7 Foods that Damage Your Kidneys

Your kidneys have a vital function in that they detoxify your body. According to the National Institutes of Health, the kidneys filter on average 200 quarts of blood per day and produce about 2 quarts of waste. After filtering your blood, important nutrients that are needed to maintain the metabolism of your body are sent back to the bloodstream. Kidneys are one of those essential organs that work around the clock to keep you healthy, and even contribute to controlling your blood pressure.

In this post, we will go through 7 foods that have an ill-effect on your kidneys. Certain foods put a lot of stress on these bean-shaped organs and should be eaten moderately to avoid developing kidney infection. Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve your kidneys’ health, even if you already have a kidney disorder.

1. Red meat
Red meat is rich in protein. Protein is needed to grow and build muscles, but it makes the kidneys work harder to metabolize. Red meat also contains saturated fat. Kidneys do need some fat to work properly, but when they are overworked, it may lead to the formation of cells known as macrophages in kidney tissue. That result in a build-up of acidic residue in the body.

2. Table salt
Sodium helps the body maintain proper fluid balance. Together with potassium, sodium maintains the hydration of blood to filter through kidneys efficiently. When you intake too much salt, kidneys are constrained to hold onto more water to dilute the salt. This consequently raises blood pressure to provoke what is known as hypertension. Unfortunately, the nephrons within your kidneys can even be damaged. These are the microscopic structures within your kidneys that do the actual filtering work. I would suggest you limit your consumption of sodium from canned or processed foods. Eat as much fresh food as you can and stop consuming fast foods. Also, make sure you are getting a potassium-rich diet to balance your sodium-potassium level which is necessary for blood hydration.

3. Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have been diverted from their intended task of aiding us to reduce our dependence on unhealthy sugar. Instead, it has come to replace sugar and is yet another danger for your health.
According to research by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, it was found that “Diet soda consumption was associated with higher ESRD risk…” (End Stage Renal Disease). If you need an alternative to sugar, try honey or stevia and ban soft drinks from your diet!

Illustration of a cut and a closed kidney. In the open kidney the following structes can be seen: renal cortex, renal artery, renal veins, renal pelvis, alices, renal medulla, ureter.

4. Energy drinks and sodas
These beverages are extremely problematic. How could the government ever allow the importation or manufacturing of such things? Stay away from these drinks! They are simply overloaded with artificial sweetener or sugar, caffeine, coloring, and chemical flavor. Their insane quantity is simply too much for even once in a while consumption! You don’t realize it until you become affected. Kidneys are forced to process all these and over time kidney tissues get affected and become inefficient in filtering blood.
Advocates for public health education reported FDA Investigation on Monster Energy Drinks Linked to 5 Deaths. You have been warned!

5. Too much coffee
Hitting 6 teaspoons of coffee on a particular day can raise your level of alertness at work and you will be able to concentrate on your workload. You may not have any side effects or feel tired for the whole day. But, keep doing that regularly and you might end up becoming a caffeine addict, and unable to perform without it! What you should know, is that overconsumption may cause kidney stones or worsen kidney disease due to chronic dehydration.

Kidney stones

6. Dairy products
Dairy products contain calcium and protein. However, too much calcium can lead to kidney stones as your kidneys have to work harder to dump the excess in your urine. Some people also take calcium supplements in an effort to strengthen their bones. What will happen, is that overworked kidneys will be unable to process protein waste and calcium. Hence, people prone to moderate kidney failure (even if they yet don’t know about it), will be further destroying their health instead of getting any benefit from the increased intake of calcium.

7. Excessive alcohol
Much like with your brains, the function of your kidneys also changes with too much alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration and leaves less water for the proper functioning of your kidneys. The poor kidneys have to struggle to continue to filter your blood with higher concentrations of alcohol. This is one of the reasons why hangovers hurt so much. A note of caution here, drink plenty of water whenever you’ve consumed alcohol in excess.

The bottom line
Everything should be consumed with moderation. Your kidneys are naturally good at doing their job. They will help you out even if you allow yourselves a certain excess. But, regularly overloading them with the 7 foods we’ve seen above, can provoke the end of happy days for us. By all means, have your steak, enjoy your coffee at work, eat that yummy dairy product dessert, taste the pleasures of life. But, don’t go overboard and a final word of advice: Ditch that soda! And, your kidneys will keep you happy.

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