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The Renal Diet: Eating Healthy to Protect Your Kidneys

About 37,000,000 people in the United States have chronic kidney disease.  Kidney failure is the ninth leading cause of death in the country.

There are five stages of kidney disease.  You may not even know you have renal issues until the last two but why wait until you’re in the dialysis chair to take care of your kidneys?  It’s never too early (or too late) to incorporate a healthy renal eating plan.

The Function of Kidneys

The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body.  They perform the ever-so-important function of removing waste and excess fluid from your system and keep chemicals within your body at a stable balance.

Kidneys also produce a hormone that helps the body grow properly and several other hormones associated with regulating blood pressure and your metabolism.  They also produce an active form of vitamin D that is crucial for having strong, healthy bones.

The Malfunction of Kidneys

When your kidneys cease to work, you’re in trouble.  Your body can no longer filter out waste and it’s chemical makeup can go haywire.  Kidney failure, acute or chronic, requires immediate attention.  For end state medical conditions, kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant will be needed to filter out the waste if your kidneys are no longer performing their duties.  The good news is that both are available and treatment will take the place of your kidney functions.

Some chronic conditions are treatable but once you’ve reached the later stages, there’s no turning back.  Take care of your kidneys and they will take care of you too.

Healthy Eating Plan to Protect Your Kidneys

Whether you are already in the dialysis chair or simply want to prevent getting in that position, it’s wise to eat with your kidney health in mind.  Here’s a renal health eating plan you can follow:

What to Avoid

  • Excess sodium
  • Processed foods
  • Excess sugar
  • Starchy foods

What to Include

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Heart-healthy foods
  • Meals cooked from scratch

Establish great habits:

  • Eat smaller portions more often
  • Use plenty of herbs and spices
  • Don’t use table salt
  • Eat plenty of protein
  • Enjoy plant-based foods when possible
  • Trim fat from meat

Meal Suggestions:

Breakfast

Eggs (scrambled, boiled, or poached)

Whole grain toast (with little or no butter)

Orange juice

Lunch

Tuna sandwich or grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread

Carrot sticks

Apple slices

Dinner

Lean meat

Fresh salad

Green beans (unsalted)

Fruit cup

By taking the precautions above and incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, you can help prevent kidney disease.  If you already have kidney issues, your body will respond to treatment much better due to your healthy diet.