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What To Avoid For Kidney Health

Searching For A Succulent Side Dish

10 Signs Your Kidneys Are Crying For Help

Try the classic roasted asparagus with lemon juice. Its really simple and flavorful. Nobody thinks of asparagus to be a powerhouse of nutrients, but it is. Soluble and insoluble fiber, folate, antioxidants, and vitamin C reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 1 cup of cooked asparagus contains about 12 mg of sodium, roughly 201mg of potassium, and just over 48 mg of phosphorus.

It may have a bit of potassium but they work fine for early stages of chronic kidney diseases and diabetic neuropathy cases. The same goes for summer squash.

May Promote Gut Health

One cup of sliced apricots provides 3.3 grams of fiber, which is 8.6% and 13.2% of the DV for men and women, respectively .

Apricots are particularly high in soluble fiber, which is important for maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels .

Furthermore, fiber delays the movement of food through your digestive tract and feeds your beneficial gut bacteria. A healthier gut microbiome is linked to a lower risk of obesity .

While a single apricot holds only 0.7 grams of fiber, its easy to eat a few in one sitting .

Summary Apricots are a good source of soluble fiber, which feeds your healthy gut bacteria and may boost digestive health.

Packaged Foods Instant Meals And Fast Food

Packaged foods, instant meals, and fast food tend to be high in sodium, which is one reason they arent ideal for someone with kidney disease and diabetes.

Some examples of these foods are instant noodles, frozen pizza, frozen boxed meals, and other types of microwavable meals.

For example, a slice of frozen pepperoni pizza contains 568 mg of sodium, one-quarter of the advised sodium intake if you have kidney disease, and doesnt provide significant amounts of beneficial nutrients .

These foods are also heavily processed and often high in refined carbs. This isnt ideal if you have diabetes, as refined carbs are digested quickly and tend to spike blood sugar levels .


Packaged foods, instant meals, and fast food are high in sodium and refined carbs but low in beneficial nutrients. Limit your intake of these foods if you have kidney disease and diabetes.

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Keep in mind that when these leafy veggies are cooked, they shrink to a significantly smaller size but still contain the same amount of potassium.

So, if you have kidney disease, its better to eat them raw, as youre likely to eat a smaller amount of them this way. That said, its OK to eat them cooked, as long as you manage your portion sizes.

Spinach, beet greens, chard, and other leafy veggies are also high in oxalic acid, an organic compound that can form oxalates once bound to minerals such as calcium.

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Top 9 Foods To Avoid For Kidney Health: Bonus Tips For Strong Kidneys

Are you wondering if the signs you are experiencing indicate Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chances are that you are right. Commonly, people find out they are suffering from any sort of kidney disorder at a later stage.

Whether you are experiencing kidney related disorders or not, some important information about how to maintain healthy kidneys can be helpful.

Here is a short and useful set of information about kidney health, a list of foods to avoid for kidney health, and other lifestyle tips.

Premade Or Frozen Meals

Prevent Kidney Failure

Most processed foods, including premade or frozen meals, are high in sodium. Examples include frozen pizza, prepackaged frozen dinners, and soups.

Many premade meals can account for most of your recommended daily sodium allowance, making it important to avoid them on a kidney diet.

When choosing premade or frozen meals, opt for choices with less than 600 milligrams of sodium per meal. Alternatively, you can meal prep and freeze your own low-sodium, kidney-friendly meals that can be heated in just a few minutes.

Also Check: What Std Can Cause Kidney Infection

A Davita Dietitian’s Top 15 Healthy Foods For People With Kidney Disease

Researchers are discovering more and more links between chronic diseases, inflammation and certain whole foods that may prevent or protect against undesirable fatty acid oxidation, a condition that occurs when the oxygen in your body reacts with fats in your blood and your cells. Oxidation is a normal process for energy production and many chemical reactions in the body, but excessive oxidation of fats and cholesterol creates molecules known as free radicals that can damage your proteins, cell membranes and genes. Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease and other chronic and degenerative conditions have been linked to oxidative damage.

Foods that contain antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and protect the body. Many of the foods that protect against oxidation are included in the kidney diet and make excellent choices for people on dialysis or people with chronic kidney disease . Eating foods rich in antioxidants as part of your kidney diet and working with a kidney dietitian are important for people with kidney disease because they experience more inflammation and have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

Want to learn more about the kidney diet? filled with kidney diet tips and recipes.

Whats Your Take On Berries

Berries are the most flavorful, juicy pops of color. So what do you pick first? Stick to cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes. Yes, grapes are classified as berries. Studies show that a berry enriched diet could improve renal function in rats.

Cranberries are great for protecting you from gastrointestinal trouble and half a cup of dried cranberries contains 2 mg of sodium, 25 mg of potassium, and 5 mg of phosphorus. Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants, Vitamin C, manganese, and other nutrients that boost immunity and improve bone health. Half a cup of fresh blueberries contains 4 mg of sodium, 65 mg of potassium, and seven mg of phosphorus.

