Diet for Nephrotic syndrome involves consuming protein-rich foods in moderate amounts and avoiding saturated fats.
Everyday meals for people with nephrotic syndrome have to be low in salt and of course the diet should focus on foods that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Also, avoiding high protein diet is essential to prevent further deterioration of kidney function.
Nephrotic syndrome is a condition that involves damage to the kidneys. The disorder shows signs of kidney malfunction that include low level of protein and high level of cholesterol in the blood. In this condition the kidney are not able to filter excess water and wastes from the blood. As the kidneys are not able to work properly, large amounts of protein from the blood leak into the urine. No wonder, urinalysis of nephrotic syndrome patient shows excessive protein, especially albumin.
Foods to Exclude or Limit with Nephrotic Syndrome
It is a known fact that salt attracts fluid, which means excess salt causes your body to retain more water. In such circumstances, the kidneys suffering find it difficult to regulate and remove excess body fluids. So, ensure that sodium content in your diet is minimum, otherwise it may cause fluid accumulation and aggravate existing kidney problems. Salted wafers, popcorns, pork rinds, potato chips, canned foods (soup, vegetables, meat), pickles and salted nuts must not be consumed as they contain a high amount of sodium. Also, be very careful when it comes to adding salt to your everyday meals.
Kidneys are primary involved in maintaining the right amount of fluids in the body. It prevents fluid buildup by removing excess in the form of urine. In nephrotic syndrome, the kidneys are not functioning normally. Excess fluid intake cannot be handled by the kidneys, thereby increasing the risk of further damage. Therefore it is advisable to restrict intake of water, juices and other beverages. Patients need to consult their health care provider to know the permissible quantity of fluid intake. This quantity is usually specified in cups, ounces or cc. In order to quench thirst, one can also have fruits like watermelon and grapes, rather than depending only on fluid intake.
High Cholesterol Foods
With cholesterol well above the normal range in nephrotic syndrome patients, it is advised to ditch high cholesterol foods. They are given below:
- Organ meat
- Fried foods such as French fries, cookies and crackers
- Egg yolk
- Processed meat such as sausages and lamb
- Fast foods that include cheese hamburger
- Seafood such as lobsters and oil packed fish
- Dairy products like ice-cream, cheese, margarine and butter
Of course don’t forget to employ healthy cooking methods to lower cholesterol in foods. So, whenever cooking vegetables or meat, give preference to steaming, broiling, grilling or baking to prepare food.
High Phosphorus and Calcium Foods
The primary function of kidneys is to maintain balance of electrolytes and minerals. However, this is not possible in patients diagnosed with kidney disorders such as nephrotic syndrome. Hence, they are recommended to minimize intake of foods rich in phosphorus, calcium and even potassium.
Foods to Include with Nephrotic Syndrome
Although patients show low protein in blood test, excessive intake of protein should be avoided as the kidneys have to function more vigorously to filter surplus protein. This can cause tubular damage to the kidneys. Moderate protein intake can definitely help preserve renal function. Foods such as wheat, sprouts, legumes, egg whites, lean meat (skinless chicken), dry fish and pulses are a rich source of proteins but should be consumed in moderation.
Low Fat Foods
When it comes to following a low fat diet, one simply cannot forget vegetables and fruits. They are naturally fat free and moreover a good source of essential nutrients. As aforementioned, go for fresh vegetables, instead of canned ones to reduce salt intake.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.