Mediterranean diet may promote kidney health

Mediterranean diet may promote kidney health

The Mediterranean diet is well known as a heart healthy diet. It puts emphasis on fresh and organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices.

Fats are replaced with healthy fats like organic olive oil and red meat is limited to a few times a month.

Herbs and spices are used to flavor foods instead of salt, and fish and poultry are consumed about twice a week.

Mediterranean diet may promote kidney health:

Eating a Mediterranean diet may significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Chronic kidney disease is considered an epidemic. While there has been great progress on controlling the risk factors for kidney disease, such as hypertension and diabetes, many people still experience a decline in kidney function.

Many studies have found a favorable association between the Mediterranean diet and a variety of health outcomes, including those related to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer, among others,” said Minesh Khatri, MD from Columbia University Medical Center. “There is increasing evidence that poor diet is associated with kidney disease, but it is unknown whether the benefits of a Mediterranean diet could extend to kidney health as well,” he added.

The research team conducted a community-based study, examining the effects of the Mediterranean diet on kidney health. There were 900 participants who they studied for 7 years. The participants received a score reflecting how well they adhered to the Mediterranean diet. For every point they received, there was a 17% decrease in developing chronic kidney disease. People with a score greater than or equal to 5 had a 50% lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 42% decrease in risk of kidney function decline.

In an accompanying editorial, Julie Lin, MD, MPH, FASN (Brigham and Women’s Hospital) wrote that the Mediterranean diet is just one part of a healthy kidney lifestyle. Regular physical activity is a major factor as well. “Although a seemingly simple goal, achieving this is challenging. We need to begin by embracing the reality that there is no magic pill or miracle food, only vigilance and discipline with diet and regular exercise, and the rare indulgence in cake for very special occasions,” she explained.

AS ALWAYS: Check with your health practitioner before you change your diet. Organic foods are not meant to replace any treatment or drugs you are taking. 

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1. “Mediterranean Diet May Help Protect Kidney Health.” Newswise. American Society of Nephrology (ASN), 24 Oct. 2014. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.

2. “The Association between a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Kidney Function in the Northern Manhattan Study Cohort.” CJASN. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Oct. 2014. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.

3. “Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.

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