Did you know that your kidneys filter about 180 liters of fluid each day? If you’re like me, you had to read that twice. Imagine, 90 2-liter bottles of soda…every single day!
Many habits we develop with age affect our kidneys. For example, regularly drinking soda (especially a 44-ounce to-go cup) or caffeine and alcohol in excess can put unnecessary pressure on your kidneys and make them work harder than they should.
Believe it or not, our kidneys are affected by much more than what we drink. A diet with excessively high levels of protein, in addition to consistently elevated blood glucose levels, can also affect kidney function.
Here at FRESH, we want your kidneys to be healthy, fluid-filtering machines! Here are some habits you’ll want to adjust for better kidney function.
Drink It Up. Many Americans have gotten away from their “daily 8” glasses of water and fluid-containing foods. Water helps your kidneys to “relax,” mainly because it dilutes the amount of large particles they have to filter. This is really important, especially if you’re a daily soda or alcohol drinker. If you don’t like the taste of water, try squeezing some lemon, lime or other citrus fruit into your glass. It’s delicious and adds the ever-important vitamin C!
Portion that Protein. Protein is very important for overall health. Mainly used to build cells, the body relies on protein to sustain basic levels of health. But, just like everything, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can be even worse than a little of a bad thing! Confused about how much protein to get? No worries… we’ve got your back!
First, obtain your weight (approximate is okay) in pounds. Now, divide that number by 2.2 to convert your weight to kilograms. Then, multiply this number by 0.8. This is the number of grams of protein you should shoot toward every day. If it seems lower than what you’re used to seeing, don’t worry! Backing down on protein might give your kidneys a break. And, since all excess macronutrients (like carbohydrates, fats and proteins) are stored as fat, it might help you lose a little of that excess weight!
Sweet as Sugar. Because our kidneys constantly filter blood, high blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels can also negatively affect their function. Shoot for naturally low-sugar foods like vegetables and grains as the foundation of your diet; then add the occasional dessert or sweet snack. A word of caution: swapping “sugar-free” foods that contain artificial sweeteners can be negative too. Aim for moderation and you’ll be on your way to a healthy and FRESH new you in no time!
*We’re not doctors. If you have kidney disease, please see a licensed practitioner in your area.