The kidneys are the body’s filters. Any damage done to these natural filters can lead to the accumulation of toxic substances in the body. This can further adversely affect human health. Therefore, it is important to consider the food we eat and the drinks we consume.
Excess consumption of certain foods is harmful to the kidneys. Moreover, eating processed foods can put additional pressure on the kidneys, damage the kidney cells, and interfere with their overall functioning.
This article lists the most harmful foods for the kidneys that may lead to kidney disease.
Harmful Foods For The Kidneys
Here is the list of foods you need to avoid to safeguard your health:
High Sodium Intake
A diet high in sodium over a long period of time causes the kidneys and their cells to enlarge.
It also leads to fibrosis of the kidneys, which causes hardening of the kidneys, and loss of kidney function, which ultimately contributes to the development of kidney failure.
Excess sodium intake reduces the ability of the kidneys to filter waste products. In addition, foods high in sodium can blunt the effects of medications that reduce symptoms of hypertension. This leads to high blood pressure, which further damages the kidneys.
Studies have shown that sodium restriction plays a huge role in preventing kidney damage. Foods high in sodium include:
- Canned meat
- Frozen food
- Canned beans
- Packaged food
- Salad dressing
- Ready-to-eat products
- Processed foods
Alcohol and Drugs
Chronic alcohol and drugs use can lead to impaired kidney function. Alcohol directly affects the kidneys, interrupting the function of this organ. Drinking alcohol can also lead to the removal of essential ions and electrolytes from the body. It happens because alcohol damages the kidneys, reducing their ability to reabsorb important ions and electrolytes.
An important function of the kidneys is to maintain the homeostasis of the body. Drinking alcohol can cause imbalance and disrupt homeostasis. Disturbed homeostasis affects the functions and reactions of the body. People with diabetes and hypertension have a much higher risk of kidney disease. By drinking alcohol, they are subject to the more rapid development of kidney dysfunction.
Therefore, to live a healthier life, get help to quit alcohol addiction. Many people search about how to safely detox from drugs at home to recover from the harm of substance abuse. Though it may be tempting to cure yourself at home, it is not safe at all. So always consult a doctor and detox under the supervision of a medical expert.
Drinks Containing Sugar
Drinking beverages high in sugar increases the risk of obesity. All we get from sugar is calories and no nutrients. One study found that drinking 2 or more sugary soft drinks a day leads to a rapid decline in kidney function.
Sugar reduces the glomerular filtration rate, which is an important indicator of kidney function. In this regard, the ability of the kidneys to remove unnecessary substances from the body decreases. In addition, carbonated drinks are also associated with the formation of kidney stones.
Phosphoric acid is added to such drinks, which causes changes in the urine that contribute to the formation of kidney stones. So it’s best to limit your intake of sodas and diet colas. You should replace white or refined sugar with low glycemic organic honey or organic coconut sugar.
Foods High In Protein
Eating red meat daily for years can increase your risk of developing chronic kidney disease, a study found. While consumption of white or lean meats and dairy proteins has no such effect, plant-based proteins may be protective for the kidneys.
Foods high in protein can add stress to the kidneys as they need to work harder to clear protein metabolites from the body. A large number of calories from protein foods can lead to kidney damage and an increase in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). And this, in turn, will lead to the removal of important nutrients needed by the body.
Therefore, it is best to eat a combination of lean meat protein, dairy, and vegetable proteins. Animal proteins can damage the kidneys, increasing their workload. Healthy protein is found in foods such as
- Legumes and legumes
- Low-fat milk and dairy products
- Chicken and turkey
- Fish and shellfish
- Nuts and oilseeds
Eating A Lot Of Fatty Foods
It is well known that eating unhealthy fatty foods affects the functioning of the heart, in addition, this fat can damage the kidneys. Studies revealed that hyperlipidemia is associated with progressive renal failure. So, dietary fats affect the structure and function of the kidneys.
The glomerulus is the part of the kidney that filters the blood to form urine. Eating foods rich in saturated fat reduces the number and size of glomeruli. This prevents blood filtration, which leads to the accumulation of toxic substances in it. It can be life-threatening.
In addition, a high intake of saturated fat causes albuminuria, which is an excess of protein in the urine. A healthy kidney does not pass proteins from the blood into the urine. But the damage to the kidneys by saturated fat leads to the loss of proteins in the urine. Sources of saturated proteins are:
- Processed meat
- Palm oil
- Whole milk
- Cakes, pastries, and other bakery products
It is worth consuming foods such as milk, butter, and creams in moderation. You should discard the products listed above or at least reduce their consumption.
Physical activity affects the health of all internal organs. Kidney damage and dysfunction are directly related to low physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle. While physical activity promotes favorable kidney function and less damage. Studies have also shown that sitting for more than 30 minutes negatively affects kidney function.
The development of endothelial dysfunction is also associated with a sedentary lifestyle. This disease reduces the density of capillaries due to which the kidneys do not receive oxygen and blood rich in nutrients.
In addition, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia. All of these health conditions have a direct negative impact on kidney function.
Now you know which foods and habits to avoid for your kidneys to function properly.