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4 Foods That Can Have a Negative Impact on a Senior’s Kidneys

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on March 14, 2016

Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States, and it is especially prevalent in the elderly. One way to prevent this condition from developing is by eating a healthy diet and avoiding certain foods. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elderly care in Chandler, has put together a list of foods that could be harmful to your elderly loved one’s kidneys.

1. Potassium-Rich Vegetables

Everyone’s diet should be filled with fresh produce, but there are some fruits and vegetables seniors should only consume in limited quantities. Produce like bananas and potatoes contain a large amount of potassium, a mineral that keeps nerves and muscles functioning properly. However, when consumed in large quantities, potassium can damage your loved one’s kidneys. Other fruits and vegetables with high levels of potassium include broccoli, mushrooms, cantaloupe, and yams.

2. Milk

A healthy kidney acts as a filter to remove certain chemicals from the bloodstream. This includes phosphorous, a mineral found in a variety of dairy products such as milk and cheese. When there is too much phosphorous in your loved one’s diet, his or her kidneys will constantly be overworked and can eventually become damaged. Large amounts of phosphorous can also weaken your loved one’s bones and increase his or her risk of fractures.

3. Red Meat

One of the primary functions of the kidneys is to remove a waste product called urea, a compound created by the human body when animal proteins are consumed. Too much of this substance can result in kidney stones, which are made up of calcified acids that can eventually damage these vital organs and potentially lead to kidney failure.

4. Soda

It should come as no surprise that soda is extremely unhealthy, but not many people realize just how hard this beverage can be on their kidneys. In addition to dyes and preservatives, many sodas contain synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharine. These ingredients have been closely tied to both kidney stones and kidney disease. A recent study has revealed drinking just two cans of soda per day can cause a significant decline in renal function.

If you’re concerned your loved one isn’t eating right and is increasing his or her risk of developing kidney disease or another serious health condition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer part-time and live-in care in Chandler, and our caregivers can cook healthy meals, encourage exercise, and help with many other important tasks. For more information and to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.