Carbohydrate intake and health in kidney disease

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Taking care of our diet is important for our health, especially for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is a condition where our kidneys are not working as well as they should.

But did you know that the type of food we eat, specifically carbohydrates, can affect our health?

In this study, researchers wanted to find out how carbohydrates are related to the risk of death in people with CKD.


Chronic kidney disease is a condition that affects the kidneys, which are important organs that help clean our blood and remove waste from our bodies.

When the kidneys are not working properly, it can lead to serious health problems. Managing our diet is one way to slow down the progression of CKD and keep our kidneys as healthy as possible.

Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient found in many foods, such as bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables.

They provide our bodies with energy to function properly. However, not all carbohydrates are the same. Some can be good for our health, while others may not be as good.


The researchers looked at a group of adults in the United States who had chronic kidney disease.

They collected information about their diet and followed them for several years to see what happened to their health.

They wanted to understand how the amount and type of carbohydrates they ate were related to their risk of dying.


The study found that the amount of carbohydrates and sugar people with CKD ate was important for their health.

They discovered that people with CKD had a lower risk of dying when they consumed 30-45% of their energy from carbohydrates, compared to those who ate 60%.

Similarly, those who ate 5-20% of their energy from sugar had a lower risk of death compared to those who consumed 40% of their energy from sugar.

Replacing Carbohydrates

The researchers also found that replacing some of the carbohydrates with other foods was beneficial for health.

When people with CKD replaced some of the carbohydrates with protein, up to 30% of their energy, it reduced their risk of dying.

Similarly, substituting sugar with non-sugar carbohydrates, up to 55% of their energy, also lowered their risk of death. The key was to keep the total energy intake the same while making these changes.


In conclusion, this study showed that the type and amount of carbohydrates we eat can affect our health, especially for people with chronic kidney disease.

It is important for people with CKD to eat around 30-45% of their energy from carbohydrates and limit their sugar intake to 5-20% of their energy.

They can also consider replacing some carbohydrates with protein and non-sugar carbohydrates to further improve their health.

By making these dietary changes, people with CKD can better manage their condition and live healthier lives.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized advice on diet and nutrition for individuals with chronic kidney disease.

The study is published in Renal Failure.

If you care about kidney health, please read studies about how to protect your kidneys from diabetes, and drinking coffee could help reduce risk of kidney injury.

For more information about kidney health, please see recent studies about foods that may prevent recurrence of kidney stones, and eating nuts linked to lower risk of chronic kidney disease and death.

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