Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to keep your kidneys healthy with diabetes

This week I am giving some tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy when living with diabetes!

Lots of people living with diabetes often worry about the complications that occur due to persistent hyperglycaemia. So, I decided to write a series on how to keep organs and systems healthy, and preventing complications from occurring, aside from keeping sugar levels stable!

So be sure to check out How to keep your eyes healthy with diabetes!

1. Drink up!

drink water for healthy kidneys

Drinking adequate water is essential for optimal kidney function. The role of the kidneys is to filter the blood and remove toxins. Without adequate water intake, the efficiency of toxin elimination decreases, which makes the kidneys work harder!

Therefore, it is vital to drink at least 2 litres of water a day (more if you are active!) to aid kidney function and toxin elimination.

To make water more interesting and fresh, add fruits such as lemon, lime or strawberries!

2. Keep your blood pressure in check!

Having high blood pressure can put stress on the blood vessels and filtration tubules in the kidneys. This can lead to weakness and damage, causing protein to leak into the urine.

Having persistent high blood glucose as well as high blood pressure increases the risk of getting kidney disease.

Therefore, it is imperative to control blood pressure as well as blood glucose. This can be achieved by:

Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight (summary below):

Avoid processed foods and table salt. Season food with natural sea salt as your source of sodium.

foods for healthy kidneys

– Eat brown and wholemeal carbs to aid blood glucose control and to add fibre.

– Choose unprocessed protein sources such as chicken, turkey, beans and legumes.

– Eat the rainbow to pack in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Challenge yourself and try to eat 7 a day!

– Get your omega 3’s! Found in salmon, walnuts and chia seeds.

Exercising!

-Try to get a mixture of cardio and resistance training in your weekly regime. Different types of exercise have different benefits so always try and incorporate both types!

Cardio helps to decrease blood pressure and strengthen the heart, and resistance training strengthens bones and builds muscle!

3. Alcohol and smoking

Drinking excessive alcohol can make the kidneys less effective at filtering the blood and removing toxins. Alcohol also causes severe dehydration that could contribute to the formation of kidney stones, infections and other conditions that will cause kidney damage.

So make sure you are watching your alcohol intake and drink sensibly!

Smoking is a no go! Cigarettes are packed with chemicals that increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, blood clots and many more diseases!

So if you smoke, I urge you to try and quit. Smoking causes damage to not only the kidneys, but all organs and body tissue.

4. Get your checks!

tests for healthy kidneys

In the UK blood and urine checks are carried out at least twice a year.

These check ups are vital in looking at your general health and to catch any complications of diabetes early!

If you have any kidney damage this will be picked up on urine and blood tests so doctors can act quickly to prevent further damage.

So please make time for these appointments and put your health first!

Thank you for reading How to keep your kidneys healthy with diabetes! I hope you found this information useful and this post helps you to make positive lifestyle changes! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Simple guide to fitness with diabetes! and 5 foods diabetics should be eating!

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Diet, Top Tips

5 foods to limit if you’re living with diabetes!

This weeks blog is all about foods that could be contributing to high sugar levels, and some alternatives that are delicious and better for health and sugar levels!

I would never advise anyone to completely cut food groups out of your diet. This is not sustainable and can be very detrimental to your relationship with food. That’s why we want to only limit some foods, and have them as a treat!

Keep reading for some suggestions of foods to limit, and remember people can react differently to foods, so if it doesn’t work for you, I’m sure there will be another alternative out there for you!

1. Ready-made Sauces

  • A lot of packaged sauces and condiments contain added sugar because it’s cheap and a preservative.
pasta on white plate on focus photo
  • Some examples of products include pasta sauces, stir-fry sauces, ketchup and BBQ sauce.
  • The best alternative I can suggest are home-made sauces! Making pasta sauces and stir-fry sauces is super quick and easy, especially when you repeat recipes and learn them off by heart.
  • For condiments, there are reduced-sugar versions out there which are definitely worth a try!
  • It is a lot easier to keep track of how many carbs you have eaten, and obviously will not contain additives and preservative making it more beneficial for your health.

2. Chocolate

  • I know what you’re thinking, and I’m not saying you can’t have chocolate! But of course milk and white chocolate can contain a huge amount of sugar, which we might want to limit!
sweet chocolates and cacao on plate
  • I wanted to share some alternatives to try if you’re obsessed with chocolate like me! I usually have some chocolate everyday, but i like to have darker chocolates because they are lower in sugar and high in iron.
  • My favourites are Lindt orange intense and Lindt dark hazelnut. For people who aren’t keen on dark chocolate, definitely give these a try. The Lindt dark ranges are full of flavour and there are so many different flavours!

3. Refined Crisps

  • What I mean by ‘refined crisps’, are brands that have a high salt and saturated fat content. Try and opt for brands that bake crisps to reduces the saturated fat content.
  • Another alternative could be lentil chips, which are great! Lentil products contain slightly more protein, meaning it will leave you feeling fuller, and you will digest slower.

4. Fruit Juice

selective focus photography of pure orange juice
  • I love fruit juices, but I tend to save them for when I am treating low sugar levels because they contain so much sugar.
  • I would always opt for fresh brands over brands that are made from concentrate because fresh contains less refined sugar, and more fibre.

5. Brown Bread & Pasta

bread
  • White carbs contain more sugar than brown versions. This means white products are digested faster, and might cause a rapid glucose spike. Brown bread and pasta also contains more fibre and minerals, adding more beneficial nutrition to your diet.
  • Give brown carbs a try and see how your sugar level readings change. Some people may notice a huge difference, whereas some may not, so why not give it a try!

Thank you so much for reading my blog! Here are some similar blogs you might like! 5 foods diabetics should be eating! and 5 Easy ways to lower your HbA1c!