We are bringing our attention to kidney health because the number of deaths with chronic kidney disease (CKD) as an underlying or associated cause rose by 75% between 2000 and 2020 (WHO, 2022).  

It’s never too late to start taking steps toward making lifestyle choices that can have a significant impact by reducing the risk of chronic kidney disease.

The most essential risk factors that affect kidney health include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and excessive consumption of alcohol.

These mentioned risk factors can lead to individuals experiencing raised blood pressure, increased blood glucose, raised blood lipids, and overweight/obesity. Specific strategies to improve these risk factors will be explained in detail below:

 

Diet: 

  • Aim for two serves of fruit each day (e.g., serve 1 medium-sized apple, banana, or orange)
  • Aim for five serves of vegetables each day (e.g., serve ½ cup of cooked vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beans, potato or 1 cup of leafy greens or salad vegetables)
  • Include a variety of healthy protein-rich foods (e.g., serve 100-150g of poultry, fish, red meat, eggs or tofu)
  • Include healthy fats and oils (nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, extra virgin olive oil)
  • Avoid Saturated Fats (Found in Processed foods, such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, and takeaway foods)
  • Consume less salt (consuming too much salt can lead to increased blood pressure which is a risk factor for kidney/heart disease. Instead of salt try incorporating herbs and spices, avoid salt substitutes that replace salt with potassium chloride and avoid highly processed packaged food)

 

Physical Activity:

  • Aim to be active on most days, preferably five or more days per week for at least 30 minutes.
  • Aim to achieve 2-2.5 hours of moderate-intensity or 25-2.5 hours of vigorous-intensity activity each week.
  • Aim to do muscle-strengthening activities at least 1 day (gradual progression to 2-3 days) each week.

 

Tobacco use:

  • Smoking is a significant cause of kidney disease
  • People who smoke are three times more likely to have reduced kidney function
  • Even long-time smokers can see rapid health improvements when they quit. Within a year, the risk of kidney disease drops dramatically.
  • For free help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to smokefree.gov.
  • Many need several attempts to successfully quit. But the benefits are well worth it. Keep trying!

 

Alcohol consumption:

  • No level of drinking alcohol can be guaranteed as completely safe as it’s a toxin that your kidneys filter from your body
  • Alcohol can dehydrate your system and impair your kidney’s ability to function and maintain the right balance of fluids in your blood
  • Drinking alcohol excessively can also increase your blood pressure, which over time, can cause damage to your kidneys.
  • If you do decide to drink its recommended that healthy men and women drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.

 

To learn more about your health and to receive additional support, please access the team at Logan Healthy living. Our team includes Exercise Physiologists, Diabetes Educator, Psychologist and Dietitians that will help kickstart your journey!

 

Start exploring here – Logan’s Active & Healthy Program

 

 References:  

https://kidney.org.au/get-involved/kidney-health-week 

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/prevention 

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/eating-nutrition 

 

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