There is a lot of conflicting advice on the best diet for preventing and managing kidney disease. Many mainstream doctors advise their kidney patients to avoid a variety of healthy plant foods because of their oxalic acid content, and to eat meat and dairy freely. It frustrates me to see so many people suffering with kidney stones and kidney disease and continuing to get worse because of bad advice, when they could be getting better if only they had the right knowledge. Below I will reveal the diet that will best help prevent and treat kidney disease, as well as four additional tips for healthy kidneys.
Cut Out Animal Products
The most important thing you can do for your kidneys is to vastly reduce or eliminate animal products; doing this alone may cut your risk of kidney stones in half. Animal products are damaging to the kidneys for multiple reasons, the first one being that the fat in animal products clog up the kidneys and alter their structure. The protein in animal products also has a negative effect on kidney function. Animal proteins are toxic, and they increase the risk for inflammation and kidney stones. They also increase the workload of the kidneys, and the adverse effects and increased pressure on the kidneys is seen within hours of eating a carnivorous meal. Plant proteins on the other hand help to lower inflammation, and have no effect on kidney workload or toxicity.
Another reason why animal products are so harmful to the kidneys is because they are acidic and they induce the formation of acid within the kidneys. The kidneys can’t handle all that acidity, and this can lead to tubular toxicity (toxicity of the urine making tubes in the kidneys). Animal products also increase the likelihood of more calcium going through the kidneys and that calcium can lodge into kidney stones. Plant products have the opposite effect. They are relatively neutral or even alkaline, which counteracts acids, and helps halt the progression of kidney disease. Consuming a plant-based diet also leads to urine alkalinity, which helps eliminate uric acid from the body and lowers the risk for kidney stones.
One final study worth mentioning is the one where scientists compared the urine in patients consuming plant-based diets and those consuming animal based diets. They found eating animal products switched on urinary protein excretion (a marker of kidney damage); and eating plant-based diets switched off urinary protein excretion (a marker of kidney health).
Consume a Plant-Based Diet
Plant-based diets have been used to treat kidney disease for decades and they are undoubtedly the best diet for kidney health. The more fruits and vegetables you eat the better – as they tend to have a high water, potassium, fiber and magnesium content; a low sodium content and high urine alkalinization power – all of which support kidney health. I recommend you limit your intake of meat substitutes however (e.g. Quorn burgers, tofu dogs etc), because unlike most other vegan foods, many of these substitutes are acid forming.
What About Oxalates?
Just because vegetables contain oxalates and phytic acid doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to increase kidney stone risk. If anything the opposite may be true. The anti-inflammatory, alkaline inducing, and nutritive effects of a plant-based diet outweigh the negative effects of eating oxalates. Studies show decreasing animal protein and sodium intake has been found more effective in treating calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones than restricting calcium or oxalates. There may be an adjustment period when you first switch to a vegan diet but after a few months the body will start absorbing sufficient minerals and kidney function should strengthen.
Additional Tips for Healthy Kidneys:
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking enough water is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make to prevent and manage kidney disease and kidney stones. Water helps to flush away seeding crystals, to reduce the concentration of calcium, oxalate, and uric acid in your urine; and to lower the likelihood of stone formation. Aim for at least 10 cups daily and monitor your urine – it should be almost clear or pale yellow. If it is dark, and you are not taking vitamin B supplements, you need to drink more water.
Reduce Sodium Intake
A high sodium intake has been shown to increase the amount of protein in the urine which is a major risk factor for the decline of kidney function and development of kidney stones. You should aim to consume less than 2,300 mg a day, which is equivalent to about 1 tsp of salt. Worth noting, most of the sodium in the American diet comes from canned, packaged, and fast foods; condiments, seasonings, and processed meats. This means the best way to reduce your sodium intake is to reduce your intake of processed foods. It also means if you are eating a wholefoods plant-based diet you will not have to worry too much about your sodium intake, unless you are pouring salt on all of your foods.
Take Slim Blend Pro Daily
I highly recommend you add a scoop of Slim Blend Pro to your daily diet. It is a 5-in-1 meal replacement powder formulated with gmo-free, organic, plant based ingredients. It contains over 30 fruits and vegetables, plant proteins, fiber, and digestive enzymes to cleanse your body of toxins, alkalize your urine and help you achieve a healthy body weight – all three of which are important for kidney health.
Obtain a Healthy Body Weight
Studies have shown that being overweight increases your risk of kidney stones; so losing excess body weight should be a part of your kidney support plan. If you struggle with sticking to a diet or exercise plan, get a copy of my LFC audio tracks: Choose to Lose Fat, Eat Natural Foods, and Exercise Regularly and listen to them daily. These hypnosis tracks will reprogram your subconscious mind so you no longer self-sabotage and with continued listening, the struggle to eat healthy foods and stick to your exercise plan will disappear.