17 foods that you should avoid if you have bad kidneys

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs that perform many important functions.

They filter blood, eliminate waste through urine, produce hormones, balance minerals and maintain the balance of fluids.

There are many risk factors for kidney disease. The most common are uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure.

Alcoholism, heart disease, hepatitis C virus and HIV infection are also causes (1).

When the kidneys become damaged and can not function properly, fluid can accumulate in the body and debris can accumulate in the blood.

However, avoiding or limiting certain foods in your diet can help reduce the accumulation of waste products in the blood, improve kidney function and prevent further damage (2).

The connection between diet and kidney disease

Foods to avoid with kidney disease

Dietary restrictions vary depending on the stage of kidney disease.

For example, people who are in the early stages of chronic kidney disease will have different dietary restrictions than those with end-stage kidney disease or kidney failure.

People with end-stage renal disease who require dialysis will also have different dietary restrictions. Dialysis is a type of treatment that removes additional water and filters waste.

Most of those who are in the final stages or with end-stage renal disease should follow a diet suitable for the kidneys to prevent the accumulation of certain chemicals or nutrients in the blood.

In people with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys can not adequately remove excess sodium, potassium and phosphorus. As a result, they have a higher risk of elevated blood levels of these minerals.

A proper diet for the kidneys, or a "kidney diet," usually includes limiting sodium and potassium to 2,000 mg per day and limiting phosphorus to 1,000 mg per day.

Damaged kidneys can also have problems filtering the waste products of protein metabolism. Therefore, people with chronic kidney disease in stages 1 to 4 may need to limit the amount of protein in their diets (3).

However, people with end-stage renal disease who undergo dialysis have an increased protein requirement (4).

Here are 17 foods that you should probably avoid in a kidney diet.

1. Dark colored tails

In addition to the calories and sugar provided by the tails, they also contain additives that contain phosphorus, especially the dark-colored tails.

Many food manufacturers add phosphorus during the processing of food and beverages to improve flavor, prolong shelf life and prevent discoloration.

This added phosphorus is much more absorbable by the human body than natural, animal or vegetable phosphorus (5).

Unlike natural phosphorus, phosphorus in the form of additives is not bound to proteins. Rather, it is found in salt form and is highly absorbable by the intestinal tract (6).

Additive phosphorus can typically be found in the list of ingredients in a product. However, food manufacturers are not required to indicate the exact amount of additive phosphorus on the food label.

Although the additive phosphorus content varies according to the type of glue, it is believed that most of the dark colored tails contain 50-100 mg in a 200 ml portion (7).

As a result, tails, especially dark ones, should be avoided in a renal diet.

Summary The dark colored tails should be avoided in a renal diet because they contain phosphorus in its additive form, which is highly absorbable by the human body.

2. Avocados

Avocados are often touted for their many nutritional qualities, including heart-healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants.

While avocados are often a healthy addition to the diet, people with kidney disease should avoid them.

This is because avocados are a very rich source of potassium. One cup (150 grams) of avocado provides a whopping 727 mg of potassium (8).

That's double the amount of potassium that a medium banana.

Therefore, avocados, including guacamole, should be avoided in a renal diet, especially if you have been told to monitor your potassium intake.

Summary Avocados should be avoided in a renal diet because of their high potassium content. One cup of avocado provides almost 37% of the potassium restriction of 2,000 mg.

3. Canned food

Canned foods, such as soups, vegetables, and beans, are often purchased because of their low cost and convenience.

However, most canned foods contain high amounts of sodium, since salt is added as a preservative to increase its shelf life (9).

Due to the amount of sodium found in canned products, it is often recommended that people with kidney disease avoid or limit their consumption.

In general, it is best to choose varieties with low sodium content or those labeled "without added salt"

In addition, draining and rinsing canned foods, such as canned beans and tuna, can lower the sodium content by 33-80%, depending on the product (10).

Summary Canned foods are often high in sodium. Avoiding, limiting or buying varieties with low sodium content is probably the best way to reduce your total sodium intake.

4. Integral Bread

Choosing the right bread can be confusing for people with kidney disease.

Often, for healthy individuals, whole grain bread is usually recommended over refined white flour bread.

Whole wheat bread may be a more nutritious option, mainly because of its higher fiber content. However, white bread is generally recommended over whole wheat varieties for individuals with kidney disease.

This is due to its phosphorus and potassium content. The greater the amount of bran and whole grains in the bread, the greater the content of phosphorus and potassium.

For example, a 1-ounce serving of whole wheat bread contains approximately 57 mg of phosphorus and 69 mg of potassium. In comparison, white bread contains only 28 mg of phosphorus and potassium (11, 12).

Keep in mind that most bread and bread products, regardless of whether they are white or whole wheat, also contain relatively high amounts of sodium (13).

It is better to compare the nutritional labels of various types of bread, choose a low sodium option, if possible, and control the size of your portions.

Summary White bread is usually recommended on whole wheat bread in a renal diet because of its lower levels of phosphorus and potassium. All the bread contains sodium, so it is better to compare the labels of the food and choose a low sodium variety.

