6 Foods To Avoid For Better Kidney Health

Can I have a show of hands, please? How often do you think of your kidneys and how healthy are they? That’s what I thought. Unless you have a known issue with your kidneys you’re probably like me, and never give these hardworking and underappreciated organs a second thought.

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from your blood and maintaining the fluid level in your body. They also play a part in keeping your blood pressure regulated.


Since they’re often overlooked until something goes wrong, let’s take a look at some foods that should be avoided to keep your kidneys in tip-top shape.

6 Foods To Be Avoided

1. Soda

Whether it’s regular soda or the artificially sweetened kind, experts warn against the consumption of soft drinks when trying to protect your kidneys.


A 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than the recommended daily amount. And diet soda is just as bad for you.

Experts are not certain about the exact link between kidney health and drinking soda, but they suspect that the fructose contained in the soda can cause inflammation and oxidative stress.


2. Animal Protein

Animal protein of any kind is not recommended for people having issues with kidney function. The main reason is because protein metabolism places a huge strain on your kidneys, making it harder to do their main job, eliminating waste.

Animal protein tends to leave an acidic residue behind in your body, which can create an environment that makes it easy for diseases to gain a foothold.


A diet heavy in animal protein may also lead to a high uric acid level, which can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

3. Salt

Salt is necessary for your body to function properly, but consuming an excessive amount of sodium will impact your health in a number of ways.


Ingesting too much salt will cause your kidneys to retain water in your body in an effort to keep the sodium level in your bloodstream at the proper dilution.

This puts a great strain on your kidneys and may raise blood pressure levels, increasing your risk for cardiovascular disease


You can most likely consume enough salt from eating natural foods and vegetables. The most common culprit for increased sodium intake is all the processed and packaged foods many of us consume on a regular basis.

4. Caffeine

It seems like caffeine makes the world go around, and many people need a jolt to start their day. If your kidneys are not functioning correctly, however, you should avoid any forms of caffeine.


Regularly consuming caffeinated products can cause spikes in your blood pressure and also increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

It’s pretty easy to get hooked on caffeine, but thankfully it’s also not too difficult to kick the habit. For example, if you absolutely need a cup of coffee in the morning, make a cup with half regular, half decaf and slowly reduce the amount of regular coffee until you no longer miss it.

5. Dairy Products

We mentioned animal protein earlier, but many people don’t realize that milk contains animal protein as well.

It’s also wise to avoid cheese when dealing with kidney problems.

Studies have shown that consuming dairy products increase all sorts of diseases.

Dairy products can cause an increase in calcium secreted by in your urine, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones and put a strain on normal kidney function.

6. Potassium

Potassium is an extremely important mineral for optimum health. Like many other things in our body, however, the balance is critical.

Potassium controls muscle function as well as maintaining the proper fluid and electrolyte balance, and also ensures that your heart rate stays in rhythm.

Your kidneys are responsible for keeping the potassium in your system at the proper level.

Impaired kidneys can’t remove excess potassium from the blood. This condition is known as hyperkalemia and can occur in people with advanced kidney disease. 1

Foods high in potassium include avocados, beans, yogurt, salmon, mushrooms, and bananas, just to name a few. Many foods contain potassium, and if you have kidney disease you’ll need to speak with your doctor about lowering your potassium intake.

Bottom Line: Most people never give their hardworking kidneys a second thought.

However, if your kidney function is impaired you’ll have to pay special attention to your diet, and in particular which foods you need to avoid to ensure your kidneys can have the best chance at doing their job.