Now, half a cup of fresh raspberries is different from all berries as they contain zero mg of sodium, 93 mg of potassium, and seven mg of phosphorus. They are excellent for neutralizing free radicals and prohibit the growth of tumor forming cells. The naturally sweet and delicious jewel-coloured strawberries contain anthocyanins and ellagitannins. Half a cup of strawberries contains 1 mg of sodium, 120 mg of potassium and 13 mg of phosphorus.

Did you know canned fruit can actually be great for kidney patients? If its difficult finding fresh or frozen fruit go for canned ones. They lower your chances of consuming more potassium. The potassium from the fruit leeches out and gets mixed with water in the can. Just remember to rinse your fruit before eating.

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Diet And Kidney Disease

Dietary restrictions vary depending on the level of kidney damage.

For example, people in the early stages of kidney disease have different restrictions than those with kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease .

If you have kidney disease, your health care provider will determine the best diet for your needs.

For most people with advanced kidney disease, its important to follow a kidney-friendly diet that helps decrease the amount of waste in the blood.

This diet is often referred to as a renal diet.

It helps boost kidney function while preventing further damage .

While dietary restrictions vary, its commonly recommended that all people with kidney disease restrict the following nutrients:

  • Sodium.Sodium is found in many foods and a major component of table salt. Damaged kidneys cant filter out excess sodium, causing its blood levels to rise. Its often recommended to limit sodium to less than 2,000 mg per day (

Be Mindful Of Protein

Mayo Clinic Minute: What you can eat to help avoid getting kidney stones

When you eat protein, your body produces waste thats filtered through your kidneys. While protein is an important part of a healthy diet, eating more protein than you need to may cause your kidneys to work harder. Although there needs to be more research on the effects of a high-protein diet on overall kidney health, your doctor will likely recommend a lower-protein diet if you already have CKD. Having too much protein can cause waste to build up in your blood, and your kidneys may not be able to remove it, Maruschak says.

People with any stage of CKD who arent on dialysis should limit their protein intake to 0.6 to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight to reduce kidney disease progression, Maruschak says. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds would need 40 to 54 grams of protein per day, which is about 4 to 6 ounces of protein from animal or plant sources, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Be sure to speak with an RD to determine the right amount of protein for you.

Whether or not youve been diagnosed with CKD, it can help to opt for healthier protein sources and watch your portion sizes. Good include:

  • Lean meat, fish, or skinless poultry
  • Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas

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How Is It Treated

Much of your treatment will depend on the cause of the atrophy. Treating the underlying condition may help prevent further damage to your kidney.

Even with an atrophic kidney, your kidneys may still be functioning well enough to get the job done. But if your kidneys are functioning at less than 10 to 15 percent, youre in kidney failure. That means you need treatment to do the work of the kidneys.

One way to do this is through dialysis.

In hemodialysis, your blood is run through an artificial kidney apparatus called a hemodialyzer that removes waste products. In peritoneal dialysis, a fluid called dialysate is used to fill your abdomen to filter waste in your body through a peritoneal dialysis catheter.

Dialysis helps do the work your kidneys can no longer do. But its not a cure. Youll need to have dialysis several times a week for the rest of your life or until you get a kidney transplant.

You can receive a healthy kidney from a living or a deceased donor. The wait for a suitable kidney can take years, though. After a transplant, youll need to take antirejection medications for the life of the kidney.

Atrophic kidney cant be reversed or cured with diet. But diet plays a vital role in treatment of kidney disease. Here are some kidney-healthy dietary tips:

The Best Foods For Kidney Health

Kidneys are small organs located underneath the rib cage, on each side of the spine. They are responsible for filtering waste out of the blood and excreting it out of the body through urine. Kidneys also balance the bodys fluid and electrolyte levels and play a significant role in overall health. Some foods may boost the performance of the kidneys, while others may place stress on them and cause damage. Eating foods rich in certain vitamins and nutrients may help the kidneys function properly and prevent damage to them. However, some foods that generally help support healthy kidneys may not be suitable for people who have an existing kidney disease. Check with your doctor or dietitian if you have an existing condition to find out which foods are best for you.

1. Dark leafy greens

Dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard, and collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium, and many other important minerals. Kale also is a significant source of carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin K. Spinach is high in vitamins A, C, K, and folate. The beta-carotene found in spinach is important for boosting your immune system and a good source of magnesium. Try replacing that nutritionally challenged iceberg lettuce with some dark leafy greens.

2. Berries

3. Cranberries

4. Sweet potatoes

5. Olive oil

6. Fatty fish

7. Cabbage

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Best Foods To Eat For Your Kidney Health

By Virginia Irwin-Scott, DO, Nephrologist Virtua NephrologyIf you have chronic kidney disease , you need to pay close attention to what you eat and drink. Thats because your kidneys can no longer effectively remove fluids and waste products from your body.In the early stages of CKD, you may have few limits on what you can eat and drink. But as your condition progresses, your health care provider or dietitian may place you on a more kidney-friendly diet. Indeed, many foods that are part of a typical healthy diet may not be right for you. Here are some choices they may recommend.

