Low-carb, low-sugar diet could help people with chronic kidney disease live longer

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A diet low in carbohydrates and sugars may increase life expectancy for adults suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to new research published in Renal Failure.

The study found that replacing carbohydrates with protein and/or substituting sugar with non-sugar carbohydrates appears to reduce mortality risk.

What Did the Study Involve?

Researchers at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in China investigated the relationship between macronutrient (fat, protein, carbohydrate) intake and overall mortality risk in 3,683 adult CKD patients in the U.S.

What Were the Findings?

The researchers discovered that CKD patients had a lower mortality risk when they derived 30%-45% of their energy from carbohydrates (as opposed to 60%) and 5%-20% of their energy from sugar (as opposed to 40%).

The study also indicated that substituting carbohydrate energy intake with protein (up to 30%) and/or replacing sugar with non-sugar carbohydrates (up to 55%) reduced overall mortality risk, while total energy intake remained constant.

Why is This Important?

CKD affects approximately 15% of people in the UK and the US. An optimal diet can prevent CKD progression effectively, but there have been limited studies examining the influence of carbohydrate intake in those with the disease.

These findings suggest that the diet advice given to CKD patients should be personalized based on their current diet structure, specifically considering the percentage of carbohydrate intake and the balance of sugar/non-sugar carbohydrates.

While the study supports the potential benefits of a low-carb, low-sugar diet for CKD patients, more extensive research with larger sample sizes and longer duration is needed to fully determine the effects of a high-protein diet in CKD patients.

The study was 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 the risk of kidney injury.

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

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