A KidneyBuzz.com viewer asked, "I know that Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are generally supposed to steer clear of nuts due to high potassium. However, are there any nuts that are safe for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to enjoy?"
The almond is a species of tree native to India, North Africa, and the Middle East. The almonds which we consume are, in fact, seeds; they are a "drupe" and are therefore not considered a true nut. The almond gets no less than ten mentions in the Bible, the first of which, in Genesis, describes it as being "among the best of fruits." The Large Dialysis Organization, DaVita Inc., also mentions the use of almonds in a number of Renal (Kidney) and Diabetic safe recipes. Hence, almonds are safe for most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients in moderation. The following outlines the amounts of safe almond consumption for most patients as well as the amazing health benefits of the seed snack:
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Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should be careful to only enjoy unsalted almonds since salted alternatives can have unintended effects on a patient's diet and health outcomes. Also, patients should consider calcium, phosphorus, potassium and protein content when choosing the amount of almonds to periodically incorporate into their diets. Your Dietitian can help you determine the number that best suits your dietary restrictions.
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Former President Barack Obama had exactly 10 almonds as a late night snack. However, DaVita Inc. noted in a recipe for almond milk that most patients can enjoy one-third (1/3) of a cup which is the approximate equivalent to 23 almonds or a small handful. While all patients should always talk to their Healthcare Team before changing their diets, the health benefits of almonds are clear and directly improve common complications among Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients including the following:
1. Reduces the risk of heart attack: Almonds are rich in vitamin E which is an antioxidant that can help to reduce heart attack risk - the leading cause of death in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community (especially patients on Dialysis). Protein and potassium in almonds are also good for the heart.
2. Alleviates anemia (low blood count leading to tiredness): Iron and magnesium, which is found bountiful in almonds, are useful for the treatment of anemia.
3. Lowers high blood sugar: Many Dialysis patients suffer from Diabetes. Almonds are a great food that can help to lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin.
4. Prevents constipation problems: Almonds are high in fiber, which is good for the digestive tract and avoids constipation problems. Constipation is also a common and uncomfortable problem which faces many patients conducting Dialysis.
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