Potassium and Kidney Disease | How Potassium Foods Can Help Support Kidney Function

Potassium and Kidney Disease | How Potassium Foods Can Help Support Kidney Function

This video is about potassium and kidney disease. Potassium is a mineral that has a lot of health benefits for the body and it’s even showing some health benefits for the kidney.

Before and even current day I still see there’s recommendations to restrict your potassium levels if you have kidney disease. This is actually outdated information. This myth has been busted over the last 10 years and so I want to talk about this because there’s people still giving out these recommendations.

I still see people coming through Healthy Kidney Inc with their doctors telling them to just avoid potassium foods and this really is not helpful and actually more detrimental to people that have kidney issues. The only time that you should avoid potassium-rich foods is if you have an issue with potassium or you’re at risk of an issue. I‘m going to reference a piece of research it’s from the Journal of Renal Nutrition: February 4th 2022. The journal of renal nutrition is really a prestigious journal when it comes to nutrition and kidney disease. It’s the top journal for this.

The study is Taking the Kale out of Hyperkalemia, which is high potassium levels plant foods and serum potassium in patients with kidney disease. Now I’m going to read you the abstract word for word. Traditionally diets for kidney disease were low in potassium. This recommendation was based on outdated research and often wrong assumptions that do not reflect current evidence. In fact studies conducted over the past decades show patients with CKD including kidney failure do not benefit from restriction of plant foods relative to control.

Generally dietary potassium does not correlate with certain potassium and we pose that this is due to the effects of fiber on colonic potassium absorption. The alkalizing effects of fruits and vegetables on metabolic acidosis, that’s a big problem with acid buildup and the bioavailability of dietary potassium in plant foods means it doesn’t absorb as well as it does from animal foods. Also consumption of plant foods may provide plyotropic benefits to patients with CKD. Plytropic just means a lot of benefits.

Recommendations for kidney health should be devoid of dietary potassium restrictions from plant foods to the patient centered kidney recipes can be encouraged and promoted. We’re busting that myth. You should not avoid potassium-rich foods if you have kidney disease unless you have a reason. It’s actually quite the opposite; if you include more of these foods in your diet you’re getting more nutrients, you’re offsetting the acid buildup, and you’re helping your body .

There’s so many good positive things that happen from this and when it comes to kidney research you know the field of kidney disease is really still pretty young. We only had a full definition for kidney disease into the early 90s. We’re just really learning more and more so much about the kidneys and this myth has been busted. It’s not something you should do because when you get off a lot of those healthy potassium foods you end up eating foods without nutrients that are low in fiber and not good for your kidneys and not good for your body.

If you want to be cautious eat plenty of low potassium and medium potassium foods, and have a few of the high potassium fruits and vegetables. You should always be monitoring your blood work and checking it with your doctor, but there’s no reason to avoid potassium if you don’t have to and you’re missing out on a lot of excellent health benefits. Check out our other videos on potassium