Renal Diet Foods: Improve Kidney Health & Kidney Function with the right NUTRITION
Episode 64: Renal Diet Foods: Improve Kidney Health & Kidney Function with the right nutrition. When it comes to living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), there are few things as important as nutrition. Through the power of nutrition, most kidney disease patients can have a positive impact on their lives.
Easily one of the most confusing and challenging things to figure out as a kidney disease patient is nutrition. Most of use think of nutrition as another word for diet – and diet usually means doing without. People go on diets every day, cutting out carbs, cutting out calories, cutting out snacks. It all sounds so negative, no wonder people hate to hear the word diet.
To me, as a kidney disease patient, diet does not mean doing without – it means BALANCE. It is nutritional balance. You see, our bodies have nutritional needs and we need to make sure we make choices that meet those needs. Cutting out too many foods, or cutting back too much can be dangerous.
And while there are things we should cut, it is much easier and far more effective to look at nutrition as BALANCE. And for me, that was a key part of going from Kidney Failure to Kidney Great!
So what is “nutrition” – it’s everything you consume. From fluids to foods, to supplements. We consume these things so that our body can process them for health and growth. With a diet based on the right nutrition, we can improve our immune system, boost our energy levels, reduce the workload placed on our kidneys, and manage most symptoms of kidney disease. This is known as Nutritional Therapy and it can be life-changing!
As kidney disease patients, our nutritional needs are unique. We not only have to make sure we give our body what it needs, but also not consume too much of key elements. Normally our kidneys could balance out excess sodium, potassium, phosphorus – but that ability is reduced. And the more damage you have to your kidneys, the less they can remove to keep balance. So we have to make choices of renal diet foods to help stay within balance.
And that is really what a renal diet is. Making the right choices to help maintain that balance. And the #1 best way is to work with a Renal Dietitian. Every kidney disease patient, no matter what stage, should be working with a renal dietitian in my opinion. Now I’m not a doctor, I’m just some guy who was diagnosed with Stage 5 kidney failure and told I had no chance of getting better who happened to work with dietitians and improved my overall health and kidney function. I have improved, avoided needing dialysis, and so have others when they have the right diet, or nutritional therapy. And the best path to success will include a dietitian. If you need a dietitian, I highly recommend The Kidney RD – check out their website at www.kidneyrd.com – absolutely amazing people.
Your dietitian will help you know what key nutrients you need, how much, and which renal diet foods will get you those. They will also let you know what nutrients you need to limit and help you in limiting those. They will help you find the perfect balance in everything you consume. I have a free Nutritional Therapy worksheet you can use with your dietitian to help you in collecting this information, which gets updated every time you get new labs – download it at www.dadvicetv.com. You can then track the foods you eat with an app to make sure you hit your daily targets without exceeding anything.
Now we can’t always get everything we need easily from the foods we eat, and this is where supplements can be helpful. Your dietitian will help you find the right supplements. For example, most kidney disease patients probably should be taking a renal multivitamin. You can’t take a traditional off the shelf one – they contain things which are not good for your kidneys. You will want to look for one designed for kidney disease patients. I take ProRenal+D – designed for kidney disease patients, recommended by Nephrologist, Renal Dietitians, and all the major dialysis centers. A Renal multivitamin will help ensure you get those critical nutrients kidney disease patients often have difficulty finding in food.
IMPORTANT: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Patients should always be under the care of a physician and defer to their physician for any and all treatment decisions. This video is not meant to replace a physician's advice, supervision, and counsel. No information in the video should be construed as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made by the patient and a qualified physician. This video is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE.
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