The kidneys are vital organs of our bodies, which means we can’t live without them if they don’t function. They remove waste, control the body’s fluid, and remove the excess waste and water through urination. This process is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals. And when its function is abnormal for any reason, it can lead to serious, life-threatening complications.
“Take care of your heart,” yes, but “Take care of your kidneys,” is not something you typically hear your doctor say.
The importance of these two amazing organs is often overlooked. They are a major powerhouse that keep your entire body healthy by filtering out toxins and extra fluid in your blood. They also make hormones that keep your bones strong and your blood healthy. If they start to fail, harmful wastes will build up in your system and lead to the demise of other organs.
Damage to the kidneys is often irreversible, so people who don’t take care of their kidneys could face significant health risks which result in dialysis or even a kidney transplant.
It’s not too late to unlearn these damaging behaviors. This article is intended to help prevent kidney disease.
To avoid these extreme lifestyle changes, we bring light to common pleasures in life that are actually harmful to these vital organs and should be minimized or even removed from your diet.
LET’S CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING HARMFUL FOODS:
Sodium overload leads to increased blood pressure, which puts a strain on your kidneys. The typical Nigerian diet has been estimated to contain about 3,300 mg of sodium per day, which is much higher than the 2,300 mg daily maximum (about a teaspoon of salt) recommended by the government for healthy adults.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 75% of the sodium people consume is found in processed food and restaurant meals.
Other common high-sodium foods that may be lurking in your pantry or refrigerator include:
Processed meats like lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages
Snack foods like chips, crackers, pretzels
Condiments like ketchup, BBQ sauce, soy sauce
Pickled foods like pickles, olives, beets
It doesn’t take having a sweet tooth to indulge in sugar. Sugar is found in most foods, natural and processed, so it’s important to be aware of the fact that it is lurking in abundance. Fruits are a source of natural sugar, which offer many vitamins and minerals our bodies need. It’s foods with added sugars, however, that tend to be low on the nutritional value scale. It may surprise you that condiments, bread, and other snack foods contain added sugar too.
According to the American Kidney Fund, a recent study suggests that drinking two or more carbonated sodas, diet or regular, each day may increase your risk for chronic kidney disease. Carbonated and energy drinks have both been linked to the formation of kidney stones.
4. Meat & Dairy Products
Diets high in animal protein from meats and dairy products can cause kidney damage because they can be very hard to metabolize. This places a heavy burden on the kidneys, making it hard for them to eliminate waste products. A high-protein diet may cause or exacerbate existing kidney problems. In addition, studies show many health benefits to moving away from an animal-based diet towards one based on plants. Colorful plant foods are nutritional powerhouses and can prevent chronic disease.
Caffeine found in coffee, tea, soda, and foods can also place a strain on your kidneys. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can cause increased blood flow, blood pressure and stress on the kidneys. Excessive caffeine intake has also been linked to kidney stones.
Sure, smoking isn’t good for your lungs or your heart. But did you know that smoking may not be good for your kidneys either? People who smoke are more likely to have protein in the urine – a sign of kidney damage.
7. Drinking Alcohol in Excess
Regular heavy drinking – more than four drinks a day – has been found to double the risk chronic kidney disease. Heavy drinkers who also smoke have an even higher risk of kidney problems. Smokers who are heavy drinkers have about five times the chance of developing chronic kidney disease than people who don’t smoke or drink alcohol to excess.