According to a report, one out of every ten adults in India has kidney disease in India. While there are several factors that contribute to it, diet is one of the most significant ones. Therefore, it is important that we all stay mindful about the food that we consume on a regular basis.
Given the prevalence of kidney disease in India and the impact of diet on its development, it is important to be mindful of the food we consume on a regular basis. In today’s article, we will explore:
- Indian foods beneficial for kidney health
- Indian foods harmful for kidney health
- Importance of hydration
Foods to eat for Kidney Health
While planning a diet for good kidney health, one must always consider food that is low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. Such food can improve the health of your kidney and prevent further complications. Examples of such food include:
- Whole grains
Whole grain such as brown rice, whole wheat, and oats are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins. They are also known to have low sodium and phosphorus content which promotes kidney health.
- Fruits and vegetables
Fruits such as apples, carrots, and cucumbers are packed with antioxidants and vitamins. These substances positively impact the health of the kidney. Additionally, green leafy vegetables are also known to reduce the risk of getting kidney-related diseases.
- Low-fat dairy products
Products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of calcium and protein. They also have low phosphorus concentration, making them a good choice for patients with kidney disease.
- Lean protein sources
Food such as fishes, eggs, and poultry are considered lean protein sources as they are low in the potassium and phosphorus content. They reduce the burden on the functioning of kidneys, making it easier for them to function well.
Legumes including the lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans are excellent sources of protein and fiber. Making them a good source of food for patients with kidney diseases.
- Other Indian foods:
Some specific Indian cuisines that contribute positively to kidney health include:
- Daal (lentil soup): It has low sodium and high-protein content. As a staple food in India, it can be found in almost all the Indian households.
- Sabzi (vegetable stir-fry): It is full of fresh green leafy vegetables and spices that contain antioxidant properties.
- Raita (yogurt dip): It can be used as an alternative to high-fat products and spreads.
Foods to Avoid for Kidney Health
When it comes to taking care of one’s health, knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing what to include. Some common food that patients with kidney related diseases must limit or avoid completely include:
- Processed and packaged foods:
Processed and packaged food are often high in sodium because they help increase the shelf life of the products. However, consuming too much processed and packaged foods can lead to an unhealthy kidney and other health problems.
- Fried and fatty foods
Food such as potato chips, samosa, pakoras, and fried chicken have a greater amount of saturated and trans fat. It can put a lot of pressure on the kidneys and damage them in the long-term.
- Sugary foods and beverages
Beverages such as candy, soda, sweetened coffee drinks, and sweets result in high blood sugar levels which can put strain on the kidneys and make it difficult for them to work well.
- Red meat
Beef, pork, and lamb are considered as food with high protein which puts additional pressure in the kidneys. Moreover, eating too much red meat can also contribute to heart disease and other health problems.
- Other Indian foods
There are several Indian cuisines that can contribute negatively to the health of kidney including:
- Pickles and papads which are high in sodium
- Mutton and beef that have high protein levels
- Sugary beverages
- Fried and fatty food
Hydration for Kidney Health
Hydration is crucial for our kidney’s health because it helps the kidneys to filter waste and excess fluid from the body. Moreover, Inadequate hydration can put a strain on the kidneys and increase the risk of kidney damage and disease. Here are some tips to stay hydrated:
- Drink plenty of water
One of the best ways to stay hydrated is drinking plenty of water. It is recommended that people aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. The amount must be higher if you are physically active or live in a hot climate.
- Choose low-sugar beverages
Consumption of high amounts of sugary beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks puts strain on the kidney. It also contributes to other health problems. You can instead opt for low-sugar beverages such as coconut water, unsweetened tea, and lemon water.
- Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol is a dehydrating agent that reduces the amount of fluid in our body. Unsurprisingly, this makes it difficult for our kidneys to filter well. It is recommended to limit the alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Include hydrating foods in your diet
There are several fruits and vegetables that are high in water content including watermelon, cucumber, and oranges. Increasing the consumption of such food helps us to stay hydrated.
- Other Indian beverages:
There are several Indian beverages that can help us stay hydrated. Some of them include:
- Coconut water: It is a popular Indian drink that is high in potassium and electrolytes
- Lassi (a yogurt-based drink): It is another great option because it is low in sodium and high in probiotics.
- Aam panna: It is a drink made from raw mangoes, is also high in potassium and can help prevent dehydration.
Needless to say, the kidney is one of the most essential organs of our body that needs to be treated with utmost care. It is not merely meant to filter out the toxins from our body but maintain the level of important electrolytes too. One of the best ways to promote the health of your kidney is by having a balanced diet and avoiding food with excess sodium and fat.
Frequently asked questions
- Is it okay to eat meat on a kidney-friendly diet?
Yes, it is okay to eat meat in a kidney-friendly diet. However, you must only choose lean proteins such as eggs, fish and poultry.
- What food should I avoid to prevent kidney disease?
You must avoid food such as processed & packaged foods, fried foods, sugary foods, beverages, and red meat.
- What is the best food for kidney disease?
Best food for kidney disease includes fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and plant-based proteins, such as beans and lentils.