The kidney is one of the most vital organs in the body as it plays an important role in filtering blood, producing hormones, removing waste through urine, balancing materials, and maintaining fluid balance. But as we grow older, especially in our 60s and above, our kidneys naturally grow old and deteriorate in their functions, as a result, increasing our risk of kidney diseases. According to National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease has been found to be more prevalent in people over the age of 60 when compared to the rest of the general population.
When our kidneys become damaged or unable to function properly, waste accumulates in the blood, fluid buildup in the body, and high amounts of some nutrients like sodium, phosphorus, and potassium may become detrimental to our kidneys. However, limiting certain foods in our daily diet can help to decrease the accumulation of waste products in the blood, prevent further damage to the kidney, and improve our kidney function as we grow older.
Smoked/Canned meat and fish: Regular consumption of foods high in sodium or salt such as smoked fish/meat, canned foods, pizza, or salted snacks and nuts can increase blood pressure and, in turn, harm your kidney. Instead of using salt, flavour your foods with herbs and spices and over time you may find it easier to avoid using added salt(sodium) on your foods.
Animal protein: Meats, eggs, fish, turkey, chicken, and other animal proteins can generate a high amount of acid in the blood that can be harmful to the kidney and cause acidosis(a condition in which the kidney cannot eliminate acid at a faster rate in the body). That does not mean we should completely remove animal proteins from our diets but ensure that they are well balanced with fruits and vegetables and not consumed in excess.
Processed foods: Processed foods such as canned fish and tomatoes, cakes, sausage rolls, pies, and biscuits are significant sources of phosphorus and sodium that need to be limited in our diets as we grow old. According to National Kidney Foundation, studies showed that high phosphorus intake from processed foods in people without kidney diseases may be harmful to their kidneys and bones.
Pies and Doughnuts: Excessive consumption of pies, doughnuts, pastries, cakes, energy drinks, and other foods that contains added sugar can contribute to obesity which increases your risk of getting high blood pressure and diabetes, two leading causes of kidney diseases in old people. Thus, avoid added sugar in your diets and use natural sugar like honey instead.
Asides from people in their 60s and above, it is recommended that people with chronic or acute kidney disease should reduce their intake of these foods if they want to prevent further kidney problems.
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