March is National Kidney Month, and as a leading provider of elderly care in Scottsdale, we’d like to focus on ways to help your senior loved one keep his or her kidneys healthy and prevent kidney disease. One way to accomplish this is through a healthy diet, which means certain foods may need to be eaten in moderation or avoided entirely. Here are some foods that could be unhealthy for your loved one’s kidneys.
Many seniors grew up in homes where meat products were considered to be the center of a healthy diet. Though protein is a necessity for humans, getting it all from animal sources can be hard on your loved one’s kidneys. Most forms of animal protein are highly acidic and can put an incredible amount of strain on the kidneys and increase your loved one’s risk of developing kidney stones. This includes animal-based dairy products such as milk and cheese.
Many people switch from processed sugar to artificial sweeteners to increase their health, but alternatives such as aspartame and saccharine come with some major risks. Studies have found seniors who increased their consumption of artificial sweeteners generally experienced a severe decrease in their renal function. As an alternative, your loved one can stick with natural sweeteners like honey and stevia.
Recent studies discovered seniors who drank just two cans of diet soda per day experienced much higher rates of kidney disease. This can be partially attributed to the artificial sweeteners, but these beverages also contain a wide variety of chemicals that are difficult for human kidneys to process. In addition to damaging the kidneys, ingredients like phosphoric acid are also bad for a senior’s bones.
Most of us know salt consumption should be kept to a minimum, but not everyone realizes just how many food products contain sodium. This household staple is dangerous to your loved one’s kidneys because the sodium must go through them before entering into the bloodstream or being excreted. When sodium levels are too high, the kidneys quickly run out of moisture as they try to keep cellular fluids balanced. As soon as the kidneys have no more water to process the sodium, they immediately begin to damage themselves.
If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy diet to prevent kidney disease and other conditions, an hourly or live-in caregiver in Scottsdale can help. In addition to grocery shopping and cooking, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance can help with a wide variety of other daily tasks. For more information on how our senior care services can promote your loved one’s wellbeing, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 480.448.6215 to schedule a free consultation.