As anyone who has been diagnosed with some form of kidney disease knows, the nutrients that you put into your body will have a major effect on how the disease progresses. When I was first diagnosed I wasn’t sure if I should consume more protein to make up for the losses I was sustaining or less to reduce the losses in the first place. This was complicated even more due to me having little understanding on what effect protein has on kidney failure. Understanding these effects is essential in developing a good renal diet plan. To help you in this process Rachelle Gordon. Author of Kidney Diet Secrets provides information about macronutrients like fats, carbohydrates and proteins, before offering vital advice about watching your protein intake.
Fats are interesting due to the fact that they maintain physical health as their consumption is necessary for essential fatty acids, energy and fat soluable vitamins. Fats also protect the internal organs. However due to them being the slowest source of energy a non physical lifestyle can lead to obesity. Be that as it may, due to the fact that they supply the body with twice the amount of calories per gram than protein does they are perfect for when the body requires more exertion than usual
The major roles of carbohydrates, simple (such as glucose and sucrose) or complex (such as starch and dietary fibre) is to provide energy for the brain and serve as a source of calories to maintain body weight. Therefore if an individual is consuming enough carbohydrates to supply the energy needs of the body then protein can be spared
Rachelle points out the negative effect that proteins can have on diseased kidneys have been aware of since at least 1869 and without a good kidney disease diet that is low in protein a person can rapidly enhance their kidney failure, thereby encountering dialysis and transplant at a much earlier date, something we all would like to avoid I’m sure.
Obviously the book covers many areas of diets as well as a comprehensive recipe section but the advice on having a workbook around maintaining a low protein intake is particularly useful. Rachelle recommends 25g/day. This covers 3 main areas
- How to work out your current daily intake
- How to maintain an intake of 25g/day
- Targeting the right sort of low protein foods so your renal diet plan still contains your favourite foods
She points out that it may seem complicated at first but the benefits of having a much healthier life free from dialysis must make it worthwhile. You have to do some recording of your dietary intake over a short period of time and work out your protein intake but don’t worry she provides you with the information to complete the tasks set.
From this you can then progress onto the masses of renal diet recipes in the second half of the book thereby ensuring that at least you have one less thing to worry about due to the fact that you will not only be eating well but healthily to boot.