Before we discuss what are the 5 key nutrients for managing Chronic Kidney Disease, also known as CKD, let us first learn what does this disease really mean?

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a progressive disease  causing permanent damage to the kidneys. CKD advances through 5 stages. Treatment and advice will vary depending on the stage of kidney disease.

Your kidneys filter waste from your blood. When the kidneys become diseased, their function decreases, and waste products can end up in the blood.

A healthy balanced diet is important in managing CKD.

The 5 Key Nutrients to Keep in Mind:

Protein

Protein is important for building muscles and repairing tissues. Consuming too much, however, can lead up to a build-up of urea (a waste product from protein) in your blood, while consuming too little can cause muscle loss.

Aim for a moderate intake of protein each day from a variety of foods including meat, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and lentils.

Sodium

Excess sodium or salt causes the body to hold onto extra fluid, contributing to high blood pressure, fluid retention, and shortness of breath. Avoid adding salt in cooking and minimise high sodium foods including processed meats, sauces, snack foods, stocks and takeaways.

Use herbs, spices, and condiments to add flavour – your taste buds will slowly forget the salt.

Fluid

Your healthcare professional may recommend you limit your fluid intake. If so, remember foods that are liquid at room temperature, like jelly and ice cream, contribute to your fluid allowance.

Water, jelly, gravy, soft drinks, and custard also contribute fluid.

Phosphate

Phosphate or phosphorus is a mineral stored in bones that helps to keep them strong. The kidneys filter the blood to help remove excess phosphate. With CKD, however, this does not happen as effectively, so phosphate can build up in the blood.

You may need to reduce your intake of phosphate-containing foods or take a phosphate-binding medication with your meals and snacks.

Phosphate is found in bran, hard cheese, chocolate, animal products such as offal, shellfish, and bony fish, nuts and nut butters, processed meats, and beverages.