March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Seek the advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist and follow these steps to help reduce your risk of kidney disease.
- Keep Control of Your Blood Sugar. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, stay within blood sugar guidelines as instructed by your physician.
- Know and Control Your Blood Pressure. One in three adults has high blood pressure, yet many do not have it under control. Reduce your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams and further reduce your intake to 1,500 milligrams if you are over 51, are African American or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Have your blood pressure checked every time you go to the doctor, or at the least once a year.
- Stay Physically Fit. Exercise improves blood flow through your body and improves muscle function, both of which help your kidneys. Exercise also lowers blood pressure, helps keep blood sugar levels in control and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat Well. A well-balanced diet focuses on nutrient-dense foods — vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds.
- Use Pain Medication Only as Directed. Take medicines the way your doctor or healthcare provider tells you to.
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you develop an eating and exercise plan that is right for you, while helping you reduce your risk for kidney disease. Use the Find an Expert tool to locate an RDN in your area.