If you have been diagnosed with early stage kidney failure it is best to stay on a special diet that would help slow down the loss of kidney function. This special diet will consist of more starches and sweets to help you maintain weight and protect muscle tissue.
Although more fats and carbohydrates seem to look like an “unhealthy diet,” it will protect you from malnutrition when you’re at the initial stage of kidney failure. Following a special diet will also help control waste products in the blood during the later stages of kidney failure. A renal dietician recommended by your nephrologist can help you draw meal plans.
Protein, phosphorus and sodium intake need to be monitored and controlled at the early stage of the disease.
Large amounts of protein is found in poultry, meat, seafood, eggs, milk and cheese while smaller amounts are found in plant sources like cereals, breads, grains, fruits and vegetables.
Protein is a vital component in muscle building and repairing tissues. Unused protein becomes waste called “urea,” which an impaired kidney will have difficulty of eliminating. A build up of urea is toxic to the body which is why the protein intake of those in the first stage of kidney disease should be closely monitored.
Meanwhile, there is also a need to keep track of the phosphorus level in your blood since an impaired kidney has difficulties in cleansing high levels of phosphorus. A high level of phosphorus leads to calcium loss from the bones, making them weak and brittle. The right renal diet keeps track of your phosphorus intake.
The following foods have high phosphorus content: cocoa, beer and pop, nuts and peanut butter, milk, yogurt, yogurt, ice cream and pudding, dried beans and peas and lentils. To lower phosphorus intake it is recommended that you use milk substitutes and non-dairy creamers.
It is common knowledge that too much sodium or salt is bad for the health. This is the reason that even in preserving foods, salting is less likely to be recommended compared to drying or freezing. Too much consumption of sodium causes high blood pressure and kidney diseases. To stay on track avoid the consumption of the following: canned goods, fast foods, table salts, chips, soups and processed cheese, pickles, smoked and cured foods like spam, luncheon meat, ham and the all time breakfast favorite – bacon.
A low-protein diet means that higher calorie consumption is needed to maintain energy. A renal dietician may recommend the following: increased saturated fats such as olive oil and mayonnaise type salad dressings, sugar or sweets like jam or jelly, honey, marshmallows, jelly beans, gum drops, canned fruits and frozen fruits. Those who are diabetic or obese should consult with their dietician.
Altering your diet may be difficult but it is essential in slowing down the loss of kidney functions. It will also be beneficial in the later stages of the disease.*