Although nutritionists tend to promote a general pattern of a healthy diet among the population, some medical conditions require more attention and a tailored approach to consuming various nutrients. It is necessary as these nutrients potentially contribute to the quality of recovery. A prime example of such a medical condition is kidney disease, which is associated with adherence to a renal or kidney diet. According to the researchers, “A recent meta-analysis provided evidence that healthy dietary patterns are associated with lower mortality in people with chronic kidney disease” (Fernandes et al., 2018, p. 403). Hence, the primary goal of this paper is to dwell on the specifics of renal diet and its contribution to the treatment and management of kidney disease.
The fundamental goal of every diet is to ensure that people consume a balanced amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. However, in some cases, the diets presuppose additional attention to other nutrients that potentially affect one’s health condition. Thus, the concept of renal diet was introduced for people whose excretory system could not properly eliminate waste and fluids from the body. The objective of the renal diet is to ensure that one’s eating patterns do not contain more waste than a person can process and eliminate from the body. Essentially, the renal diet is supposed to be low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium (“Renal diet,” n.d.). By monitoring the intake of these minerals, patients with kidney disease can help “promote kidney function and slow the progression of complete kidney failure” (“Renal diet,” n.d., para. 1). In order to pay close attention to these components’ intake, patients should include a number of products in their diet on a regular basis. These products mainly include no salt added products, fresh produce, fruit and vegetables, lactose-free dairy, white meat, white rice, and white bread.
When adding these foods to the daily diet instead of products rich in potassium, sodium, and phosphorus, patients ease the pressure on their kidneys and excretory system in general. However, there is another part of dietary restrictions for people with kidney disease. People are also encouraged to regulate their fluid and protein intake. In a healthy body, protein plays a significant role in building muscles and producing energy. However, in a body that struggles to eliminate waste and process foods, high protein intake is likely to result in congestion and pressure on the kidneys. According to Kwon et al. (2020), “the 2015–2020 Dietary Guideline for Americans recommends that carbohydrates comprise 45–65% of calories, fat 25–35% of calories, and protein 10–30% of calories” (p. 1-2). Hence, as far as a person with kidney disease is concerned, the protein intake should not exceed the minimally acceptable protein amount. Otherwise, the patients are at risk of waste accumulation in blood and rapid deterioration of health conditions.
Considering all the aforementioned recommendations, it is possible to outline the approximate draft of a day’s nutrition plan for a person on a renal diet. Hence, the breakfast should include Ziptop omelet or plain eggs, a jelly toast with white no-grain bread, coffee with vegan or lactose-free milk or tea, and grapes or a green apple. Later, for lunch, a person can eat a vegetable salad with white chicken and rice, lemon soda, or cookies. Finally, for lunch, a person can eat low-protein seafood such as cod, a vegetable salad, and pasta. For a snack, it is recommended to eat salt-free crackers or crisps, grapes or any other fruit, and low-sodium drinks for a drink. This dietary pattern is an example of how people eliminate carbon and heavy protein from their diet and replace them with low-protein food like chicken meat. As far as carbohydrates are concerned, it becomes evident that people with kidney disease cannot eat much slow-carb food such as whole grains or brown rice, as the waste cannot be eliminated from one’s blood.
When it comes to dietary options for people with kidney disease, it is easier to outline foods allowed to eat instead of presenting restrictions. Thus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021), the foods beneficial for people with kidney disease include grapes, cherries, apples, eggplant, cauliflower, white meat, unsalted seafood, white bread and pasta, water, and unsweetened tea (“Diabetes & CKD foods” section).
In conclusion, the renal diet is an extremely demanding dietary pattern that expects patients to look closely at every product they eat, as the excessive intake of foods rich in protein, sodium, phosphorus, and potassium can result in a large amount of waste congesting the blood. However, once people adhere to this diet, their health condition improves, whereas the disease progression slows down dramatically. For this reason, a renal diet is a mandatory recommendation for people struggling with kidney disease and other conditions related to the pressure on the excretory system. As far as healthy people are concerned, the diet can be less beneficial due to a significant reduction of slow carbohydrates and protein vital for body fitness and energy for food digestion.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Diabetes and kidney disease: What to eat? Web.
Fernandes, A. S., Ramos, C. I., Nerbass, F. B., & Cuppari, L. (2018). Diet quality of chronic kidney disease patients and the impact of nutritional counseling. Journal of Renal Nutrition, 28(6), 403-410. Web.
Kwon, Y. J., Lee, H. S., Park, J. Y., & Lee, J. W. (2020). Associating intake proportion of carbohydrate, fat, and protein with all-cause mortality in Korean adults. Nutrients, 12(10), 1-12. Web.
Renal diet. (n.d.). NephCure Kidney International. Web.