Being diagnosed with kidney disease comes with a lot of unexpected challenges.
From booking dialysis appointments to dealing with unpleasant symptoms, one of the biggest surprises is how your diet affects your body. Your diet is how your body regulates its levels of electrolytes, minerals, and fluids.
If you’re currently on dialysis, you need to limit the waste that’s building up in your body. This means you should avoid certain problem foods. The first step to customizing a food plan that’s right for you body is to speak with a dialysis specialist. You can talk to your local doctor if you’re at home, or book a treatment online booknowmed.com if you’re on the go. All doctors can agree on avoiding these 5 foods if you have kidney disease.
1. Dark sodas
The good news is you don’t have to say goodbye to sodas and your favorite beverages altogether. We can all agree cola isn’t great for your body, but when enjoyed in moderation, it’s perfectly fine. But the same isn’t true for dark-colored sodas.
What’s the difference? Dark-colored sodas have a lot of added phosphorus that enhances the flavor and prevents the color from changing on the shelf. This phosphorus is found in the form of salt, and it’s highly absorbable to your body, and it should be avoided if you have kidney disease.
2. Canned foods
Canned foods are a quintessential pantry staple. They last seemingly forever, and they’re much more affordable than fresh fruits, veggies, soups, and beans. Yet, these canned foods are packed full of high amounts of sodium.
This sodium (extra salt) is added as a preservative to increase shelf life. If you must purchase canned foods, make sure to look for the “low sodium” or “no added salt” option or drain the canned food before cooking.
3. Whole-wheat bread
Whole-wheat bread is good for you, right? When it comes to living with kidney disease, it’s better to stick with white bread. While it’s true that whole-wheat bread has a higher fiber content, it’s also high in phosphorus and potassium, so you’re safer choosing a low-sodium alternative. Just note that white bread can be high in sodium too if you’re not careful, so keep an eye on those nutrition labels.
Dairy can be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, as well as protein. Yet, at the same time, they’re also full of potassium and phosphorus, something that can have a negative effect on your body’s bone health if you have kidney disease.
Consuming too much dairy can lead to a buildup of phosphorus in the blood, actually weakening your bones over time. The good news is there are so many dairy alternatives today like almond and rice milks which are just as delicious.
5. Processed meats
Finally, you should steer clear of processed meats. Not only are processed meats bad for your overall health, but they’re prime with preservatives. Any meats that have been dried, salted, cured, or canned should be avoided. This includes things like bacon, jerky, sausage, and hot dogs since they’re full of so much salt.
Protecting your diet
Adapting to your new diet when you have kidney disease can be intimidating. There are so many new things to learn about that the grocery store can become a confusing place. While your diet might feel restricted at times, it’s essential to helping you lead a healthy, happy life.
Instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, consider this as an opportunity to explore new foods. There are so many healthy alternatives to the off-limit foods above that you’ll never feel like you’re missing out.