Foods that you should not consume if you have kidney-related issues

12 Oct 2023

The kidneys play a vital role in maintaining our overall health by filtering waste and excess fluids from our blood hence, for those with kidney-related issues, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidney stones, it is essential to be mindful of what they eat. Certain foods may be beneficial for an otherwise healthy individual but not for a person suffering from a kidney disorder.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Puneet, Founder and Director at Karma Ayurveda, suggested treating kidney disorders ranging from kidney stones to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) based on modifications in diet and lifestyle and revealed some food restrictions recommended for people with kidney-related conditions -
Processed meat: Processed meats are loaded with high amounts of salts and preservatives that are responsible for enhancing the taste. Uncontrolled consumption of animal protein leads to hyperfiltration, i.e. increased workload on the kidneys. This could be a havoc for people with reduced kidney function especially for people who are asked to monitor their protein intake. Ayurveda encourages protein intake from plant origin as it is less damaging to renal function than the animal counterpart.
Pickles: As tempting as they are, pickles are a definite no for people struggling with any kind of kidney disorder as they are brimming with high sodium content. It is important to note that the commercially available low-sodium options still exceed one’s daily requirement, therefore one needs to watch out for the portion size of pickles.
Bananas: Bananas have an abundance of potassium. Therefore, kidney patients should at best avoid this fruit. Instead, they can go for pineapples, which are a rich source of vitamin A and fiber and are relatively low in phosphorus, sodium, and potassium- minerals that are needed in minimal quantities for people with kidney issues.
Potatoes: Potatoes are highly rich in potassium. It is best to avoid including potatoes in one’s meal. One can adopt potassium leaching i.e. soaking potatoes in water overnight before using them for food. This reduces the potassium content. However, not all the potassium is leached out, therefore one needs to be cautious about their intake.
Sugary drinks: Refrain from drinking sugar-sweetened soda and colas as they contain high amounts of phosphates that promote kidney stone formation. Besides, the high level of fructose in these drinks is a well-established risk factor for kidney stones.
Dr Naveen Arya, Founder and MD of Ayurveda Yogashram, too echoed that certain foods can potentially worsen kidney conditions, leading to discomfort and health complications. He added to the list of foods that may exacerbate kidney-related issues: