The World Health Organization (WHO) has very specific dietary recommendations for people suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD). If you have CKD it’s likely you’re trying to stick to these recommendations.
But that may be a mistake according to a new study published in the journal Renal Failure.
Because following those WHO recommendations for CKD will increase your risk of dying by a terrifying 25%.
The World Health Organization (WHO) generally recommends a diet low in fat and carbs, with protein as the primary energy source. However, for CKD patients, the WHO suggests a low-protein diet, as high protein intakes are thought to hasten kidney damage.
But, if CKD patients reduce their protein consumption, they increase their intake of carbs and sugar which can also be bad for their health. So, what is the ideal CKD diet? That is the question answered by this new study.
Researchers examined the relationships between macronutrient intake (carbohydrates, fats, protein) and all-cause mortality risk in 3,683 adult CKD patients whose data were collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2003 and 2014.
The participants had an average age of 62.4 years, and 1,082 of them died during the follow-up period of 67 months.
Let’s see what they found:
1. Compared to those who consumed 60% of their energy from carbohydrates, those for whom carbs were 30–45% of energy were 24% less likely to die.
2. Compared to those who consumed 40% of their energy from sugar, those for whom sugar was 5–20% of energy were 25% less likely to die.
3. Replacing up to 30% of carbohydrates with protein and substituting 55% of sugar with non-sugar carbohydrates also lowered their all-cause mortality risk.
This indicates that the ideal diet for longevity in CKD patients consists of approximately 40% of energy from protein, 40% from non-sugar carbs, and 20% from sugar and non-animal fats.
If these findings are correct, CKD patients don’t need to eat a very low protein diet as many scientists believe. As such, it is actually necessary to replace some carbs with protein.