Are Beans Good or Bad for Kidney Disease?

We recently received an interesting question in our email – “Are beans good for kidney disease?”

Conventional beliefs on having beans in a kidney disease diet have remained skeptical for a long time now. It’s because most people with kidney issues dread the high levels of potassium and phosphorus in beans.

However, over the past few decades, many research and studies have been conducted showing how beans can be okay to consume with kidney disease as long as you don’t have elevated phosphorus or potassium levels. Beans have shown to be beneficial for those with normal potassium and phosphorus levels.

Many individuals diagnosed with kidney problems have avoided beans because they worry about the phosphorus. Thanks to new research and science, we now know that vegetarian sources of phosphorus like beans don’t absorb too well.

Higher potassium levels in beans are dreaded but can be protective for your kidneys. People shouldn’t worry about the high potassium content as long as you’re not out of range. The potassium is not absorbed completely which makes it easier on your body.

Four beans that are kidney-friendly are:

  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Fava beans

These four beans are more kidney-friendly than others and you can easily include these into your renal diet. You can prepare them as you prefer with seasonings and can mix them into all kinds of dishes and salads. As long as you stick to the kidney friendly beans and you don’t have elevated levels of potassium and phosphorus, beans can be completely fine to enjoy in a renal diet.

Niacin is a great alternative to gradually lower phosphorus levels. In conclusion, someone with kidney disease shouldn’t worry so much about the phosphorus and potassium levels as the phosphorus doesn’t absorb well with vegetarian sources and high normal potassium levels have shown many protective traits.

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