Fish for CKD patients

Friend or Foe? 

Fish is a low – fat outstanding quality protein 

Fish is a main diet in many parts of the globe. The majority of kidney diseases are increasing all over the world. So, I  often think, “Is fish good or bad for kidney disease?” Rather than  straight good or bad, I will give a more subtle but valuable answer. The answer below is primarily relevant for people with chronic kidney disease(CKD).

How can fish be of benefit in kidney disease?

Fish that are full  of omega-3 fatty acids are an essential addition to any diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the body but the body can not synthesize these on its own. Accordingly, these have to be eaten through our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease  the levels of triglyceride (fat) in the blood. Fish are one of the abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

There is always an elevated risk of developing kidney diseases in a person undergoing hypertension (high BP). The fat reducing property of omega-3 fatty acids make fish highly beneficial for people having high BP. Eating natural and nutritious food like fatty fish might also help guard the kidneys. 

Which fish is good for kidney disease?

  • Salmon (Raavas)

Salmon has considerable high  amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and is a rich source of protein and vitamin – D. It also has very less  levels of saturated fat. All these characteristics make it a suitable choice for a person suffering from kidney disease. 

  • Tuna (Chura)

Tuna is one of the bigger fishes which is regarded as a good source of lean protein. It has limited calories and is low in fat, making it a kidney-friendly food. 

Canned tuna, on the other hand, should be consumed in moderation because that may include high amounts of sodium which is not good for a kidney patient.

  • Tilapia

Tilapia is a fish that includes lean protein, vitamins, and minerals. In comparison to other fishes like salmon, the omega-3 content is limited in tilapia, and the omega-6 levels are elevated which could result in inflammation in your body. Hence, tilapia should rather be consumed in moderation. 

  • Cod (Gobro)

Cod is another fish that is abundant in protein, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. The only thing to keep in mind with this fish is the existence of mercury.  Consumption of mercury is dangerous to the body as it is toxic to the brain. Still, cod is often  considered safe to eat in restricted amounts. 

It is vital to keep in mind that the fish that eat other fish in the ocean such as king mackerel or swordfish have increased amounts of mercury in them and so it is better to eat them in limited amounts.

Which Types of Fish Protect the Kidneys?

 It’s doubtful whether it’s the fish oil or the type of protein in fish that safeguards the kidneys. And the study makes no difference between eating fried vs. unfried fish or warm-water vs. cold-water fish like mackerel and salmon. The study just shows that eating more of it has a protective impact on kidney function in those with diabetes.

Is fish oil good for kidney disease?

  1. Fish oils are a huge source of omega-3 fatty acids. There are two distinct kinds of omega-3 fatty acids. One is known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and the next  one is called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). 
  2. Earlier studies have suggested a positive result of fish oil in kidney patients.  Still, a lot more trials and long-term follow-ups are required to come to a definitive decision. 
  3. Fish oil is also used to deal with patients suffering from a kidney disease known as IgA nephropathy. The kidney health of the people undergoing this condition may get worse as time progresses. 

Therefore, the consumption of fish oil is preferred in patients undergoing IgA nephropathy. It is believed that the omega-3 fatty acid content in the fish oil boosts the kidney in fighting off the inflammation and slows down the growth of this disease.

Taking fish oil supplements is beneficial for people who require to increase their intake of EPA and DHA.

Is fish good for dialysis patients?

  1. Fish is a reasonable choice of food for dialysis patients. For people undergoing  dialysis, a diet including high protein is suggested because the process of dialysis eliminates the essential amino acids along with the built-up toxic materials.
  2. A sufficient protein intake is vital for all people because proteins are the major building blocks of our body that also carry out a lot of different functions. People undergoing chronic kidney disease should also maintain an adequate dietary intake of protein to prevent problems like weakness and a decrease in immunity.
  3. A high protein diet can contain foods like chicken, eggs, pork, etc. which also include saturated fat. These are not acceptable for people with heart diseases. For a person with high LDL levels or a person undergoing cardiovascular diseases, a diet including lean protein like salmon and tuna is a better selection.

Refined meats and fish should be avoided or limited because they contain increased amounts of phosphorus and sodium which are excreted by the kidneys. This puts an additional workload on the kidneys.

Fact about fish 

Fish have been on the planet since way before dinosaurs. They are Earth’s oldest residents calling it home for more than 450 million years.

Conclusion

A large part of our body is built of proteins like the immune cells, muscles, hair, nails, etc. Therefore, protein is a crucial part of every diet and fish are an outstanding source of lean protein.

Eating fish while undergoing kidney diseases is commonly not a problem. But particular dietary modifications can be made for each person according to their specific condition. In some cases, patients may be recommended to lower their protein intake and so personalized diet charts are very important for people suffering from kidney disease.