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Diets with More Potassium May Benefit Diabetics’ Kidney Health

Posted on November 13, 2015 by Disability Help Group

For diabetics, protecting your kidneys from damage is a major part of avoiding future complications from the disease. Research is now showing that dietary habits, especially focusing on certain nutrients, play a significant role in improving the health of the kidneys and heart.

Dr. Shin-ichi Araki from the Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan recently published the results of his study on potassium-rich diets on diabetic patients. His trial involved 623 type 2 diabetics, enrolled from 1996 to 2003, who were not using diuretics nor had a history of cardiovascular disease. During the study, the enrolled participants’ urine was collected and its potassium and sodium levels measured. Patients were followed-up until 2013.

The participants with high levels of potassium in their urine samples were found to have a lower risk of renal dysfunction and cardiovascular conditions. This could lead to lower risk of end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease, two of the leading causes of death among diabetics.

Potassium is found naturally in many foods.

  • Leafy greens (kale, collards, chard, etc.)
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes

Processing of these fruits and vegetables leads to depletion of potassium content, so consuming these foods while fresh is best for maximum benefits. It is important to remember that a healthy diet is very important to diabetes management, it is not intended as a single solution to avoid complications. Blood sugar management, regular checkups with specialists, and exercise are all integral parts of overall diabetes management and improved health.

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