has been suggested that certain similar eating patterns to the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines could be the best for optimizing kidney health in those with a kidney disease. For those with more complicated side effects, careful consideration of protein, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, fluid and total energy intake is needed. Be it early or end-stage kidney disease without the use of dialysis, working with an Accredited practising dietitian with experience in renal disease is essential. With the appropriate diet changes, progression towards end stage kidney failure and dialysis can be delayed.
So, here’s a brief rundown of the nutrients foods to include in a renal diet for chronic kidney disease sufferers.
Protein and Kidney Disease
While protein is essential for a healthy body, digestion of it creates the waste product, urea, in the bloodstream which the kidneys need to filter out and excrete it into the urine. While it’s still important to have in moderate quantities, too much protein in the diet places unnecessary pressure on poorly functioning kidneys. Increasing urea levels within the blood may lead to nausea, poor appetite and possibly itchy skin. Depending on the severity of chronic kidney disease, your dietitian may devise a plan that reduces your protein intake by recommending slightly smaller portions of high protein foods.
Have a chat with your doctor and dietitian about the potential to substitute animal proteins for plant-based proteins, as a healthier way to maintain your protein intake, but also looking after your kidneys.