Kidney disease stages 1 and 2

The two leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have either of these conditions, the best way to prevent your kidney disease from getting worse is to manage your diabetes or high blood pressure. If your doctor prescribes medicines for either of these conditions, make sure you take them exactly as instructed.

In many cases, early stage kidney disease can be slowed down or kept from getting worse. The foods you eat play an important role in this.

Eating foods including non-starchy vegetables, with whole grains and lean proteins, while avoiding added salt and sugars found in processed foods, are the best way to help slow or even stop the progression of kidney disease. Again, following the plate method is a great way to quickly check if you are eating the right proportions of the suggested food categories.

What YOU can do through what you eat to keep kidney disease from getting worse:

  • Eat a lot of fresh or frozen vegetables
  • Drink water (add a few lemon slices and mint sprigs to a large pitcher of water and store in your fridge for a cold and refreshing beverage)
  • Cook at home
  • Cook with very little oil and salt
  • Choose no-salt-added canned and jarred products
  • Add herbs and spices instead of salt to your dishes for BIG flavor
  • Choose whole grains (like brown rice) instead of refined grains (like white rice)
  • Choose lean proteins like: chicken, fish, turkey, beans, tofu, quinoa, and on occasion: lean beef or lean pork
    • Aim for 0.8 gm of protein per kg of body weight or:
      • 8 ounces (~56 grams) of lean protein per day for the average man*
      • 6 to 7 ounces (~46 grams) of lean protein per day for the average woman*
  • Use a small plate, 9 or 10 inches, to make your portion size look larger by taking up more space on the plate

Other ways to stay healthy

  • Add an extra daily activity – for example, take a brisk walk after dinner
  • Attend regular checkups with your doctor
  • Manage your blood sugar and blood pressure as prescribed by your doctor
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    • If you are overweight, a weight loss of even 5 – 10% of body weight has been proven to have many health benefits including improved blood sugars, blood pressure, heart health, and kidney function

*Average male: 5’10” a healthy weight range is between 129 -174 pounds. A weight of 155 pounds (BMI 22.2) was used for all protein recommendations.

*Average female: 5’4” a healthy weight range is between 108 – 145 pounds. A weight of 130 pounds (BMI 22.3) was used for all protein recommendations.