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Here’s why eating avocados is harmful to your kidneys

Avocados are a good source of fibre, healthy fats, and antioxidants. But they are also high in potassium, so is avocado for kidneys good? Let's find out.
avocado for kidneys
Find out if you can enjoy avocados to improve your kidney health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 14 Mar 2024, 19:30 pm IST
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Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Their monounsaturated fats promote heart health and can lower bad cholesterol levels. They’re also a good source of potassium, which promotes healthy blood pressure levels. Anyone looking to improve their overall health, especially those seeking heart and weight management benefits, should include avocados in their diet. While avocados may aid in several health problems, people with kidney problems should avoid avocados. Read on to know if eating avocado for kidneys is good or not!

Should you eat avocado for kidneys?

Avocados are incredibly nutritious but they can pose risks for those with kidney disease or related problems. This is primarily due to their high potassium content. “Healthy kidneys regulate potassium levels in the body, but when kidney function is compromised, potassium can accumulate in the blood, leading to a condition called hyperkalemia,” says dietitian Komal Malik. The National Kidney Foundation reports that hyperkalemia frequency is as high as 40-50 percent in people with chronic kidney disease. In fact, it has been found that having too much potassium in your blood can indeed pose a significant risk to health.

Avocado
Avocados maybe high in fat, but it’s monounsaturated fat! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

For people with kidney disease, consuming foods high in potassium, like avocados, can further elevate potassium levels in the blood, potentially causing heart rhythm abnormalities, muscle weakness, or even cardiac arrest in severe cases. According to the American Kidney Fund, hyperkalemia can even cause a heart attack or death! Unfortunately, many people with hyperkalemia may not experience symptoms until significant heart health issues develop.

5 other foods to avoid if you are at risk of kidney diseases

1. Bananas

High in potassium, bananas can elevate potassium levels in the blood, potentially worsening the symptoms of kidney disease.

2. Oranges

Another source of high potassium, oranges and their juice should be limited or avoided by those with kidney issues.

Also read: Have kidney stones? Know your food restrictions

3. Processed meats

Bacon, sausage, deli meats, and other processed meats are high in sodium and phosphorus, which can strain the kidneys and worsen kidney function.

4. Canned soups and packaged meals

These often contain high levels of sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and fluid retention, putting additional stress on the kidneys.

5. Dairy products

Milk, cheese, and yoghurt are high in phosphorus and potassium, so individuals with kidney disease should consume them in moderation or choose low-phosphorus and low-potassium alternatives.

curd
Avoid curd with kidney problems. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

6 best foods for people with kidney diseases

Since it is crucial to choose foods that are low in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium for people with kidney problems, here are 6 foods for kidney health that can be incorporated into your diet:

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1. Cauliflower

Low in potassium and phosphorus, cauliflower helps your body flush out toxins. It is a healthy alternative to high-potassium vegetables like potatoes.

2. Egg whites

Egg whites are an excellent source of high-quality protein with minimal phosphorus content compared to whole eggs. They provide essential amino acids without adding excessive phosphorus to the diet.

3. Cabbage

Another low-potassium vegetable, cabbage is rich in vitamin K and fibre. It can be incorporated into salads, stir-fries, or soups to add variety to the diet while keeping potassium levels in check.

4. Blueberries

These berries are low in potassium and packed with antioxidants, making them a healthy option for individuals with kidney disease to satisfy their sweet cravings.

5. Red grapes

Unlike some other fruits, red grapes are relatively low in potassium and can provide hydration and natural sweetness without significantly affecting potassium levels.

grapes
People with kidney problems may enjoy grapes in moderation. Image courtesy: freepik

6. Onions

While onions do contain some potassium, they are generally considered safe in moderation for people with kidney disease and can add flavour to dishes without contributing excessive amounts of potassium or phosphorus.

Now that you know what is healthy for your kidneys and what’s not, choose your foods carefully to keep your kidneys healthy!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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