Diabetes and Kidney Disease Diet


Of the nearly 24 million people in the United States who suffer from diabetes, approximately 180,000 of those are also living with kidney failure. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for about 44 percent of new cases. Further, even if the diabetes is under control and effectively managed, it can still lead to chronic kidney disease and, ultimately, kidney failure. Special diets are crucial to controlling both diseases.

Diabetic and Kidney Disease Diet

  • With diabetes and kidney disease so closely linked, a diet that controls both is critical. A traditional diabetic diet focuses on lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. A kidney disease diet can often call for less protein to promote higher kidney function and more complex carbohydrates, as well as healthy fats. Avoidance of simple carbohydrate foods like processed pastas, sweets and simple sugar, like that found in soda, is key to a healthy diet for diabetics as well as those suffering from chronic kidney disease or failure. You must find a balance between the two to achieve the optimal diet that helps control both diseases.

    As with any medical concern, speaking with a physician or health care provider is essential. Diabetics and those suffering from chronic kidney disease often meet with a nutritionist as well to assist in constructing the best meal plans for their needs. As a general rule, though, diabetics who also have chronic kidney disease must have a diet with low to moderate complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. The amount of lean protein, such as fish or white meat chicken, can vary on a case by case basis. Potassium and sodium intake must be carefully monitored.

    Examples of complex carbohydrates are legumes, starchy vegetables (potatoes, green peas and corn), beans, and whole grain breads and cereals. Healthy fats are monounsaturated-avocados, nuts, olive oil; polyunsaturated-oils such as safflower, soybean, corn; and omega 3-salmon, sardines, rainbow trout. Avoid saturated and trans fats that are found in foods like potato chips, sweets and bologna.

    The American Diabetes Association has a list of superfoods it recommends for diabetics--foods that have a low glycemic index and are very nutritious to help maintain or replenish vital nutrients in the body. Examples of these superfoods are beans, citrus fruit, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, nuts and salmon. These superfoods can be beneficial to those suffering from diabetes as well as chronic kidney disease.

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