How Does the Mediterranean Diet Affect My Kidney Disease?

This week, I did some research and found some information on how following a Mediterranean diet can improve outcomes in chronic kidney disease.1 . This study found that patients following the Italian Mediterranean Organic Diet were able to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in healthy individuals and chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. It also reduced the blood phosphorus levels and micro albuminuria levels in patients. They also saw improvement in lean body mass in the CKD patients.

Mediterranean DietWhat Is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet that they used was 50 or 60% carbohydrate, 15 to 20% protein, and less than 30% fat. For the protein, about 50% of the protein was from vegetable products such as beans and legumes. For the fat, cholesterol was less than 300 mg per day and saturated fat, less than 10%. They also ate about 30 g of fiber a day. With this type of diet, you eat vegetarian type entrées 3 to 4 days per week. You should also increase your fish intake, especially those fish that have high omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, to 1 to 2 days per week.

How Does This Affect My Renal Diet?

I think this study is important because it highlights how you can improve your health through what you eat. Depending on the stage of kidney disease, you may eat between 20 to 35 g of protein at a meal. A lot of us think of protein as only the animal products that we eat, but protein is contained in many other parts of our diet. The researchers reviewed the diet plans for the kidney patients to limit phosphorus as needed. Following a diet that has more carbohydrate, especially complex carbohydrates and more fiber, can help you control your risk for other diseases and complications over the long run. Kidney patients should know how much protein are allowed and follow a meal plan that helps them not have to worry every day about what they’re going to eat. When you look for recipes, you should look for recipes that have less animal proteins and more vegetable type proteins to reduce the fat and cholesterol contained in your diet. Knowing what the portion size allowed is very important as well in your recipes.

Whether you plan your own renal diet or follow a pre-prepared meal plan, make sure it controls for the amounts of protein and potassium and sodium that you need.

1. De Lorenzo, A; Noce, A. Bigioni, M. et al. “The Effects of Italian Mediterranean Organic Diet (IMOD) on Health Status.” Current Pharmaceutical Design 16 (2010): 814-824. Web. 1 Jul 2011.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at

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