According to recent studies, there is a considerable increase in the risk of chronic kidney disease when food is salted before consumption.
Dialysis is a necessary treatment for those with severe kidney disease (CKD), a condition caused by gradual kidney failure over time. According to a recent study that was published today in JAMA Network Open, persons who occasionally added salt to their diet had a higher chance of developing potentially fatal kidney disease.
Under the direction of Tulane University academics in New Orleans, the team analyzed health records from 465,288 individuals whose data was uploaded to the UK Biobank, a UK health database. The participants in the study did not have chronic kidney disease at the start of the investigation, and their ages ranged from 37 to 73 years old, with an average age of roughly 56. The health outcomes were compared to the frequency with which participants reported adding salt to their food: never or seldom, sometimes, frequently, or always. The study examined changes in participants’ health over around 12 years.
Researchers discovered that at the beginning of the trial, those who added salt to their diet had higher odds of being diabetics, smokers, or having cardiac issues. Individuals who admitted to adding salt to their food also had higher odds of being fat or overweight, having reduced renal function already, and experiencing difficulties finding housing, a job, or transportation.
However, even after adjusting for pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, the researchers discovered that those who occasionally added salt to their food had a higher chance of developing chronic kidney disease. The greater the frequency with which individuals reported adding salt to their diet, the higher the increased risk was for those who reported doing so consistently as opposed to those who reported doing so infrequently or never.
A common eating behavior shaped by a person’s long-term preference for salty taste in foods and habitual salt intake, according to the study, is what happens when people add salt to their food. As many as nine out of ten persons in the United States consume more salt than is advised daily, according to the CDC. Consuming a lot of salt has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, early mortality, and cardiovascular illnesses (diseases of the heart and blood vessels). A recent study found that eliminating only one teaspoon of salt from a person’s diet each day can lower blood pressure just as well as taking medication. These findings were significant because high blood pressure affects blood flow to the heart and other organs and is thought to be a risk factor for numerous health disorders. High blood pressure affects roughly half of adult Americans.
Chronic kidney disease: The impact of dietary salt on renal function
One source of dietary sodium is table salt. Many meals, including bread, cold meats, soups, sauces, condiments, chips, and crackers, also contain sodium.
The majority of the sodium we consume is found in packaged, restaurant, and processed foods. Table salt is the source of only a small portion of what we consume or cook.
Dietary salt intake is crucial. It supports neuron and muscle function as well as fluid equilibrium. However, a few common health problems might be exacerbated by a high sodium intake.
Consuming a lot of sodium can cause blood pressure to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is because an excessively high salt level may disrupt your kidneys’ ability to excrete water. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors not only for heart disease but also for kidney disease.
Increased salt consumption has also been linked, independently of blood pressure, to a deterioration in renal function.
High salt consumption was found to be a predictor of future renal impairment in a study comprising 12,126 persons in the general population without chronic kidney disease. Although kidney function naturally declines with age, the study’s findings indicate that a diet heavy in salt may hasten this process.
How much salt should be consumed by those who have CKD?
The National Kidney Foundation states that a healthy diet should not include more sodium than 2,300 mg daily.
Depending on your stage of CKD, your recommended daily intake of sodium may change. The ideal sodium intake for you should be discussed with a dietician or your doctor.
To ensure you don’t go over your daily intake limit, it can be useful to develop a strategy for the entire day when choosing what to eat.
Be mindful of the serving sizes when purchasing packaged meals. Your intake of sodium will also be higher if you eat more than what is indicated on the container or box.
A key component of CKD management is lowering salt consumption in the diet. Sodium and fluid might accumulate in your body if your kidneys are unable to process the salt you consume. This may result in symptoms such as:
- Ankle swelling
- elevated blood pressure, and fluid surrounding the heart and lungs.
A meta-analysis published in 2018, says restricting salt intake in the diet was observed to help lower blood pressure and decrease the quantity of protein and albumin (a blood protein) in participants’ urine in a Trusted Source study including individuals with stages 1 through 4 CHD.
An essential part of controlling chronic kidney disease (CKD) is lowering urine levels of protein and albumin and achieving your blood pressure target.
How to cut back on sodium in your diet:
A low-sodium diet requires a few easy adjustments to long-standing routines. If you know what to watch out for, it can be less complicated than you might imagine.
Even sweet foods are usually packed in cans or containers that contain salt.
Eat only low-sodium foods with a daily value (DV) of five percent or less, advises the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
This data is available on the food package’s Nutrition Facts label. Foods classified as high in salt have a DV of 20% or above.
When selecting packaged goods, you can also search for the terms “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added” on food labels.
Apart from selecting goods with reduced sodium content, you can reduce your intake of salt by:
consuming fresh food and preparing meals from scratch; minimizing the use of canned goods or washing them before usage; seasoning food with spices rather than salt; and creating homemade sauces; consuming less salty foods like chips or transferring to unsalted varieties that use fresh rather than preserved meat and poultry.
Selecting low-sodium lunch meats and preparing homemade soup
Certain salt alternatives may contain a lot of potassium. Another mineral that can accumulate in the blood when renal function deteriorates is potassium.
Make sure the salt alternative you select does not go above the potassium threshold that your physician has recommended. Some individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) must monitor their potassium intake to prevent excessive blood potassium levels.
A lower-sodium diet does not have to mean sacrificing flavor. There are lots of tasty methods to add flavor to your food without harming your kidneys.
We have gone over how salt consumption affects kidney illnesses, specifically in terms of renal hemodynamics, renal protein excretion, morphological changes in the kidneys, and the development of chronic renal failure. Consuming excessive amounts of salt can negatively impact glomerular hemodynamics by causing hyperfiltration, raising the filtration fraction, and raising glomerular pressure. Given the high frequency of salt sensitivity among older, obese, diabetic, and Black people, this may be especially crucial. In patients with essential hypertension or diabetic or non-diabetic nephropathies, dietary changes may have an impact on the amount of protein excreted in the urine. Furthermore, a high sodium diet may counteract the antiproteinuric effects of calcium antagonists and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, among other medications. Salt has a direct tissue effect on the kidney, according to experimental research, even if it does not raise blood pressure. This effect results in fibrosis, hypertrophy, and a decrease in glomerular basement membrane anionic sites. However, as the majority of the data comes from inconsistent, tiny, retrospective observational studies, no strong conclusions can be made regarding the relationship between salt consumption and the development of chronic renal failure. In summary, individuals with chronic renal disorders of different origins or those at risk of renal damage, such as those with hypertension or diabetes, may benefit from salt restriction as a preventive and therapeutic approach.
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