Doctors recommend that individuals who have kidney ailments switch to a Renal Diet or Kidney Diet. It is to control the amount of waste in the blood as a compromised kidney is not efficient enough to filter the waste from our body. These impact the electrolyte levels in the blood. Following a renal diet chart helps in improving the function of the kidney and its recovery.
In this article, we explore the renal diet and its benefits.
WHAT IS A RENAL DIET?
A diet low in sodium, phosphorus, and protein is called a renal diet. It recommends the consumption of only high-quality protein and less fluid intake. Few individuals are also recommended to lower their intake of calcium and potassium. It is advised to consult a doctor or a dietician to chalk out a plan for the food to be taken and for the ones to be avoided.
SUBSTANCES CRUCIAL FOR RENAL DIET
Individuals advised to follow a renal diet must monitor the following regularly:
This is a mineral found in most of the foods we eat. Processed food has high levels of sodium. Sodium helps to regulate BP, nerve function, muscle contraction, acid balance, and fluid balance.
Too much sodium in the body of a kidney patient could be harmful as their kidney cannot handle the filtration of excess sodium. It may lead to high BP, heart attack, and edema.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Garlic powder
- Home-cooked meals
- Processed food
- Garlic salt
- Packaged meat
Potassium is found naturally in the body. It is also present in the food we eat. It is essential for maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body.
When the kidney is compromised, the individual’s potassium level in the body exceeds the safe limit. It leads to muscle weakness, slow pulse, and even death.
- Fruits: Apple, Pineapple, Strawberry
- Vegetables: radish, lettuce, onions, cauliflower
- Bread: Pitta, white bread
- Chicken, white rice
- Fruits: Bananas, oranges, prunes, avocados, raisins
- Vegetables: potato, tomatoes, spinach, plantains
- Barn products
- Brown and wild rice
It is the mineral that is critical to bone health. It also aids in the generation of connective tissues, organs, and muscle movement. Compromised kidneys do not handle excess phosphorous well. High levels may weaken the body and lead to calcium deposits in the organs.
- Corn, cream of wheat
- Unsalted popcorn
- Whole grain bread
- Sunflower seeds, nuts
After proteins are ingested and the waste products aerated, the nephrons filter it out and turn it into urine. But with kidney failure, this activity is compromised, and protein accumulates in the blood.
Protein is essential for the body. It maintains the tissues. So, the individual needs to stick to the recommended amount. Always have high-quality protein and limit the intake to the prescribed amounts.
Normal fluid consumption leads to fluid build-up in individuals recovering from chronic kidney diseases, especially when they are on dialysis. Fluid intake varies from person to person, depending on their condition. The doctor and the renal dietician should study the individual and give the appropriate recommendations.
To control fluid intake, an individual must:
- Not drink more than the recommended water for the day.
- Limit sodium to cut down thirst.
- While thirsty, rinse the mouth or chew gum.
SPECIFIC DIET CONCERNS
While following a renal diet, the following needs to be kept in mind:
While following this diet, it is difficult to maintain the levels of vitamins required. The dietician may ask you to be on supplements for some time. Some common side effects of kidney failure include bone diseases and anemia. Vitamin D or an iron pill helps in controlling them. Avoid having unprescribed multivitamins. There are certain vitamins that, if taken in excess, cause further damage to the kidneys. Inform your doctor if you are already taking any vitamin supplements. It is crucial to inform the doctor beforehand.
- RENAL DIET WITH DIABETES
Diabetic individuals must control their blood sugar levels to prevent further damage to the kidneys. A special renal diet chart is created keeping in mind the ailments by the dietician.
There are many kidney-friendly recipes available online. A renal diet helps in leading a healthy life with kidney ailments. It will help in the recovery process and stop further damage to the already compromised kidneys. Avoid food cravings. It is helpful if a food journal is maintained. Eat fresh home-cooked meals as much as possible and stay away from processed food. Consult your doctor or dietician when in doubt, and always stick to the renal diet chart.