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Your Plan for Eating Kidney-Friendly – Kidney Clinic of North Florida PLLC

Eating a kidney-friendly diet is essential for supporting healthy kidney function. Although many options exist for a balanced kidney-friendly diet, understanding how to get started can sometimes be overwhelming. These are a few ways you can get started on a diet that benefits your overall health and keeps the kidneys functioning properly.

1. Cut Back on Salt

Salt (sodium) is a mineral found in almost all foods and some sodium is needed to help your body function properly. However, too much salt can increase fluid retention, blood pressure, and kidney stress. It’s best to avoid adding extra salt when cooking and serving food. Choosing fresh food instead of canned or packaged options is the best way to avoid too much sodium in your diet.

Additionally, prepare more meals at home, so you can control what type of ingredients you consume. If eating out, ask for dishes with no added salt and choose healthier seasonings like herbs or spices to add flavor.

2. Balance Potassium

Potassium is high in many foods, such as avocados, beans, oranges, and bananas – usually staples of a healthy diet. Like sodium, a certain amount of potassium is needed for your body to function and it has an important role in muscle building and repair. Too much or too little potassium is a common sign of kidney disease. Imbalanced potassium levels can also cause muscle cramping, irregularities in your heartbeat, and muscle weakness.

3. Limit Phosphorus

Another tip for creating a kidney-friendly eating plan is limiting phosphorus intake. Found in whole-grain bread, bran cereals, nuts, and dark colas, phosphorus should be eaten in moderation when dealing with renal issues. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, phosphorus can build up in your blood and weaken the bones. Alternative food sources that are low in phosphorous are Italian or sourdough bread, corn cereals, and light-colored soda or lemonade.

4. Limit Fluid Intake

Damaged kidneys cannot flush extra water and fluids from the body as well as they should. Excess fluid in the body can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure, and swelling in the limbs. Not only should you limit drinks, but also watery foods like soup, ice cream, gelatin, fruits, and vegetables. Limiting your sodium intake, chewing gum, and rinsing your mouth with water and then spitting it out can help you feel less thirsty.

5. Limit Portion Sizes

It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to signal to the brain that you are full. To avoid overeating, eat slowly and stop eating when you start feeling full. Check the serving sizes on nutrition levels and consult with your doctor or a dietitian about serving sizes for foods without labels like fruits and vegetables. You can also try to avoid eating or set aside a portion while doing something else like watching TV. It’s easy to eat too much when you are distracted and not paying attention to how much you are consuming.

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Following these tips, you can create an individualized plan for your kidney-friendly diet that works best with your lifestyle and health needs. Eating a balanced diet is essential to living a healthy life and supporting the kidneys! With a little creativity and planning, anyone can create delicious meals that are both nutritious and kidney-friendly.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaurav Tandon at Kidney Clinic of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL, for more individualized help with creating a kidney-friendly diet plan. Dr. Tandon is an expert in developing, managing, and treating all kidney-related diseases and he will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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