Life Expectancy Heavily Impacted By Vegetable Consumption In Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

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New research presented to the American Society of Nephrology in November 2013 shows that increasing consumption of vegetable protein is linked with prolonged survival among people who have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) because vegetable protein intake produces less harmful toxins when compared with animal protein. Hence, the goal for any CKD Renal Diet should be to decrease waste byproducts built up in the body while ensuring adequate nutrition.

Recommended Reading: Elevated Phosphate Levels Associated with Increased Death for CKD

To investigate, University of Utah researchers studied 1,104 CKD patients in the1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, and asked them about their animal and vegetable protein intake. After controlling for various factors such as age, smoking, and BMI, the researchers found that for each 10 gram increase in vegetable protein intake per day, participants had a 14% lower risk of dying by the end of 2006. 

Recommended Reading: People on Dialysis Can Sneak Vegetables Into Their Diet Without Noticing It

Beyond increasing life expectancy, there are other potential benefits of including vegetables in a CKD Renal Diet such as better managing phosphate balance, improving insulin sensitivity, and controlling metabolic acidosis (condition in which there is too much acid in the body fluids). On the other hand, drawbacks exist when a higher vegetable diet is associated with protein intake that is too restrictive and offers insufficient energy intake. So anyone considering altering their current Renal Diet should schedule a regular nutritional follow-up with both their Nephrologist and Dietitian.

Recommended Reading: Tailored Treatment Plans required to combat Protein Energy Wasting for CKD

Although concern has been raised about Phosphorus in plant based foods, it is minor compared to the exponential increase in phosphate additives within the food supply and found in meat; increasing from 500mg per day in 1990 to 1000mg per day today. Vegetables that CKD patients may consider incorporating into their diet include alfalfa sprouts, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, lettuce, onions, peppers, snow peas, turnips, eggplants, and cucumbers.  KidneyBuzz.com recommends that CKD patients use this information as a guideline not as a substitution for meeting with their Renal Dietitian to obtain specific recommendations. 

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