If you have both diabetes and kidney disease, you may find that the diets for both the diseases will not fit well together. However, with careful planning you can follow the diet for your kidney disease and still control your blood sugar.
Controlling high sugar will help in slowing down the progression of the kidney disease, and it is also important to control your blood pressure. So, avoiding salt in food is recommended.
Most people with advanced kidney disease are referred to a renal dietitian who will help draw a special diet chart that takes care of diabetes and your kidney disease at the same time. Here are a few key nutrients that must be taken into consideration:
Sodium builds up in the body when the kidneys start to fail and will cause water retention in the tissues. This is called edema. Edema commonly occurs in the face, hand and lower extremities.
A low-sodium diet is the first recommendation for any person with kidney failure. It is recommended to limit sodium intake to 1500mg/day. Cutting back on processed foods will help in reducing sodium intake, and the patient should be taught on how to read food labels.
High sodium foods such as bacon, ham, bottled sauces, instant soups, cheese, crackers, salted nuts, picles and potato chips should be avoided.
Kidney failure results in the kidney not being able to excrete enough potassium, and it may cause excess levels of potassium to circulate in the blood, leading to irregular heart rhythms and finally cardiac failure. So, a patient with Diabetes and CKD will have to limit potassium intake.
It is usually recommended for CKD patients to consume about 2000mg of potassium per day. If you are diabetic and often experience low blood sugar, you will have to stop consuming orange juice, and take glucose tablets instead.
Some of the high-potassium foods that have to be avoided include: apricots, baked beans, bananas, beetroot, chocolate, orange, potatoes, dry fruits, tomatoes, greens and salt substitutes.
When kidneys start to fail, phosphorus can start to build up in your body. This causes an imbalance with calcium, which forces the body to use calcium from the bones. It’s important to keep phosphorus levels as close to normal as possible to prevent bones from weakening. Reducing the amount of high phosphorus foods that you eat is one way to keep phosphorus levels down. It is beneficial to limit phosphorus intake to 800-1000mg/day.
Foods that are rich in phosphorus, and therefore need to be avoided include: beer, bran cereals, caramel, cheese, cocoa, cola, dried beans, ice cream, liver, milk and milk products, nuts and peanut butter.
If you have diabetes you are told to always monitor your carbohydrate intake, as this is the food type that impacts blood sugar the most. If you have diabetes and kidney disease you will have to include carbohydrate sources from vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. And the dietitian will advise you to avoid added sugars and beverages with high fructose corn syrup and sucrose.
Too much protein is bad for your kidneys if you have kidney disease. You will have to discuss about your protein consumption with your dietitian. When choosing proteins, it is best to go in for lean protein sources such as white meat, chicken, fish, turkey and lean beef.
The amount of fat needed per day varies from person to person. However, it is best to include fats such as oils and fatty fish in your diet, and avoid saturated fats and trans fats such as processed meat, full-fat cheese and desserts.