Drastic Changes To The Renal Diet Recommended For All Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease

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People with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are at severely increased risk for Cardiovascular mortality. Typically they are recommended a diet of reduced saturated fat intake which is ultimately derived from traditional cholesterol-lowering strategies. Saturated fat has been associated with increases in total cholesterol, both HDL (good) cholesterol LDL (bad) cholesterol. Although dietary recommendations have focused on reducing saturated fat and its potential sources including red meat and other high-fat meat products, recent analyses have begun to find no significant associations between fresh meat intake and Cardiovascular events.

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When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack. In fact, low levels of HDL (less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women) also increase the risk of heart disease.

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In a study of hemodialysis (HD) patients, researchers found that conventional lipid profiles (a series of tests used to gauge a person's risk for coronary heart conditions) did not predict mortality. Instead, confounding factors appear to be more indicative of Cardiovascular risk. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) found no significant increased risk associated with unprocessed meat or poultry intake, whereas increased intake of processed meat led to a nearly 70% increase in Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality. Together, these analyses beg the question of whether processed meat has been a confounding variable in the analysis of meat and saturated fat intake on CVD.

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Increased LDL is influenced by carbohydrate intake. Specifically, higher carbohydrate intake increases the release of dense LDL particles. However, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol. Hence, if unprocessed meats are not associated with cardiovascular risks and high-carbohydrate diets alter LDL particles, it would appear that a low-carbohydrate diet and unprocessed meats would be necessary for all stages of CKD including those on dialysis.

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This study indicates that high-protein diets do not negatively impact renal function in individuals with early stage CKD. Reduced protein intake is known to be beneficial in advanced CKD populations in reducing the effect of uremic toxins. Thus, independent of KidneyBuzz.com, the study finds that it would be beneficial to assess the effect of a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fat diet in late stages of CKD including End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). If you are considering altering your diet in any way KidneyBuzz.com strongly recommends that you do not do so until you speak with your Dietitian to create a tailored plan for your specific circumstances.

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Reference: "High Fat, Low Carb Diet Beneficial for CKD Patients." - Renal and Urology News.