When an older adult is diagnosed with kidney disease, the doctor may advise them to make dietary changes to keep the kidneys from suffering further damage.
The kinds of changes the doctor suggests may depend on the type of kidney disease and the amount of damage. In general, the senior may be advised to add certain kinds of healthy foods to their diet to support kidney health and to avoid eating foods that could do further harm.
Below are some things the senior may need to avoid.
Reducing sodium intake to 2,300 mg or less per day can help keep blood pressure under control.
Some tips for reducing sodium are:
- Avoid pre-packaged and processed foods as much as possible as they often contain a lot of salt.
- Season foods with spices and herbs instead of salt.
- Read nutritional labels and choose foods that contain 20% or less of the recommended daily allowance of sodium.
- Rinse canned vegetables and beans before eating them.
Eating too much potassium can cause people with kidney disease to experience muscle cramps and irregular heartbeat. However, eating too little potassium can make muscles weak. Talk to the older adult’s doctor about how much potassium they should have.
Some high potassium foods to avoid are:
Lower potassium foods include:
-Too Much Protein
A healthy diet includes lean protein but eating too much protein can make the kidneys work too hard. To avoid stressing the kidneys, older adults should watch portion sizes for proteins. A portion of fish, poultry, or meat is about the size of a deck of cards. A portion of beans is half a cup and a portion of nuts is only one-fourth of a cup.
Kidney disease can cause phosphorous to collect in the blood. When this happens, calcium is drawn out of the bones, which can make them weak and more susceptible to fractures. Packaged foods, deli meats, and some poultry and fresh meat can have excess phosphorous in them. Check ingredient labels for the word “phosphorous” and for words that have “phos” in them.
Home care can assist older adults with kidney disease to follow a healthy diet. They can plan meals that follow the doctor’s advice. Furthermore, they can drive seniors to the grocery store and help them to shop, reading nutritional labels for them, pushing the cart, and carrying heavy bags.
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