Kidney Food

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Renal Diet

Kidney Food

Kidney Food and effectsWhat is Kidney Food? How often do we think about the effect a cheeseburger has on our kidneys?

Usually, we are captured by the thought of biting into this delight; dreaming of a juicy sirloin burger dripping down our chin.

The thought-the absolute excitement of this craving is so powerful that calculating the damage to an already distressed kidney is the last thing on a kidney patient’s mind.

And sure, once in a while everything in the food court is an option, but kicking the fast food habit is, to many, like quitting smoking. And the companies advertising 99 cent meals know that once we are in sight, once the craving begins, we are pliable consumers for them. Fat, sodium, carbs.

Human Beings love this stuff, but to many kidney patients this is not kidney food. In fact, this type of food can be deadly. Let’s look at some of it.

Potatoes Tomatoes Spinach

Ultra high in potassium, potatoes are off the list for many kidney patients. I know they taste good, especially grilled hash browns–the kind you get at a diner, but impaired kidneys cannot handle added potassium and potatoes are loaded with potassium. The same holds true for tomatoes, including tomato sauce. There goes spaghetti for dinner. And remember when you mom told you to eat your spinach? Well, if you are in kidney trouble, then you’d better ask your dietician about these items.

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral and one of it’s main functions is nerve control. When my son was in kidney failure, his hands shook constantly and eliminating potassium as much as possible was one of my missions. I knew we were giving up other essential vitamins, but keeping the heart beating on a regular basis was priority one. Potassium does this and since excess amounts could not be eliminated through urine, we just cut it out of the diet as much as we could. Other foods high in potassium include the delicious avocado. When we moved into our home, we noticed the neighbor in the adjoining back lot had an avocado tree which may someday grow over the wall, into our yard and into our hearts. A fabulous fat to eat, kidney patients will likely avoid the splendor of avocados. They will also give up dairy, which includes ice cream and milk. Bummer, I know!