5 Foods to avoid if you have kidney disease or diabetes

Individuals managing diabetes or kidney disease must be mindful of their dietary choices. Discover the foods to avoid in these conditions.

5 Foods to avoid if you have kidney disease or diabetes

The kidneys perform vital functions in maintaining overall health, such as filtering blood, eliminating waste, and producing hormones. However, it’s natural for kidney efficiency to decrease with age and other factors. In today’s generation, a healthy individual over 60 may experience a decline in kidney function by 55-60%. Much of this decline can be attributed to diet. Certain foods impose extra strain on the kidneys, requiring them to work harder to maintain health. Over time, this strain can lead to kidney damage and diseases. By steering clear of specific types of food, you can extend the life of your kidneys and mitigate associated health conditions.

5 Foods to avoid if you have kidney disease or diabetes

What’s the rationale behind regulating food intake for individuals with kidney disease or diabetes

Ms. Shilpa Singh, a Clinical Nutritionist from Fatima Hospital in Lucknow, emphasizes the importance of strict dietary precautions for individuals with kidney disease or diabetes. She advises avoiding certain key nutrients like potassium, sodium, and phosphorus, as their intake can exacerbate these conditions. Failure to monitor or control these nutrients can lead to serious complications, even life-threatening ones. Here’s a list of foods to avoid to prevent the accumulation of chemicals, waste products, and excess nutrients in the bloodstream for those with kidney disease or diabetes.

5 Foods to Steer Clear of When Dealing with Kidney Disorders or Diabetes

1. Processed Meat

In general, processed foods are detrimental to health, and processed meats pose even greater risks. Meats treated through methods like drying, curing, salting, or smoking to enhance flavor often contain high sodium levels, which can be particularly hazardous for individuals with kidney disease. A single serving of approximately 85 grams of processed meat can contain up to 1400 mg of sodium, constituting around 65% of the recommended daily sodium intake. Considering that typical servings of processed meats exceed this amount, consumption can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and place additional strain on the kidneys. Moreover, processed meats can contribute to fluid retention, potentially leading to conditions such as edema or heart complications like stroke.

Processed Meat

2. Coloured Sodas

Individuals with diabetes or kidney disease should avoid consuming colored sodas. These sodas contain added phosphorus, which is used as a preservative to extend their shelf life. However, the phosphorus found in colored sodas is not naturally occurring and can heighten the risk of complications. When consumed, this phosphorus is absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially leading to elevated blood pressure and severe kidney issues. Additionally, it may weaken bones and contribute to heart disease. Furthermore, colored sodas are often laden with high levels of added sweeteners, which pose additional health risks.

3. Fruits Rich in Potassium

While fruits are generally beneficial for health, they can pose risks for individuals with kidney disease or diabetes. Excessive intake of potassium, beyond the levels recommended by doctors, can be harmful. Elevated potassium levels may lead to symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, and heart complications, and in severe cases, it can even result in death. Fruits containing high levels of potassium, such as bananas, oranges, avocados, apricots, and kiwi, should be consumed cautiously to avoid complications.

Fruits Rich in Potassium

4. Legumes: Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are often praised for their convenience and nutritional value, but they may not be suitable for individuals with kidney issues. Lentils, in particular, are high in phosphorus, with a serving containing around 633mg to 309mg of phosphorus. For those managing diabetes or kidney diseases, it’s advisable to consume lentils sparingly and to choose specific types carefully to maintain a balanced diet. Additionally, it’s crucial to note that a significant portion, about 40-50%, of phosphorus in our diets comes from plant sources, whereas around 70% comes from animal sources. Therefore, consuming excessive phosphorus from plant-based foods can potentially lead to severe kidney damage or exacerbate existing kidney conditions.

5. Processed Foods and Instant Meals

Packaged foods, instant meals, and fast food typically contain processed ingredients, which are high in sodium. Individuals with kidney diseases and diabetes need to exercise extra caution due to their sodium restrictions. It is recommended that they consume only a quarter of the sodium intake compared to what is recommended for a healthy person. Fast food and instant meals also often contain refined carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Examples include pizza, frozen boxed meals, and microwave-heated meals.