Human body contains a pair of kidneys in the abdomen, whose function is to filter the blood. Entire blood in our body passes through the kidneys several times during the day! The role of kidneys is to remove wastes, form urine, control body’s fluid balance & regulate electrolyte balance. Kidney disease can severely impair proper functioning of the body, chiefly due to accumulation of water and toxic substances in the body.
Who’s at Increased Risk for Kidney Disease?
- Anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes
- Anyone with a family history of kidney failure
- African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and American Indians
- Anyone age 60 and older
- Individuals who are obese (body mass index of 30 or above)
Risk Reduction Tips from the National Kidney Foundation:
- Cut the sodium: Americans today consume 50% more than the recommended daily quantity of sodium — 2,300 mg of sodium, about one teaspoon of salt, should be the daily limit.
- Reduce red meat: High protein diets, especially those containing large quantities of animal protein, may harm the kidneys. Red meat is also high in saturated fat—another no-no.
- Stop the soda: Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas are high calorie and contain no nutritious value. Colas also have phosphorus additives which can harm the kidneys.
- Pass on processed foods: Crackers, potato chips, deli meats, cheese spreads, and instant potato mix are all examples of processed foods that are high in sodium and phosphorus additives – both which can have negative effects on the kidneys.
- Slow down with sugar: An overdose of sugar can lead to diabetes and obesity, which are linked to kidney disease.
The following chart throws some more light on kidney health.
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