Protein Rich Diet Reduces Heart Risk For Dialysis Patients As Much As Quitting Smoking or Exercising

Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients know that when they are experiencing Kidney Failure and before starting Dialysis they are recommended to limit the amount of protein in their diets. However, a higher protein diet is needed to "replace protein lost during Dialysis and to help keep you well nourished and healthy," said DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. Further, a study conducted by the University of East Anglia, found that a protein rich diet has a number of surprising health benefits for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients. 

According to the University of East Anglia, "eating amino-acid [organic compounds which comprise protein] rich food is as healthy for you as quitting smoking or exercising more often." More specifically for Dialysis patients, diets rich in protein were found to have lower Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness (reduced capability of an artery to expand and contract in response to pressure changes) which are associated with increased risk of Cardiovascular (Heart and Blood Vessel) Events, Dementia, and Death.

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Patients with End-Stage Renal (Kidney) Disease who are treated by Dialysis have a high rate (more than half) of mortality (death) attributable to Cardiovascular Disease and associated with Arterial Stiffness. Researchers also noted, ""High Blood Pressure is one of the most potent risk factors for developing Cardiovascular Disease." Hence, a reduction in Blood Pressure leads to a reduction in mortality caused by Stroke or Coronary Heart Disease.

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The best sources of protein for Dialysis patients are poultry (chicken, Cornish game hen, turkey), red meat (beef, lamb, veal), fresh pork (pork chop, pork roast), seafood (clams, crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp), eggs, and fish (unsalted tuna, cod, halibut, salmon, sole, swordfish, trout). Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients may wonder how they can best cook these foods? Well, visit the Impact Meals section (click here). 

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Note that the University of East Anglia Researchers gave specific examples of how much protein a person should intake in general such as consuming  the daily equivalent of "75g portion of steak, a 100g salmon fillet or a 500ml glass of skimmed milk." Yet, you should collaborate with your Dialysis Dietitian to determine the best elevated protein diet for your specific situation. 

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