A healthy diet is one of the most powerful ways aging can help support healthy kidney function. Proper nutrition is especially critical for those managing chronic kidney disease, which occurs when the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood like they should.
Follow these diet tips to help support overall kidney health:
Choose Fresh Over Frozen
Microwave dinners may be convenient, but they’re also high in sodium. Too much salt can lead to fluid retention and increased blood pressure, which can damage the kidneys.
Instead of frozen meals, choose fresh ingredients you can cook from scratch. Substitute spices, herbs, and sodium-free seasonings in place of salt. If ready-to-go meal kits with fresh ingredients are on your shopping list, replace the separately packaged seasoning with a sodium-free alternative.
Check the Sodium Content on the Label
Adults should limit sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day, according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Before buying canned or boxed food at the store, check the nutrition label. Look for the daily value (DV) of sodium content. As a rule of thumb, 20% or more indicates high sodium, whereas 5% or less indicates low sodium. If the sodium content is too high, check for a lower sodium alternative. For instance, if a can of black beans is too high in sodium, look for other options labeled as “no salt added” or “low sodium.”
Choose Your Protein Wisely
When our bodies use protein, they produce waste that is removed by our kidneys. Eating too much protein can make your kidneys work overtime. The American Heart Association advises eating 5.5 ounces of protein per day. To give you an idea of what this looks like, 3 ounces of cooked lean meat or poultry is roughly the same size as the palm of your hand. Protein can come from both plants and animals, such as chicken, fish, eggs, peanut butter, nuts, or beans. Talk to a dietician to determine what is right for you or your loved one’s individual needs.
Kidney Care Support
Aging adults with chronic or acute kidney conditions need access to immediate and consistent care to avoid serious complications. As a leader in quality outcomes, Miami Jewish Health offers an on-campus Kidney Care dialysis center in partnership with DaVita.
At the center, Miami Jewish Health residents can be treated within a couple of hours, as opposed to being transferred to an offsite dialysis center. The center also serves members of the local community.
By taking proactive steps to prioritize kidney health, you can help support your own well-being or the well-being of someone you love.