Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing health concern worldwide, affecting millions of people every year. Your kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs that filter extra water and waste products out of your blood and produce urine. With CKD, the kidneys get damaged and do not filter blood the way they normally do.
While there are a variety of factors that may contribute to the development of this condition, diet and nutrition play a critical role in preventing kidney damage and maintaining healthy kidneys.
Let’s delve into the nutritional strategies you can adopt to promote healthy kidneys and reduce the risk of kidney disease.
5 Ways to Help Maintain Healthy Kidneys
- Keep your sodium intake in check. Sodium is an essential mineral that helps regulate body fluids and keep your blood pressure under control. However, consuming too much sodium can increase the risk of kidney damage. The recommended daily sodium intake for adults is 2,300 milligrams or less. To achieve this, limit your consumption of processed and packaged foods that are high in sodium content. As an alternative, choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are naturally low in sodium.
- Consume adequate protein. Protein is a vital nutrient that is required for various body functions, including tissue repair and muscle development. However, consuming too much protein can put undue stress on the kidneys and lead to kidney damage. As a rule, aim to consume protein in moderation, with a recommended intake of one gram per kilogram of body weight. Additionally, choose lean protein sources like fish, poultry, beans, and nuts over fatty or processed meats.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can put a tremendous burden on the kidneys, as it can make it harder for them to filter toxins and waste products. Drinking enough water helps keep adequate blood flow to the kidneys and prevents the formation of kidney stones. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if you are physically active or live in a hot and humid climate.
- Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. These are excellent sources of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support healthy kidney function. Additionally, they are rich in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Aim to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day and choose a variety of colors to get the full range of nutrients.
- Limit your consumption of sugar and saturated fats. Consuming too much sugar and saturated fats can increase the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, which can also damage the kidneys over time. Replace sugary drinks and snacks with healthier alternatives like fruit infused water and nuts, and choose heart-healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts over fatty meats and dairy products.
Best Nephrologist Near You in Syracuse, New York
The board-certified nephrologists at the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University are experts in kidney health and diseases affecting these vital organs, including hypertension. In addition, they provide the highest quality care for adult patients with chronic renal failure through a state-of-the-art, comprehensive dialysis program.
More than 1,500 acute dialysis treatments are performed at our University Hospital alone, and nearly 250 chronic end-stage renal disease patients are cared for at the nearby university Dialysis Center and our satellite units in Auburn and Oswego, New York. Aside from our dialysis clinic, we are also equipped with a transplant clinic, a renal clinic, and a kidney stone clinic.
To schedule a consultation, please call your nephrology provider directly. You can also contact the Department of Medicine at SUNY: Upstate Medical University at DeptMedicine@upstate.edu for more information about our services. We look forward to hearing from you.