Dr. Achyuthan Eswar - Mar 26 2021
Can Whole Food Plant Based Diet Save Your Kidneys?
It might surprise you that one in ten Indians suffer from chronic kidney disease. There are 12 crore Indian suffering this disease today, of which 2.2 Lakh people die every year. If you know someone with longstanding diabetes or hypertension, chances are they have chronic kidney disease.
The primary risk factors for CKD are diabetes and hypertension. Today, 8.5 crore Indians are diabetic and 23 crore+ suffer from hypertension . Autoimmune disease, obstructive disease, inflammatory diseases and certain food additives are also risk factors for CKD.
If there are so many people with chronic kidney disease, why don't we see more dialysis centers around? Because most people with CKD don't make it. Heart attacks are responsible for more deaths among CKD patients than all other causes combined. By the time the disease worsens to the extent that you need dialysis, you may not be alive anymore. That's why only a few people with chronic kidney disease ever undergo dialysis. This makes it even more important to prevent the condition from developing in the first place.
What causes Chronic Kidney Disease?
Meat dishes may be contaminated with toxic metals, NeuG5c, alpha-gal, and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Meals containing high sugar and high fat could also carry these chemicals, all of which contribute to chronic kidney disease. Ideally, all of these must be avoided to keep our kidneys healthy
Fatty Kidneys. Autopsy studies conducted before the 1980s revealed that the kidneys of people who died from CKD were clogged up with fat, preventing them from performing their function. in 1982, this was names as 'lipid nephrotoxicity'. Imagine what pouring oil and grease down your sink everyday can do to your plumbing. We know today that droplets of fat and cholesterol can clog up our kidneys, causing oxidative stress and damaging the kidneys directly from the inside out, killing off the cells and causing Chronic Kidney Disease.
How to Prevent & Treat Chronic Kidney Disease through Plant-based Diet?
One reason why doctors recommend statins if you are diabetic or hypertensive, even if you have never had a heart attack, is because cholesterol in your blood can affect your arteries and kidneys, increasing risk of heart attack, stroke and chronic kidney disease. Statins come with their own share of side effect, however, Choosing a plant-based diet may help you bring your total cholesterol down to the ideal 150 or less, all with beneficial 'side effects'.
Apart from eating a whole food plant based diet, it is essential to stay well hydrated, meaning 2 to 3 liters of water or healthy beverages everyday.
Kidney stones are also a common occurrence perhaps more widely recognised than CKD. Apart from drinking water and avoiding animal foods, consuming phytate-rich foods like dals, legumes, whole grains, and nuts & seeds can help prevent kidney stones. Among plant foods, beetroot, turmeric powder and nutritional yeast should be restriction for people with certain types of kidney stones. Specifically to avoid uric acid stones, limiting protein from animal sources, limiting sodium intake (salt and baking soda), and drinking at least two and half liters of water everyday are proven methods.
Whole Food Plant Based Diet can Save Your Kidneys!
Apart from directly preventing kidney damage, whole food plant based diets are rich in fiber and phytonutrients, This can help prevent kidney failure, kidney cancer, prediabetes, diabetes and high blood pressure in adults and in children, all of which can help prevent chronic kidney disease. What's more, when used to treat CKD, plant-based diets can also prevent its major complication - heart attacks.
Whether you have diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease or just want to save your kidneys and keep them healthy for the rest of your life, a whole food plant based diet can help you achieve and preserve kidney health while giving you greater energy and potentially even a longer lifespan.
Be Blessed by the Divine!
Dr. Achyuthan Eswar.
Founder, Sampoorna Ahara, India's First Whole Food Plant Based Kitchen.
Founder, Nutrition Science, India's First Whole Food Plant Based School.