The Mediterranean diet has long been credited with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, and it’s now being tied to a substantially lower risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
CKD affects about 20 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Risk of the disease increases with age and is most common in people over the age of 70.
A study conducted by the American Society of Nephrology concluded that patients who adhered closely to the Mediterranean diet were 50 percent less likely to develop CKD and were 42 percent less likely to experience rapid decline in kidney function compared to those who did not follow the Mediterranean diet.
The famous diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, as well as fish and poultry, and healthy fats, such as olive oil. Red meats, processed foods, and sweets are to be avoided as much as possible.
The Mayo Clinic lists the basic components of the Mediterranean diet:
- Eating plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts
- Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
- Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
- Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
- Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
- Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
Nevertheless, regular physical activity alongside a healthy diet is still necessary to achieve an overall healthy lifestyle.
“There is no magic pill or miracle food, only vigilance and discipline with diet and regular exercise,” Dr. Charles Kaplan of Georgia Urology says. “Try to save indulgences for very special occasions.”
A specialist at Georgia Urology can discuss with you how to treat and manage kidney disease. Call 888.503.1842 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient Atlanta area locations.