Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are about the size of your fist. These highly important organs process and dispose of unwanted materials in your body, such as excess fluid and waste products, so that your blood can be as clean as possible. But what happens when you do things every day that work against your kidneys’ health? No matter how healthy you are and how much water you drink, if you eat the wrong food and lead a stressful lifestyle, you can be doing damage to your kidneys without even knowing it!
1) Late-night snacking
Late-night snacking is a common habit that many of us think we’re excused from because it only happens occasionally. What you don’t know though is that by constantly snacking on high-sodium foods and sugary treats, you’re actually wreaking havoc on your kidneys.
Not only are you doubling the chance of developing diabetes, but when your kidneys become overloaded with sodium, they produce more ammonia – which is extremely toxic to the body.
One way soda can cause kidney problems is by impairing the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorous, both necessary for kidney function. Additionally, the acid in these drinks increases the risk of stone formation, which if untreated could result in chronic kidney disease or an attack on the kidneys. Finally, overconsumption has been linked to weight gain and high blood pressure—both factors that can worsen kidney conditions.
3) Soda pops
Avoid drinking pop and other sugary drinks. Sugar is deadly to your kidney because it causes inflammation, which can lead to kidney disease over time. Plus, sugar can cause diabetes and obesity, which are also related to kidney disease. A diet high in sugar also increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases that can be dangerous to your kidneys.
4) White bread, white rice, and other refined carbs
According to a recent study conducted by Australian researchers, people who eat excessive amounts of white bread and refined carbohydrates are at an increased risk for kidney disease. In the study, a group of women with type 2 diabetes was given a diet low in fat but high in whole grains and their body’s ability to process glucose improved significantly.
5) Canned foods
Canned foods are often packed with high levels of sodium, which can be detrimental to your kidneys. This is because your kidneys need water to function well, but the high-sodium content will force it to use more water than it would otherwise.
6) Fast food
The typical American consumes twice as many sodas than they did thirty years ago, and twenty times more fast food. Sodas are the number one cause of kidney stones, while processed fast food increases the risk of heart disease and kidney failure. In other words, there’s a good chance you’re slowly killing your kidneys by picking up a cheeseburger on the way home from work.
7) Milk alternatives (soy, almond, rice, etc.)
Most milk-alternatives, like almond and soy milk, are actually high in protein and low in fat. However, there are some that aren’t. Rice milk is usually fortified with vitamin D, but most other brands don’t provide any nutrients except for protein. Coconut milk is a good option if you’re vegan or dairy-free, but it doesn’t offer the same amount of nutrients that soy or almond milk provides.
8) Being sedentary
Sitting for long periods of time (especially if you are sitting in the same position for a period of time) can cause restricted blood flow to the kidneys, which decreases the pressure in your body. This causes less fluid to pass through the kidneys, which can lead to more toxins and waste accumulating in your bloodstream.
9) Lazy Sunday afternoon eating from the couch.
From spending too much time sitting to eating salty processed food, there are a variety of habits that can gradually cause kidney damage. The reason for this is because the kidneys have to filter out all the waste products from our bodies, and if they’re given a double-whammy by both being lazy and overworking themselves with unhealthy habits, the kidneys will eventually start to fail. As the kidneys get more damaged, you’ll be at risk for developing chronic kidney disease which can be fatal.
10) Not eating enough vegetables
Not eating enough vegetables can be hazardous to your kidneys. Veggies are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that protect the kidneys from damage and promote healthy function.