To manage your renal ailment, it’s no secret that you’ll have to make some changes to your eating and drinking habits and the number of fluids you consume. The changes you make will aid you in maintaining or improving your kidney function as well as controlling your body weight.
In addition to kidney disease, being overweight can cause the development or worsen of other health issues such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for the disease.
Obesity raises the likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease by 25 percent throughout a person’s life. The good news is that losing weight and following a kidney-friendly diet can help reduce your risk of developing various health problems and assist renal function.
Building a plan with the advice of your doctor and care team can help you attain your ideal weight while also gaining more control over your diet and health.
Diet Tips for Healthy Kidneys
Hundreds of thousands of tiny blood veins line the kidneys, which help to filter waste and excess water from your blood and remove them from your body. If you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot filter blood as effectively as they should, resulting in an accumulation of waste in your body.
In the United States, the primary causes of a kidney disease are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). A registered dietitian explains that high blood sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidney’s blood vessels, making it impossible for the kidneys to perform correctly.
According to Maruschak, the presence of untreated or uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure can have a substantial impact on the development of chronic kidney disease over time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10% of the population in the United States has diabetes, and more than a third of adults have prediabetes.
In contrast, approximately half of the American adults’ aged 20 and over have hypertension, according to the American Diabetes Association. These individuals are also at a higher risk of developing kidney disease.
According to Maruschak, a nutritious diet can assist you in preventing or managing illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure, in part by helping you maintain a healthy weight. This, in turn, is beneficial to your kidney health.
Certain foods may also need to be avoided or limited as part of a kidney-friendly diet to prevent future kidney disease.
The Advantages of Losing Weight When You Have Kidney Disease
Maintaining a healthy weight has various advantages, including more energy and fewer health problems. It is significant for people who already have renal disease since it lowers their chances of acquiring kidney disease further down the road.
Being overweight puts a strain on your immune and cardiovascular systems, allowing you to live longer and in better health due to losing the additional weight. Aside from lowering your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, losing weight can help you keep better control over your health if you already have these conditions.
It has been established that losing weight improves your body’s ability to use insulin, which can help you maintain better control over your blood sugar levels if you have type 2 diabetes and lose weight.
It is possible that losing weight will reduce the number of diabetic medications you require. Additional research has found a link between weight and blood pressure: your chances of acquiring high blood pressure increase as you gain weight.
As a result, losing weight can help you lower your blood pressure more effectively. Keep your weight healthy, and your blood pressure will remain within normal limits. Reduced blood pressure can also reduce getting heart disease and stroke.
By encouraging you to eat more healthy meals, following a kidney diet will also aid you in your weight loss efforts.
Because you have a chronic renal illness, which means that your kidneys cannot filter excess fluid and waste from your body, you must be mindful of what you eat and drink when you are ill. In collaboration with your doctor and a renal dietitian, you will learn to read food labels and identify foods that you should avoid at all costs.
Given the abundance of nutritious and delicious foods that can you can include in your kidney diet, you will not have to sacrifice flavor or activities that you enjoy to adhere to this eating plan.
Using fresh, healthy foods to replace the processed foods you’ve been consuming will help you lose weight slowly but steadily as your awareness of what you’re eating increases and you incorporate more kidney-friendly meals into your diet.
9 Weight-Loss Strategies for People with Chronic Kidney Disease
In addition to hearing about weight increase about fluid management when you have a kidney disease, you should be aware of the possibility of weight gain when you have a renal disease.
Your weight may fluctuate dramatically due to an accumulation of fluid in your body because your kidneys cannot filter your blood adequately. Although it is necessary to regulate your fluid intake to avoid a fluid overload and preserve the health of your kidneys, this is a separate topic from the management of your dry weight.
Following your dry weight can assist you in getting control of your health and reducing the likelihood that you will develop additional chronic problems. Developing a weight-loss strategy with your doctor and a renal dietitian is crucial if you are overweight.
To help you lose or maintain your weight while coping with renal illness, the following are some tips:
1. Choose meals that are appropriate for the season.
The consumption of fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits, is frequently regarded as a superior option to the consumption of somewhat processed and fast foods. Try to avoid packaged foods as much as possible.
Fruits and vegetables, on average, contain fewer calories than other types of food. Increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetables you consume rather than processed or frozen items. Consider this: when you’re hungry, rather than grabbing a bag of chips, reach for a bowl of fresh fruit in season.
2. Pay close attention to the nutritional information.
Reading nutrition labels will assist you in making healthier food choices, which will allow you to lose weight while simultaneously improving your overall health. It is essential to check the serving size and calorie count before proceeding; the values listed are for one serving.
People with kidney disease should always look for ingredients you should avoid, such as added sugar and saturated fat. Always focus on healthy fats. Reduce saturated fat and trans fats intake to less than 10% of the Daily Value, especially in children. Again, avoid packaged foods. Rather, consume those that are rich in fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly. The consumption of additional fiber will help reduce the risk of weight gain.
3. Reduce your sodium consumption.
Saturated fats and trans fats are found in various unexpected areas, including packaged meals such as soups and bread. People with kidney disease should keep their sodium consumption under control to help maintain a healthy blood pressure. According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released by the United States Food and Drug Administration, you should aim for 2,300 mg per day, equal to around one teaspoon of table salt.
