Eat This Not That Kidney Health Edition

Eat This Not That Kidney Health Edition

If you’re among the nearly 10% of men and women in the United States who’ve had a kidney stone, you need to do all you can to keep your kidneys healthy to reduce your chance of a recurrence. You need to make many dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes to keep your kidneys healthy and also increase the health of other organs, including your heart.

Whether you’re concerned about your kidneys because of a personal or family history of kidney stones or kidney cancer, you can manage your risk by making healthy choices at meals. The exact type of restrictions you require depends on the type of stones you’re prone to make, which is why a urologist should evaluate you.

Alex Lesani, MD, is an expert urologist who specializes in kidney health. At our offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, he helps you find the lifestyle adjustments and diet you need to help keep your kidneys stone- and cancer-free.

Would you like to optimize your kidneys? By eating this, but not that, you take an important step toward kidney and overall health.

Fresh food, not fast food

Grab an organic apple, peach, or small cup of plain yogurt if you’ve got the munchies, but avoid those drive-through windows with sodium- and fat-laden burgers and fries. Plan your trips to the grocery store so that you can stock up on a week’s supply of nutritious snacks for home and on the go.

Arugula, not kale

When you have or want to avoid a chronic disease, sometimes foods that are normally classified as healthy aren’t good for you at all. Depending on the type of kidney stones you’re prone to develop, you may need to avoid foods that are high in oxalates, such as:

You can temper the oxalates by cooking, soaking, or sprouting high-oxalate foods. Or, eat them along with yogurt or other high-calcium choices. Or, use alternatives that are low in oxalates, such as:

Try to get at least 1000 mg of calcium daily and keep oxalates below 100 mg. Eat oxalates at the same time you consume calcium so that these two minerals bind in the digestive tract and not in the kidneys, where they can cause stones.

Grilled, not deep fried

Keep portions of meats, fish, and poultry on the smaller side. Opt for pastured, grass-fed, and wild-caught versions to capitalize on nutrients and good fats without the inflammatory effects of factory-raised meats.

How you prepare your foods (or eat them) is as important as what you eat. Fried foods are pro-inflammatory and may negatively affect the health of your blood vessels. Heart-healthy foods also keep your kidneys healthy.

Macadamia nuts, not peanuts

Peanuts are a type of legume (i.e., bean) and are high in oxalates and other minerals that may cause kidney stones. Many nuts and seeds that otherwise are healthy aren’t good choices if you’re concerned about kidney health. Avoid:

Opt for nuts and seeds that are lower in phosphorus and potassium, such as:

Just as eating whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice is healthier, whole nuts and seeds are a better choice than seed and nut butters. The act of chewing helps your body break down foods and absorb nutrients.

Water, not alcohol

It’s important to keep your kidneys well hydrated so that they can excrete toxins and minerals. When you don’t drink enough water or eat enough high-moisture fruits and vegetables, the minerals from foods concentrate in your kidneys and form painful stones. Some good choices for healthy drinking include:

Avoid alcohol to keep your kidneys, brain, and other organs safe. Fruit juices are too high in sugar; opt for the whole fruit instead, which is also full of water.

Spices, not salt

Avoiding packaged and fast foods go a long way to keeping your sodium levels safe. 

However, you may also trade off salting your food by looking for more flavorful options. Try spices such as cinnamon and herbs such as cilantro, cumin, or dill.

Are you concerned about your kidney health? If you have kidney stones, find out how the type of stone affects your dietary choices by calling our team today at 702-470-2579. You can also book your appointment online for kidney stone evaluation or treatment.

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