Kidneys are really important workhorses in the body. The small, bean-shaped organs filter waste products from the blood. They also release hormones that regulate blood pressure, help to balance bodily fluids, and create urine. Kidney disease affects about 10% of the world’s population and can be caused by high blood pressure and uncontrolled blood sugar. Other factors like age, smoking, obesity, and gender also play a part. When the kidneys aren’t functioning optimally, waste products from food build up in the blood and make the body quite ill.
The diet that must be followed by people with kidney disease varies a lot based on its stage. Early stages have different restrictions than people with end stage renal disease. Beyond dietary changes, you may need dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant. If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease or if it runs in your family, it is smart to educate yourself on the best healthy food choices. We’ve got a list of safe things to eat with kidney disease, but please consult with your doctor for the best amount and combination of these foods for your particular situation.
Before we dig into the good stuff, know that in general, people with kidney disease will be asked to limit certain nutrients that are found in a lot of different foods. The three big ones are sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. Protein may be limited in the early stages of kidney disease and increased in patients whose condition is more advanced and requires dialysis. As a start, here is a list of tasty and healthy foods that are low in phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.