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KIDNEY HEALTH

Most people are born with two kidneys, and they have a vital role to play in our wellbeing, but what do they do, and how can we protect our kidney health?

KIDNEY HEALTH

Keeping your kidneys healthy

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDNEYS

It is important that we try to keep our kidneys as healthy as possible so that we remain healthy and have less chance of kidney failure in the future.

One of the best ways to keep our kidneys healthy is to eat as healthily as possible. Making small but positive changes to your diet can often help to lower blood pressure, slow down your loss of kidney function, and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY

Making a few changes to your diet and lifestyle can help protect the health of your kidneys.

HAVE A BALANCED DIET CONTAINING A WIDE VARIETY OF FOODS

Eating a balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy.

CUT BACK ON SALT

Eating too much salt is linked with high blood pressure and heart disease, which can damage your kidneys.

KEEP TO A HEALTHY WEIGHT AND EXERCISE REGULARLY

As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. Exercising is also important for your overall health and wellbeing. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions like type 2 diabetes, which may then lead to kidney problems in the future.

If you want to observe a period of fasting, for example as part of your religion, then be sure to read Kidney Research UK’s guide on how to keep your kidneys healthy during fasting.

HOW CAN I CUT BACK ON SALT?

Most of the salt we eat is contained in the food we buy, especially processed foods and ready-made meals. Try not to add salt to food at the table or when cooking. Many people won’t even notice the difference while eating, and eating less salt can really improve your health over time.

Use the traffic light food labelling system to help you choose healthier options when shopping. When you’re choosing between similar products, try to go for labels that have more greens and ambers, and fewer reds, if you want to make a healthier choice.

Be wary of ‘reduced salt’ labels. Some of these foods may still have higher than recommended salt levels or contain potentially harmful salt substitutes.

If you already have any kidney issues, check with your kidney team before using salt substitutes as these can contain a lot of potassium as well as some sodium, so are not suitable for people with reduced kidney function. If you do need to use salt or salt substitutes, try to use the smallest amount possible.

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