Nutrition Tips for Kidney Health

March is known as the month of Kidney Health aiming to raise awareness on the health of kidneys and reduce the impact of kidney disease. Kidney disease is becoming more and more prevalent in India. Chronic Kidney Disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide. CKD is more common in women compared with men, with an average 14% prevalence in women and 12% in men. Pregnancy-related complications increase the risk of kidney disease; women who have preeclampsia are 4 to 5 times more likely to develop kidney failure.

Just like in case of any health problems, treating it by following a proper diet will help manage the levels. Along with the pills, it is also important that the intake of food should also be monitored for managing renal and kidney health. In case, of kidney disease, most people are aware that you should limit your intake of salt and water. However, there is a particular diet that has which is a recommended diet plan for not just managing blood pressure but also kidney disease.- Dash Diet

So what is Dash Diet?

The DASH acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It works on a basic principle which emphasizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy; while limiting intake of sodium, sugar, and red meat. It is low in saturated and trans fats and high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, fibre, and protein. Many research articles have proved that DASH diet effectively lowered serum uric acid by 1.3 mg/dL in adults with elevated uric acid above 7 mg/dL thus reducing the occurrence of uremia. DASH is not a fad diet, but it’s a healthy eating plan that is sustainable and can support long-term lifestyle changes.

Depending on your health needs, you can choose from two forms of the DASH diet:

  • The Standard DASH Diet: This diet plan limits sodium consumption to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day.
  • The Lower-Sodium DASH Diet: This diet limits sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day.

Some cons of following a DASH Diet is a lot of people find it comparatively difficult to adjust to eating as much fibre as the DASH diet recommends. Thus to start off, you can add high-fibre foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, to your diet and drink plenty of water while doing so to help avoid bloating and physical discomfort.

In addition, it’s also important to focus on the following main nutrients to control renal and kidney diseases such as:

  1. Protein :- Protein plays an important role in building muscle, repairing tissue and fighting infection. In case of kidney disease, you need to closely monitor the protein you eat to prevent wastes from building up in the blood.  When it comes to proteins, you do have vegetarian sources of protein which are good sources of protein, so it’s very important to pay close attention to your protein intake.
  2. Sodium :- Besides cutting down on the salt added to food, make sure you are staying away from hidden sources of sodium such as processed and packaged foods such as biscuits, jams, jelly, hams, sausages etc. Use as many fresh foods as possible and limit your intake of processed and packaged foods. Reading labels becomes very essential at this point, any foods with the following ingredients should be avoided such as salt, soy sauce, tamari sauce or any spices that contain the words sodium or salt.
  3. Potassium :- Routine blood testing for your potassium level is the best way to know your potassium needs. If your potassium level is high, try to limit fruit and vegetable choices.
  4. Phosphorus :- Phosphorus is another mineral that should be avoided in case of kidney disease. To keep your phosphorous in a healthy range processed foods containing phosphate additives.

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