Kidney Health Week 2022

Studies show that eating whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables is one of the most important ways to keep kidneys healthy and improve your overall health. 

Plant-based Diets and Kidney Health

According to a 2018 study¹ in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, a plant-based diet is not only safe, but may help those suffering with chronic kidney diease (CKD). 

The authors report that "patients with CKD who obtain food from plant sources may actually demonstrate improvement in several of the complications of CKD like hypertension, metabolic acidosis, and hyperphosphatemia". 

Not only do varied plant-based diets deliver a great source of animo acids (the building blocks for protein), but are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytochemicals that improve our overall health.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” plant-based diet for everyone. Kidney patients have special dietary needs depending on how much kidney function you have, and whether you suffer from any other health conditions - such as diabetes or heart disease. So its important to talk with your health professional or an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to learn more about what you can and cannot eat.

What is CKD?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive syndrome in which the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood, concentrate urine, excrete wastes, and maintain electrolyte balance.

What causes CKD?

Hypertension (or chronic high blood pressure) and diabetes are the two most common conttributors factors developing CKD. 

Risk factors also include: excessive alcohol use, smoking, obesity, and atherosclerosis. 

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider, such as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian, before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or specific dietary requirements. Nutritional needs can vary greatly from person to person, and individual health circumstances may require personalised dietary recommendations.

¹ Joshi S, Shah S, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Adequacy of plant-based proteins in chronic kidney disease. J Ren Nutr. Published online August 16, 2018.