Tips On Foods To Avoid With Kidney Disease And Diabetes!

We know that uncontrolled diabetes can negatively affect several major organs like the heart, eyes, and kidneys. But can diabetes have an affect on your brain and cognition? Keep reading to know more about the effects of diabetes on the brain.

The problem with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes is that they seldom come alone. Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney diseases. Your diet, the foods you limit, and what you add may benefit you in managing these health conditions. Read on to find out the foods to avoid with kidney disease and diabetes.


Understanding Diabetes and Its Complications

Diabetes is a condition where your blood glucose (sugar) levels are constantly above normal (fasting blood glucose levels of 126 mg/dL or higher). This can occur when your body is unable to produce or utilise a hormone called insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates your blood sugar levels). 

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications. Diabetic nephropathy is one such condition where high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys and affect their normal functioning. 

The function of the kidneys is to filter out the excess fluid and waste from your blood and excrete it out of the body in the form of urine. Thus, they help balance the levels of potassium, acids, and salts in the body. Damage to your kidneys can result in fluid retention, a rise in potassium levels in the body, and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. Simple changes in your lifestyle, especially dietary modifications, can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and avoid complications such as kidney disease.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease: Know the Role of Diet

Following a healthy diet is essential for keeping your blood sugar levels in control. The carbohydrate content in your diet is the main culprit when it comes to elevating your blood sugar levels. 

Foods that are high in fibre and proteins contain less amount of digestible carbohydrates and can help slow down digestion and the absorption of glucose in the blood. A healthy diabetes diet should include more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and less salt and refined carbs.

If you have kidney disease along with diabetes, you may need to control the intake of certain minerals such as sodium, potassium, and phosphorus to prevent their build-up in the blood. Generally, people with kidney diseases should also monitor their protein intake depending upon the severity of the disease. 

However, the diet for the early stages of kidney disease will differ from what is recommended during the late stages. Therefore, diet and nutrition play a crucial role in kidney disease associated with diabetes. Read on to know what foods to avoid with diabetic kidney disease.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease Diet: Know What to Avoid

Avoiding these foods will help you manage kidney disease that is linked with diabetes:

Foods High in Sodium

Though sodium is essential for the normal functioning of your body and maintaining a healthy fluid balance, excess sodium intake can cause water retention and an increase in your blood volume. 

Especially in the later stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), your kidneys will be unable to remove excess sodium and fluid from your blood, increasing your blood pressure and causing more damage to your kidneys. Generally, people with kidney disease should not consume more than 2300 mg of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of salt) in a day.

High-Protein Foods

Although high-protein diets are quite popular for weight loss and for controlling your blood sugar levels, they might turn out to be harmful to those with kidney disease. Proteins are essential for the normal functioning of your body, but you may have to limit their consumption with kidney disease. 

Diseased kidneys become unable to remove the waste products from the blood that form as a result of protein metabolism. Thus, the recommended daily protein intake for an individual with kidney disease is 0.6 to 0.8 g/kg body weight/day.

Foods Rich in Potassium

Potassium is an important mineral that plays an essential role in maintaining fluid balance in the body, regulating muscular contractions, and lowering the risk of developing high blood pressure. Consuming potassium-rich foods in chronic kidney disease can lead to a condition called hyperkalemia, which results from the build-up of potassium in the body. 

It can lead to symptoms such as irregular heartbeat and muscle cramping. An individual with moderate to severe kidney disease should consume less than 3,000 mg of potassium per day.

Phosphorus-Rich Foods

With healthy kidneys, you can consume phosphorus-rich food without worrying. It helps maintain the health of your bones. But with chronic kidney disease, your kidneys cannot efficiently remove phosphorus from the body. 

The excess phosphorus in your body can pull out calcium from your bones, making them weak. This also puts you at an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke. An individual diagnosed with kidney disease should consume no more than 3,000 mg of phosphorus a day.

Foods With Trans Fat

Trans fat is man-made fat that is hidden in most of the processed food we consume. It raises the levels of LDL or “unhealthy/bad” cholesterol in the body. It can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. 

With kidney disease, it is necessary that you limit the intake of trans fat in order to lower the load on your kidneys and improve their function.

Alcoholic Beverages

If you are living with chronic kidney disease, you should limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Consuming alcohol regularly can worsen the symptoms of kidney disease as the kidneys have to work harder to filter out the alcohol from your system. 

In rare cases, binge drinking (having more than 5 drinks at a time) can cause a sudden drop in kidney function, a condition called acute kidney injury. This occurs when toxins from the alcohol build up in your blood, disrupting the fluid balance in the body. Excess consumption of alcohol can also lead to dehydration, which in turn affects the functioning of your kidneys. 

Diabetes and Kidney Disease Diet: What Foods to Include?

If you are living with diabetic kidney disease, here are a few healthy foods that you can include in your daily diet:

  • Sources of fibre such as fresh fruits and vegetables 
  • Lean proteins such as eggs, fish, or chicken
  • Sources of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes
[Note: Your dietary requirements and restrictions would vary depending upon the stage of kidney disease. Make sure that you consult your doctor before starting any new diet.]

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Diet plays an important role in controlling your blood sugar levels in diabetes and associated complications such as damage to the kidneys. Limiting certain foods and adding others may benefit you in managing these health conditions.
  • A healthy diabetes diet should include more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and less salt and refined carbs.
  • If you have kidney disease along with diabetes, you may need to control the intake of certain minerals such as sodium, potassium, and phosphorus to prevent their build-up in the blood. 
  • You should also limit the intake of proteins, foods that are high in trans fat, and alcoholic beverages. These can affect the functioning of your kidneys, thus increasing the load on them and worsening the symptoms of kidney disease.
  • If you are living with diabetic kidney disease, you can include sources of fibre such as fruits or vegetables, lean proteins such as eggs or fish, and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and legumes in your diet.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management Program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.

Friendly Asked Questions

What should a diabetic with kidney disease eat for breakfast?

A diabetic renal diet has specific dietary restrictions. Some simple breakfast dishes for those with diabetes and kidney disease include oats, idli, upma, khichdi, vermicelli or toasted brown bread. You can also go for a bowl of fruits along with boiled eggs.

Which fruit is best for diabetic and kidney patients?

The best fruits for a diabetic renal diet are watermelon, mango, apples, cantaloupe, cranberries, pears, plums, and peaches. They are high in fibre and have a low glycemic index (a score of how fast a particular food increases your blood sugar levels after consumption).

What is the best thing to drink for your kidneys?

Plain water or fresh fruit juices without sugar are the best fluids for those who have diabetic kidney disease. These drinks can keep you hydrated and prevent a spike in your blood sugar levels unlike soft drinks or other sugary beverages.

Is coffee bad for kidneys?

It is ok to consume coffee in moderation if you have kidney disease. Additives for coffee, such as milk or creamers may increase the levels of potassium and phosphorus in the coffee and therefore it is better to avoid them. Plain black coffee without sugar is generally considered safe for those with chronic kidney disease.