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Eating Chicken May Help Control Diabetic Kidney Disease

Beef may be what’s for dinner, but eating a mostly chicken diet can greatly reduce one’s chances of developing kidney disease.

A recent study presented at this year’s ADA tried to gauge the effects of three different diets in 28 patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients, 13 of whom had microalbuminuria, were fed their usual diet, a chicken diet, and a low-protein diet in random order, with a four-week period separating each diet.

At the end of each diet, the patients received a metabolic evaluation and a 24-hour urinary albumin rate measurement. By the study’s end, the chicken diet was found to reduce the urinary albumin excretion rate in the microalbuminuric patients to 34.3 grams/minute, compared to 52.3 grams/minute for the low-protein diet and even higher for the usual diet.

The chicken and low-protein diets reduced total cholesterol levels around the same amount, although the low-protein diet brought low-density lipid cholesterol levels slightly further down. Cholesterol levels on the usual diet remained high. In both the microalbuminuric and normoalbuminuric patients, the chicken and low-protein diets reduced serum creatinine when compared to the usual diet.

Neither glycemic control nor blood pressure levels were affected by any of the meal plans. The chicken diet’s effects on lipid and albumin levels, however, mean it could have important ramifications for the management of kidney disease.

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