Renal Care and YouMelanie Tawil
Last month the world was shocked when Stevie Wonder revealed during his London concert that he was going to be undergoing a kidney transplant in September. Kidney disease can develop at any time, but those over the age of 60 are more likely than not to develop kidney disease making renal care incredibly important. As people age, their kidneys do as well. The disease affects more than 30 million Americans, or 1 in 7, have chronic kidney disease and don’t know it yet.
“50 percent of seniors over the age of 75 are believed to have kidney disease.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 50 percent of seniors over the age of 75 are believed to have kidney disease. Dr. Beth Piraino from the National Kidney Foundation states “that older Americans may not realize they are at increased risk until it’s too late.”
The National Kidney Foundation asks everyone over the age of 60 to get screened for kidney disease with their health care provider. The test will screen for protein in the urine, which is the earliest sign of kidney damage as well as a blood test for kidney function.
The symptoms of kidney disease can sneak up on you. Awareness of kidney disease, especially if you’re at
risk, is the first step to preventing or slowing down the progression of the disease. Some of the major risk factors for kidney disease include (but are not limited to): high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney stones, a family history of kidney failure, prolonged use of over-the-counter pain medications, and being over the age of 60.
When the kidneys become damaged and are unable to function properly, fluid can build up in the body and waste can build up in the blood. Avoiding certain foods in the diet can improve kidney function, may decrease the waste build up in the blood, and prevent further damage.
So say you need to adopt a kidney sensitive diet, what foods can you eat then? Let’s get to the top 5 foods you should probably avoid in order to maintain kidney health.
Dark Colored Soda
Sodas in general just aren’t that healthy for you to begin with and offer 0 nutritional support. Dark sodas contain additives like phosphorus to prolong shelf life, add flavor, and prevent discoloration. This chemical compound is highly absorbable by the human body and this means it can cause some damage to your kidneys.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this heart-healthy fat that is rich in fiber and antioxidants also contains a high amount of potassium. This potassium makes it very difficult for your body to properly dispose of it naturally.
Sodium is always a dangerous culprit when it comes to canned foods. If you’re looking for the convenience factor, opt for the lower-sodium or those with the label “no salt added” instead.
It’s crazy to say this one but this may be when white bread is better for you as it contains a lower amount of phosphorus and potassium. Compare sodium levels because not all bread labels are baked equally.
Much like whole-wheat bread, brown rice is a whole grain that has a higher potassium and phosphorus level than its counterpart, white rice. Another great option is bulgur, buckwheat, pearled barley, and couscous.
You will want to stick with whole foods when working with a renal (kidney) diet. Stock up on red bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, and onions to name a few.
Talk to your renal dietitian about incorporating a healthy lifestyle and diet into your plan and make sure that you stock your kitchen with healthy, delicious, and kidney-friendly foods to take control of your renal care.