The Importance of Diet for Kidney Health
The foods we eat can either help prevent disease or progress it. The best way to ensure all our organs stay healthy is to maintain a well-balanced diet and to also have a good routine around when you eat, and sleep. If you struggle to sleep then one thing you could do would be to get a new mattress (you can check out something like this memory foam mattress here). Kidney health is no different. The kidneys play a very important role in our health. Their main role is to remove waste products from the body. When the kidneys are injured, they cannot remove these waste products and they build up inside the body and cause damage. What people do not know is that kidney disease can be prevented a majority of the time. According to The National Kidney Foundation, the two leading causes of kidney failure are diabetes (high blood sugar) and high blood pressure – both of which can be controlled by healthy lifestyles changes, including diet.
Maintaining a well-balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich foods including whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats can help prevent kidney disease by reducing risk factors including diabetes and high blood pressure. https://www.advancedurology.com/ also suggest that a great way to maintain kidney health is by exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water. Try to make at least half of your grains whole. Choose lean protein options such as poultry, fish, lean beef, eggs, beans and nuts. Choose non-fat or low-fat dairy products. Make half your plate fruit and vegetables; fresh, fresh frozen and canned are all good choices. Choose canned vegetables without added salt and choose fruits packed in water or 100% fruit juice. Limit the amount of saturated and trans fat in the diet. Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead – these come from olive oil, canola oil, fish, avocado, nuts and seeds. Limit the amount of added sugar in the diet including candy and sweets. Choose and prepare foods low in sodium and salt. Try to limit sodium intake to <2,300 mg/day. Quick tip: use seasonings that do not include salt on the ingredient label. Reading food labels and ingredient lists can be very helpful.
For those with kidney disease, you may need to further watch the amount of protein, sodium, potassium or phosphorus in your diet. When the kidneys are damaged they cannot remove excess of these from the body, which can then build up and cause damage to the rest of the body. For more information, visit www.kidney.org or talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Here's a kidney-friendly recipe for you to enjoy!
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1-2 tsp. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ cup cucumber, finely diced
- ½ cup low-fat sour cream
- 1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- In a large bowl, combine all burger ingredients & mix until incorporated. Shape into 4 patties.
- Cook on grill or in a sauté pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side.
- For the sauce: Stir together the cucumber, sour cream, mint & lemon juice.
- Serve on a whole grain bun!
About Mary Antonelli, RD, LD
Mary Antonelli is a clinical dietitian at ManorCare Health Services, a skilled nursing facility. She works primarily with short-term, post-hospitalization and long-term care patients. She received two B.S. degrees in Community Health and Dietetics from Ohio State University and Miami University and is currently working on her masters in Food & Nutrition from Bowling Green State University.