Let’s talk “New Year, New Me” diets shall we? This isn’t really a new year new me diet per se, this just sort of happened right around the end of December and beginning of January. But “My 2020 Diet Plan” just sounds better doesn’t it?
Let me give you some background as to why I’m changing my diet:
Bad kidneys run in my family and so does hypertension or high blood pressure. My mom has stage 4 kidney disease, which her doctor thinks was caused by her high blood pressure not being taken care of and the hypertension caused her kidneys to fail. And I also was diagnosed with high blood pressure recently. So obviously I’m trying to be proactive about taking care of my high blood pressure and my kidneys to avoid kidney disease in the future.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on food and drinks that are good and bad for kidneys and as it turns out, unhealthy foods are bad for kidneys and healthy foods are good for kidneys. Imagine that?!?!
So this new 2020 diet plan of mine isn’t one of those fad diets where I can only eat after a certain time of day or have to cut out carbs completely or can only eat raw hot dogs for lunch three days in a row. This is more of just eliminating foods that are unhealthy and bad for kidneys and replacing them with healthy, kidney-friendly foods!
Fad diets are always bad because yea you’ll lose weight at first but then once you’re off the diet, you gain even more weight than what you started with. This new 2020 diet plan is a lifestyle change and will set me up to be healthier in the long run.
Based on my research, these are the top foods that are really beneficial to kidneys:
- Red bell peppers
- Red grapes
- Egg whites
- Olive oil
And these are the foods that are really bad for kidneys:
- Dark-colored sodas
- Canned foods
- Whole wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Dairy (i.e. milk, cream, and cheese)
- Oranges/orange juice
- Processed meat (i.e. bacon, sausage, sandwich meat, hot dogs, jerky, pepperoni, etc.)
- Pickles, olives, relish
- Potatoes/sweet potatoes
- Packaged, instant, and pre-made meals (i.e. frozen pizza, frozen dinners, ramen, microwaveable meals, etc.)
- Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens
- Dates, raisins, prunes
- Pretzels, chips, crackers
Before you send me an angry DM saying that some of those “bad” foods are not unhealthy, let me remind you that I said “really bad FOR KIDNEYS”. I know the majority of the food on that list are healthy, but because they are so healthy, they can damage kidneys that aren’t doin’ so hot. Let me explain: when you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot adequately remove sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. I know that I don’t have kidney disease, but it is a high possibility that I could have it some day, so I don’t want to make my kidneys work harder than they have to now. I’m saving up their energy in a sort of way I guess.
So all of those foods on the “bad” list are very high in sodium, potassium, and/or phosphorus. One cup of avocado has 727mg of potassium. Like wtf… Bananas have 422mg of potassium, one large orange has 333mg of potassium, and one cup of orange juice is 473mg of potassium. So bye-bye avocado toast and mimosas with brunch… #crying
So, basically with this new 2020 diet plan I’m going to be eating a lot of those healthy, kidney-friendly foods and I’ll be cutting out the kidney-un-friendly foods. I’ll be focusing my meals around the kidney-friendly foods. For example: I’ll probably be seeing a lot of egg white salad, egg white omelette with red bell peppers, onions, and garlic, and non-fatty fish dishes in my future, haha! But those are all very healthy in general so that doubles as a great weight loss diet.
I have already successfully weaned myself off of dark colored sodas – I used to be a legit Dr. Pepper addict, like 2-3 Dr. Peppers a day and I would get a headache if I didn’t have one. But now, when I get a craving for a Dr. Pepper, I drink a Sprite instead since it is clear and that has really done the trick to get me unhooked from the Dr. Peps. So that’s a really huge accomplishment for me!
And some great snacks that I’ve been eating lately are red bell peppers with garlic hummus and french bread with an olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and balsamic vinegar (NOT vinaigrette!!) dipping sauce. OMG so good!! Just like the stuff you get at Italian restaurants.
I’m also planning on cutting back on how much meat I eat each week. I’m going to try to only eat meat 2-3 days out of the week and every other day will be pescetarian (only fish), vegetarian (no meat but eggs and dairy are okay), or vegan (no animal products whatsoever). You could call this lifestyle “plant-based” where I focus all of my meals around plants and try to limit how much meat and dairy I eat and eliminate it when possible.
I’m also cutting out as much salt as possible. No salt on the rims of my margaritas and no salt added to anything I cook. There is already a lot of salt already added to food so it is unnecessary to add more. I’m also religiously checking the labels on food to see the sodium and potassium content. I’m trying to stay in the 100mg or lower area.
So like I said above, this isn’t a fad diet where I completely cut out sugar or carbs or gluten or fat. I’m just eliminating the food that is bad for kidneys and focusing my diet around foods that are good for kidneys.
If you follow me on Pinterest, I have two Boards labeled “Food” and “Vegan” and that’s pretty much where I get all of my meal inspo. I went through and deleted everything that had high sodium, high potassium, and high phosphorus and everything that had potatoes or whole wheat bread or brown rice since those are bad for kidneys. So if you wanted to follow me on Pinterest or at least just follow those two boards on my account, you will see a lot of the 2020 diet plan meals that I’ll be eating!
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