The foods and drinks you consume may have an influence on your kidneys’ capacity to keep you safe and healthy. Excessive soda and alcohol use can be harmful, but consuming meals high in potassium and protein can help preserve these essential organs. Now, new research reveals that eating a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil may help sustain kidney function, especially in those who have had cardiac problems in the past.
The research, which was published earlier this month in the official journal of the ESPEN (The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism), looked at over 1,000 people with coronary heart disease (specifically those who have suffered a coronary event six months ago or more). Half of the individuals were randomized to follow a Mediterranean diet high in extra virgin olive oil, while the other half were assigned to a low-fat diet rich in complex carbs.
Their key results are that, as compared to a low-fat diet, long-term consumption of a Mediterranean diet—rich in monounsaturated fat from olive oil—slows and protects renal function in people with coronary heart disease.
In fact, the study discovered that both diets were associated with better kidney function, however, the high-EVOO Mediterranean diet had a considerably greater favorable effect.
Maintaining kidney health is critical for persons with coronary heart disease because the kidneys do more than merely filter waste and excess fluid. They also play an important role in your heart health, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health—kidney disease can contribute to high blood pressure. If you’re concerned about your heart, it may be worthwhile to keep an eye on your kidneys.
“Start slowly if you’re new to the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Set objectives such as eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less processed meat. Then, try to consume more omega-3-rich fish.” Suggests Julie Andrews, owner of The Healthy Epicurean.