5. Integral Rice

Like whole grain bread, brown rice is an integral grain that has a higher content of potassium and phosphorus than its counterpart of white rice.

One cup of cooked brown rice contains 150 mg of phosphorus and 154 mg of potassium, while one cup of cooked white rice contains only 69 mg of phosphorus and 54 mg of potassium (14, 15).

You may be able to include brown rice in a kidney diet, but only if the portion is controlled and balanced with other foods to avoid excessive daily intake of potassium and phosphorus.

Bulgur, buckwheat, pearl barley and couscous are nutritious grains with low phosphorus content that can be a good substitute for brown rice.

Summary Brown rice has a high content of phosphorus and potassium and probably should be controlled in portions or limited in a renal diet. White rice, bulgur, buckwheat and couscous are all good alternatives.

6. Bananas

Bananas are known for their high potassium content.

While they are naturally low in sodium, a medium banana provides 422 mg of potassium (16).

It can be difficult to keep your daily potassium intake at 2,000 mg if a banana is a staple daily.

Unfortunately, many other tropical fruits are also high in potassium.

However, pineapples contain substantially less potassium than other tropical fruits and may be a more adequate, but also tasty, alternative (17).

Summary Bananas are a rich source of potassium and may need to be limited by a kidney diet. Pineapple is a fruit suitable for the kidneys, since it contains much less potassium than other tropical fruits.

7. Dairy

Dairy products are rich in various vitamins and nutrients.

They are also a natural source of phosphorus and potassium and a good source of protein.

For example, 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of whole milk provides 222 mg of phosphorus and 349 mg of potassium (18).

However, consuming too many dairy products, along with other foods high in phosphorus, can be detrimental to bone health in people with kidney disease.

This may seem surprising, since milk and dairy products are often recommended for strong bones and for muscle health.

However, when the kidneys are damaged, excessive consumption of phosphorus can cause an accumulation of phosphorus in the blood. This can cause your bones to thin and weaken over time and increase the risk of bone breakage or fracture (19).

Dairy products are also high in protein. One cup (8 fluid ounces) of whole milk provides approximately 8 grams of protein (18).

It may be important to limit the intake of dairy products to prevent the accumulation of protein residues in the blood.

Dairy alternatives, such as unenriched rice milk and almond milk, are much lower in potassium, phosphorus and protein than cow's milk, which makes them a good substitute for milk when a kidney diet is performed .

Summary Dairy products contain high amounts of phosphorus, potassium and protein and should be limited to a renal diet. Despite the high calcium content of milk, its phosphorus content can weaken bones in people with kidney disease.

8. Oranges and orange juice

While oranges and orange juice are best known for their vitamin C content, they are also rich sources of potassium.

A large orange (184 grams) provides 333 mg of potassium. In addition, there are 473 mg of potassium in one cup (8 fluid ounces) of orange juice (20, 21).

Given its potassium content, oranges and orange juice should probably be avoided or limited in a renal diet.

Grapes, apples and cranberries, as well as their respective juices, are good substitutes for oranges and orange juice, since they have a lower potassium content.

Summary Oranges and orange juice have a high potassium content and should be limited to a renal diet. Try grapes, apples, cranberries or their juices.

9. Processed meats

Processed meats have been associated with chronic diseases and are generally considered unhealthy due to their preservative content (22, 23, 24, 25).

Processed meats are meats that have been salted, dried, cured or canned.

Some examples include hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, jerky and sausages.

Processed meats usually contain large amounts of salt, mainly to improve flavor and preserve flavor.

Therefore, it can be difficult to maintain your daily sodium intake to less than 2,000 mg if processed meats are plentiful in your diet.

In addition, processed meats are high in protein.

If you have been told to control your protein intake, it is also important to limit meats processed for this reason.

Summary Processed meats have a high content of salt and proteins and should be consumed in moderation in a renal diet.

10. Pickles, olives and sauce.

Brines, processed olives and seasoning are examples of cured or pickled foods.

In general, large amounts of salt are added during the curing or pickling process.

For example, a brine lance may contain more than 300 mg of sodium. Likewise, there are 244 mg of sodium in 2 tablespoons of sweet gherkin sauce (26, 27).

Processed olives also tend to be salty because they are cured and fermented to have a less bitter taste. Five green olives in vinegar provide approximately 195 mg of sodium, which is a significant portion of the daily amount in only a small portion (28).

Many grocery stores have reduced sodium varieties of pickles, olives and condiments, which contain less sodium than traditional varieties.

However, even options with less sodium may have a high sodium content, so you'll still want to see your portions.

Summary Gherkins, processed olives and seasoning are rich in sodium and should be limited in a renal diet.

11. Apricots

Apricots are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber.

They are also high in potassium. One cup of fresh apricots provides 427 mg of potassium (29).

In addition, the potassium content is even more concentrated in dried apricots.

One cup of dried apricots provides more than 1,500 mg of potassium (30).

