Prioritising kidney health through a well-balanced diet is essential for preventing and managing kidney-related diseases. By adopting healthier eating habits and making informed food choices you can reduce the risk of kidney disease in the future.
Indians on the whole love their food and drink. Food is at the centre of almost every celebration and we account for the highest whisky sales in the world, but that love comes with a price and unfortunately that spells bad news for India's kidneys.
Kidney health is a fundamental aspect of overall well-being, as the kidneys serve as the body's filtration system, removing waste products and excess fluids. These remarkable organs play a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance, regulating blood pressure, producing hormones, and filtering toxins from the bloodstream. However, various factors, including poor dietary choices, can compromise kidney function and lead to serious health complications. According to the Indian Society of Nephrology, close to 20% of Indians suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and that number is only climbing.
CKD is characterised by the gradual loss of kidney function over time, and if left untreated, it can progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), necessitating dialysis or kidney transplantation. Additionally, conditions like kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney infections can cause significant discomfort and pose risks to kidney health.
The significance of adopting a healthy diet to safeguard kidney health cannot be overstated. According to the Asian Institute of Nephrology and Neurology, “A healthy eating plan gives you the right amount of protein, a proper balance of sodium, potassium and phosphorus, and vitamins/minerals when needed.” Poor dietary choices laden with processed foods, excessive salt, unhealthy fats, and sugary beverages can contribute to the development and progression of kidney disease. Conversely, making better food choices can play a vital role in preventing kidney-related complications and maintaining optimal kidney function.
Prioritising kidney health through a well-balanced diet is essential for preventing and managing kidney-related diseases. By adopting healthier eating habits and making informed food choices, individuals can provide their kidneys with the support they need to function optimally, reducing the risk of complications and enhancing overall well-being.
Here are some light, kidney-friendly Indian foods that you can try:
Dal is a staple in Indian cuisine, but as long as no added fats are used, it’s also one of the healthiest. Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are low in phosphorus and potassium, making them kidney-friendly. Additionally, they provide dietary fibre, which aids in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, a common complication associated with kidney disease.
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Tandoori chicken is usually made by marinating chicken in a mixture of yoghurt and spices before grilling or baking it. It is a kidney-friendly option as it uses lean cuts of chicken, which are lower in fat and phosphorus compared to red meats. The yoghurt marinade provides a tangy flavour and tenderises the meat while adding beneficial probiotics and calcium.
Khichdi is a one-pot dish made by cooking rice and lentils together with mild spices. It is easily digestible and gentle on the kidneys. The combination of rice and lentils provides a complete protein, and the dish is typically low in sodium, making it suitable for individuals with kidney conditions. Khichdi can be customised by adding vegetables like carrots, peas, or bottled gourd, further enhancing its nutritional value.
Speaking of lauki, you can get more out of this vegetable known for its numerous health benefits. Bottle gourd is low in potassium and sodium, making it suitable for kidney health. It is also rich in dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and helps maintain bowel regularity. Lauki curry is typically prepared with a blend of spices, tomatoes, and onions, providing a kidney-friendly option that can be enjoyed with rice or roti.
Plain dosa is a kidney-friendly option as it is made from a combination of rice and urad dal, which provide a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Dosa is naturally gluten-free and low in potassium and phosphorus, making it suitable for individuals with kidney conditions who need to manage their mineral intake. It is also a light and easily digestible dish, making it gentle on the stomach.