How Can I Help Myself

Kidney Stone Prevention

Whatever your stage of kidney disease, its important that you:

  • Have a healthy diet
  • Cut back on salt as eating too much salt is linked with high blood pressure and heart disease, which can damage your kidneys
  • If you want to observe a period of fasting e.g. as part of your religion, be sure to read our guidance on fasting
  • Keep to a healthy weight and exercise regularly.

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Limit Shellfish And Meat

Research has found that a toxin called domoic acid in shellfish and some fish that eat algae can harm kidneys in mice. People are not mice. But, the really troubling finding was that very tiny levels of the toxin could harm kidneys. Shellfish also have high levels of purines, which can be a problem if you have gout. So, it may be wise to cut back on shellfish if you eat it a lot.

Drink Plenty Of Fluids

Theres no magic behind the cliché advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, but its a good goal precisely because it encourages you to stay hydrated. Regular, consistent water intake is healthy for your kidneys.

Water helps clear sodium and toxins from your kidneys. It also lowers your risk of chronic kidney disease.

Aim for at least 1.5 to 2 liters in a day. Exactly how much water you need depends largely on your health and lifestyle. Factors like climate, exercise, gender, overall health, and whether or not youre pregnant or breastfeeding are important to consider when planning your daily water intake.

People who have previously had kidney stones should drink a bit more water to help prevent stone deposits in the future.

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Why Is A Kidney

A kidney-friendly eating plan helps you manage your kidney disease and slow down damage to your kidneys. It does this by preventing certain minerals from building up in your body, which is important because your kidneys do not work as well to remove waste products from your body.

A kidney-friendly eating plan also helps prevent other serious health problems and controls high blood pressure and diabetes, which can prevent kidney disease from getting worse.

It also ensures that you get the right balance of nutrients to help you:

  • Have energy to do your daily tasks
  • Prevent infection
  • Stay at a healthy weight

Ask Your Health Care Provider Questions

Kidney Disease Diet: How To Eat Right With CKD!

Ask your health care provider the following key questions about your kidney health during your next medical visit. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment to help protect your kidneys.

Key questions for your health care provider:

  • What is my glomerular filtration rate ?
  • What is my urine albumin result?
  • What is my blood pressure?
  • What is my blood glucose ?
  • How often should I get my kidneys checked?

Other important questions:

  • What should I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
  • Do I need to be taking different medicines?
  • Should I be more physically active?
  • What kind of physical activity can I do?
  • What can I eat?

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What Causes Kidney Stones

There are a few suspected causes of kidney stones, and the prevention and treatment methods outlined above offer some insight into what they are.

Kidney stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be caused by various factors. Factors range from family history to medications, but some are also affected by lifestyle. A poor diet, excess weight, and not drinking enough water can all play a role.

Because you can control lifestyle factors, they are the best place to start for preventing kidney stones. Some of the main causes include:

What Should I Know About Sodium And Salt If I Follow A Renal Diet

Sodium is a mineral found in salt . Its widely used to prepare foods.

Salt is one of the most commonly used seasonings. Itll take time for you to get used to reducing the salt in your diet. However, reducing salt/sodium is an important tool in controlling your kidney disease.

Here are some suggestions.

  • Dont use salt when cooking food.
  • Dont put salt on food when you eat.
  • Learn to read food labels. Avoid foods that have more than 300mg sodium per serving . Avoid foods that have salt in the first four or five items in the ingredient list.
  • Dont eat ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, lunch meats, chicken tenders or nuggets, or regular canned soup. Only eat reduced-sodium soups that dont have potassium chloride as an ingredient Also, only eat 1 cup, not the whole can.
  • Choose only canned vegetables that say no salt added on the label.
  • Dont use flavored salts such as garlic salt, onion salt, or seasoned salt. Dont use kosher or sea salt.
  • Be sure to look for lower salt or no salt added options for your favorite foods such as peanut butter or box mixes.
  • Dont purchase refrigerated or frozen meats that are packaged in a solution or those that have been flavored or pre-seasoned. These items can include boneless chicken and bone-in chicken pieces, turkey breast, whole turkeys, steaks, roasts, burgers, pork tenderloin and pork chops.
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    How Diet Can Impact Kidney Health

    The kidneys are filled with tiny blood vessels that help filter waste and extra water from your blood and remove them from your body. If you have CKD, your kidneys cant filter blood as well as they should, causing excess waste to build up in your body.

    Diabetes and hypertension are the two leading causes of kidney disease. High blood sugar levels in uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys blood vessels, leaving them unable do their job properly, says Krista Maruschak, RD, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinics Center for Human Nutrition.

    Untreated or uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure can have a significant effect on the development of CKD over time, says Maruschak.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes and over a third of adults have prediabetes, while about half of American adults age 20 and over have hypertension. These individuals are also at an increased risk of developing CKD.

    A healthy diet can help you prevent or manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, in part by helping you to maintain a healthy weight, says Maruschak. In turn, this supports your kidney health.

    As part of a kidney-friendly diet, you may also need to limit certain foods to help prevent further kidney damage.

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