4. Keep an eye on how much alcohol you’re consuming.
As Maruschak explains, there are numerous ways alcohol can hurt your kidneys. Because it is a waste product, it is eliminated from the blood by the renal system, which results in the kidneys being less efficient in their function.
It dehydrates you, impairing the kidneys to regulate water in your body. As previously stated, it can affect liver function, which in turn can decrease blood flow to the kidneys, ultimately leading to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Additional research has connected heavy alcohol consumption to an increased risk of high blood pressure, leading to kidney injury.
In the opinion of Maruschak, people with kidney disease should limit their use of alcoholic beverages to one per day. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines the equivalent of 12 ounces of standard beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces (one shot glass) of distilled spirits. Alternatively, As she adds, “it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor about your alcohol use because certain people shouldn’t drink at all,” she recommends.
5. Keep an eye on how much protein you’re consuming.
It is possible that urea will be formed when protein is present and that the body will have difficulties removing this waste from the bloodstream if there is renal illness present. Although protein is no longer considered essential to a healthy diet, it is still important since it aids in the formation and repair of muscle tissue.
However, you may need to be more conscious of your portion sizes and the frequency with which you consume protein-rich meals to maintain your weight loss goals.
Kidney patients should always choose plant-based protein sources from over-processed proteins such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets, and wherever possible, choose fresh, lean animal sources from over-processed proteins. Do a medical nutrition therapy and work with a dietitian and your doctor to figure out how much protein you should consume daily.
Consider consuming a renal diet that includes plant-based protein to help you lose weight. A diet rich in plant-based foods can help slow the progression of kidney disease, aid in weight loss, lower blood pressure, and improve control of type 2 diabetes, among other benefits.
Beyond being substantial in fiber and vitamins, plant-based meals have the added benefit of making you feel filled for more extended periods, which can help you limit your food consumption and aid a healthy weight loss.
6. Reduce the number of calories you consume each day.
It is possible to lose weight by reducing your caloric intake since excess or wasted calories are converted to fat when they are finished.
Kidney patients are advised to consume low-calorie items, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, to help you lose weight. These make for a perfect renal diet. Foods high in calories, such as baked desserts and deep-fried and processed foods, should be avoided at all costs. These meals are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats, and if consumed in significant numbers, they can result in unwanted weight gain.
7. You should incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule.
If you combine physical activity with a nutritious, well-balanced diet, you can help yourself lose weight and improve your overall health.
Walking or doing anything more active like swimming can help get your blood flowing and your muscles moving. Try 15 minutes of exercise a day for a few weeks, then gradually increase the amount of time exercising as your confidence increases.
8. Consult your doctor to determine whether you should limit your consumption of phosphorus and potassium.
Phosphorus and potassium are minerals that your body requires for a range of metabolic processes to take place properly. Potassium regulates your heartbeat and keeps your muscles in good working order, while phosphorus contributes to the development of a robust bone structure.
However, if you have a chronic renal illness, these minerals can build up in your bloodstream and cause problems throughout your body. High phosphorus levels can cause calcium to be taken from your bones, weakening them and increasing their susceptibility to fracture.
Some of the side effects include itchiness of the skin, bone and joint stiffness, and fatigue. You may need to limit your intake of phosphorus-rich foods such as animal protein, dairy products, and dark-colored beverages. An excessive amount of potassium (present in many fruits and vegetables and dairy products) can contribute to heart disease if consumed in excess.
Your doctor will examine your potassium and phosphorus levels in their office, which a blood test will determine. If you’re not sure whether you should keep track of your mineral intake, don’t be hesitant to speak with your doctor about it.
9. Consult with a trained dietician if you have any questions.
Making dietary modifications might be a challenging task to do. If you’re having trouble keeping a healthy renal diet, a registered dietitian (RD) can help you create a meal plan tailored to your requirements.
Each individual’s requirements are unique, and they may alter based on the stage of renal disease at which they are diagnosed.
Remember to check with your doctor and a renal dietitian before making any dietary or lifestyle modifications. They will work with you to develop a strategy targeted to your specific needs and the needs of your family members and other loved ones.
Rapid weight loss is connected with an increased risk of complications in persons with renal disease.
It is almost inevitable that kidney illness will affect your weight. Thus, it is critical to keep it under control as much as possible. Unhealthy weight loss or gain that occurs too quickly can lead to health problems such as changes in your blood pressure and breathing habits.
To develop the most successful weight-loss approach, you will need to partner with your doctor. To achieve these goals, you should adopt a kidney diet, engage in regular physical activity, and visit your doctor regularly to monitor any changes.
Keeping Your Weight Under Control Over the Long-Term
If you have any questions about controlling weight while living with kidney illness, or if you have any other worries about your health, you should talk to your doctor about your concerns. You should expect your doctor and care team to be there to guide you through your health-care journey and to be the most qualified individuals to answer your queries.
Additionally, we recognize that visits can be quick; thus, plan ahead of time what you’d like to discuss to get the most out of your time together. Don’t be afraid to communicate any issues or fears you might have. Your doctor and care team will help you find modest lifestyle and nutritional changes, which include a healthy renal diet, to help you manage your weight and decrease your risk of developing other health issues.