By: Brenda Neugent
For those living with type 2 diabetes, kidney disease is unfortunately one of the associated risks.
But according to a new study, eating a diet rich in fruits and complete protein can go a long way toward preventing it, further emphasizing the important role diet plays in keeping diabetes symptoms under control.
High blood sugar forces the kidneys to work harder than they should, and can potentially lead to more debilitating problems including chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney failure. Though kidney failure impacts less than 10 percent of those with type 2 diabetes, those who do develop kidney failure will require either dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.
Knowing all the right preventative moves can lessen the risks, according to the new study from Canadian researchers.
In addition to eating a diet packed with fruits and complete protein, moderate alcohol intake – usually seen as a glass of red wine a day – was also linked to a lower risk of kidney disease and death, researchers said.
The study, designed to examine the association between diet and kidney disease among those with type 2 diabetes, included more than 6,200 diabetes patients, who researchers tracked over a 5 and a half-year period.
Almost 32 percent developed chronic kidney disease and 8 percent died during the study period, but those with the healthiest diets – including those who ate more than three pieces of fruit a week – were less likely to develop CKD than those with a less healthy diet.
“A healthy diet and moderate intake of alcohol may decrease the incidence or progression of CKD among individuals with type 2 diabetes. Sodium intake, within a wide range, and normal protein intake are not associated with CKD,” concluded Daniela Dunkler, of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues.
The study appeared last month in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.
Sources of complete protein – proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids rather than just a few – include meat, poultry and fish, eggs and dairy products, quinoa, and soybeans.
Other foods that are smart choices for kidney health, according to experts, include foods rich in antioxidants such red bell peppers, cabbage, garlic, onions, apples, cauliflower, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, cranberries and red grapes, which can protect your kidneys from damage and inflammation.