This means that only one cup of dried apricots provides 75% of the 2,000 mg low potassium restriction.

It is better to avoid apricots and, what is more important, dried apricots in a renal diet.

Summary Apricots are a food rich in potassium that should be avoided with a renal diet. They offer more than 400 mg per 1 cup raw and more than 1,500 mg per 1 cup dry.

12. Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are vegetables rich in potassium.

Only one medium-sized baked potato (156 g) contains 610 mg of potassium, while a medium-sized baked sweet potato (114 g) contains 541 mg of potassium (31, 32).

Fortunately, some foods high in potassium, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, can be soaked or leached to reduce their potassium content.

Chopping the potatoes into small, thin pieces and boiling them for at least 10 minutes can reduce the potassium content by approximately 50% (33).

Potatoes that are soaked in a large pot of water for at least four hours before cooking have an even lower potassium content than those that are not soaked before cooking (34).

This method is known as "potassium leaching" or the "double cooking method".

Although double-boiled potatoes reduce the potassium content, it is important to remember that their potassium content is not eliminated with this method.

Considerable amounts of potassium can still be present in cooked potatoes twice, so it is best to practice portion control to keep potassium levels under control.

Summary Potatoes and sweet potatoes are vegetables with high potassium content. Boiled or double-boiled potatoes can decrease potassium by approximately 50%.

13. tomatoes

Tomatoes are another potassium-rich fruit that may not fit the guidelines of a kidney diet.

They can be served raw or stewed and are often used to make sauces.

Only one cup of tomato sauce can contain more than 900 mg of potassium (35).

Unfortunately for those with a renal diet, tomatoes are commonly used in many dishes.

The choice of an alternative with lower potassium content depends to a large extent on taste preference. However, changing the tomato sauce for a roasted red pepper sauce can be equally delicious, while providing less potassium per serving.

Summary Tomatoes are another potassium-rich fruit that should probably be limited in a kidney diet.

14. Packaged, instant and prepared meals

Processed foods can be an important component of sodium in the diet.

Among these foods, packaged, instant and pre-made foods are usually the most processed and, therefore, contain the most sodium.

Examples include frozen pizza, microwave meals and instant noodles.

Maintaining sodium intake at 2,000 mg per day can be difficult if you consume highly processed foods on a regular basis.

Highly processed foods not only contain a large amount of sodium, but also often lack nutrients (36).

Summary Packaged, instant, and prepared foods are highly processed products that can contain very large amounts of sodium and lack nutrients. It is best to limit these foods in a renal diet.

15. swiss chard, spinach and greens

Chard, spinach and beet greens are green leafy vegetables that contain high amounts of various nutrients and minerals, including potassium.

When raw is served, the amount of potassium varies between 140-290 mg per cup (37, 38, 39).

While green leafy vegetables are reduced to a smaller serving size when cooked, the potassium content remains the same.

For example, half a cup of raw spinach will be reduced to approximately 1 tbsp when cooking. Therefore, eating half a cup of cooked spinach will contain a much higher amount of potassium than half a cup of raw spinach.

Moderate consumption of raw Swiss chard, spinach and beet greens is preferable to cooked vegetables to avoid excess potassium.

Summary Green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard, spinach and beet are full of potassium, especially when served cooked. Although the serving size becomes smaller when cooked, the potassium content remains the same.

16. Dates, raisins and plums.

Dates, raisins and prunes are common dried fruits.

When fruits are dried, all their nutrients are concentrated, including potassium.

For example, a cup of prunes provides 1,274 mg of potassium, which is almost five times the amount of potassium found in a cup of its raw counterpart, plums (40, 41).

In addition, only four dates provide 668 mg of potassium (42).

Given the large amount of potassium found in these common dried fruits, it is best to do without a renal diet to ensure that potassium levels remain favorable.

Summary The nutrients are concentrated when the fruits are dried. Therefore, the potassium content of dried fruits, including dates, prunes and raisins, is extremely high and should be avoided in a renal diet.

17. Pretzels, chips and cookies

Ready-to-eat snacks, such as pretzels, potato chips, and crackers, are often lacking in nutrients and relatively high in salt.

In addition, it is easy to eat more than the recommended serving size of these foods, which often leads to an even higher salt intake than anticipated.

Also, if the potatoes are made of potatoes, they will also contain a significant amount of potassium.

Summary Pretzels, chips and cookies are easily consumed in large portions and tend to contain high amounts of salt. In addition, chips made from potatoes provide a considerable amount of potassium.

The bottom line

If you have kidney disease, reducing your intake of potassium, phosphorus and sodium can be an important aspect of controlling the disease.

The foods high in sodium, high in potassium and high in phosphorus that are mentioned above are probably limited or avoided.

Dietary restrictions and recommendations for nutrient intake will vary according to the severity of your kidney damage.

Following a renal diet can seem daunting and a bit restrictive at times. However, working with your health care provider and a kidney dietitian can help you design a specific kidney diet for your individual needs.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-to-avoid-with-kidney-disease


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