Foods That Could Harm Your Kidneys

by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  March 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM Health In Focus
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We are often conscious of eating a diet that is healthy for the heart or to prevent obesity. However, we rarely think of controlling our diet for the benefit of our kidneys! Our kidneys work untiringly to filter liters and liters of blood in order to eliminate unwanted toxins from the body in urine.
Foods That Could Harm Your Kidneys
Foods That Could Harm Your Kidneys

One of the simple ways where you could maintain good health of your kidneys is by restricting intake of certain foods. Here are some foods that could be bad for your kidneys and should be taken in moderation, especially if you already suffer from some form of kidney disease:

Salt: Though salt is an essential part of all diets and is a basic necessity to make food palatable, it is necessary to avoid excessive intake. Excessive salt raises blood pressure, which could lead to kidney damage in due course. Besides, hypertension can also affect the heart. The best way to avoid excessive salt intake is to get rid of the salt shaker from your dining table. Pickles and canned foods have high salt content; it is therefore advisable to avoid these.

Meats: The kidneys eliminate waste products like urea and creatinine in the urine, which are byproducts of protein metabolism. Meats especially red meats are rich in protein. Therefore, regular intake of high amounts of red meats results in a huge quantity of waste products, which may be too much for the kidneys to handle! Besides, animal proteins including shellfish result in the production of uric acid; excess uric acid can result in kidney stones, thereby damaging the kidneys.

High Phosphate Foods: Foods that are high in phosphates are known to have a damaging effect in the kidneys. Phosphates have a direct effect on blood vessels. Beverages like colas and processed foods like deli meats and frozen foods are particularly notorious in raising phosphate levels in the blood.

Sweets: Though sweets do not directly affect the kidneys, foods that are high is sugar content worsen other health problems like diabetes. Diabetes is a common cause of kidney damage; therefore reduce your sugar intake if you would like your kidneys to remain healthy.

High-oxalate Foods: Oxalates are implicated in the formation of oxalate stones, which could obstruct the flow of urine and damage kidneys. Therefore, if you are prone to developing oxalate stones, it is advisable to avoid foods like nuts, chocolates and spinach. Similarly, foods that make a person prone to other types of stones should also be avoided.

In the later stages of kidney failure, foods rich in potassium like bananas and tomatoes should be avoided.

Source: Medindia

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