Keep your kidney happy, avoid soda, mayonnaise and butter in your diet

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Ensuring a healthy diet begins with stocking your kitchen with the right foods. It’s important to be mindful of hidden sources of sugar and sodium in foods to understand what you’re consuming. The leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. However, managing these conditions can often prevent or slow down kidney disease. Making smart food choices and controlling intake of sugar, fat, sodium, and salt can significantly help manage risk factors and protect the kidneys.

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Here are five foods to avoid for kidney health:

Soda: It’s best to steer clear of soda entirely. Soda lacks nutritional value and is packed with sugars, whether natural or artificial. This means extra calories, potentially leading to weight gain. Studies have linked soda consumption to various health issues like osteoporosis, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome, and dental problems. Diet sodas may be lower in calories, but they offer no nutritional benefit and often contain artificial sweeteners. Opt for water instead and enhance the flavor with a few slices of fresh fruit if plain water isn’t appealing.

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Processed deli meats: Remove processed meats like bologna and ham from your diet. These meats are high in sodium and may contain nitrates, which are associated with cancer risk. Choose leaner options like freshly roasted turkey or chicken, and always go for low-sodium, low-nitrate options.

Mayonnaise: A single tablespoon of mayonnaise contains around 103 calories, high in both calories and saturated fat. Reduced-calorie and fat-free mayonnaises are available, but they can be high in sodium, sugar, and additives. A healthier alternative is plain non-fat Greek yogurt, which is protein-rich and mixes well to bind salads.

Butter: Cut down on butter, which is high in cholesterol, calories, and saturated fat from animal sources. Margarine, made from vegetable oil, contains more “good” fats but may still have trans fats. Instead, use healthier oils like canola or olive oil. If you prefer spreads, choose those lower in calories and saturated fat, without trans fats.

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Frozen meals: Studies suggest that heavily processed foods can contribute to type 2 diabetes, and frozen or pre-made meals often fall into this category. They can contain hidden sugar, sodium, and fat. Not all frozen meals are equal, though. If you choose them for convenience, read labels carefully. Look for options labeled “low sodium” or “no sodium added” and avoid those with added sugar, fillers, or other additives. You can balance the meal by adding fresh fruits and vegetables if they’re not included in the frozen meal.

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