The Best Diet for Kidneys

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Our kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins out of the bloodstream and sending waste products to the bladder. Kidney failure occurs when these organs can no longer remove waste products without losing vital electrolytes. The National Kidney Foundation estimates 67,000 Americans die every year from kidney failure. Fortunately, a healthy diet goes a long way to help keep the kidneys functioning properly.

Cholesterol

  • Keep your cholesterol low. This is important for those with chronic kidney disease and those who wish to prevent it, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Saturated fat is the main culprit in clogging blood vessels and causing high cholesterol. The best way to avoid eating too much saturated fat is to eat lean protein sources like fish and poultry. Do not fry meats: Instead bake, broil, steam or roast them.

    Avoid foods with hydrogenated fats such as margarine, butter and baked goods. Eat more plant-based foods such as spinach, broccoli, apples, bananas and berries. These fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system and guard against kidney disease.

Sodium

  • Limit the amount of sodium you ingest if you are at risk for kidney disease. An excessive amount of sodium can cause fluid retention and may increase blood pressure and cause shortness of breath. Many fast foods, lunch meats, cured foods, canned foods and TV dinners contain a lot of sodium. Read labels on foods when you go to the store. Be mindful of how much sodium your doctor is allowing you to have. Instead of using salt for cooking, use spices and herbs. Try garlic, onion powder, black pepper or vinegar. Prepare fresh meats for meals instead of cured or canned meats.

    When you eat in a restaurant or buy fast food, do not add salt to your meal. It likely has plenty already.

Water

  • Consume plenty of water for optimal kidney health. Kidneys need lots of water so they can remove toxins from the body and maintain a balanced concentration of body fluids. The average person should consume at least eight glasses of water per day. People with kidney stones or kidney disorders should consume more. Some medical professionals recommend drinking 1 oz. of water per day for every 2 lbs. you weigh. For example, if you weigh 150, drink 75 oz. of water per day.

References

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