Mediterranean diet is associated with a significantly lower risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a recent study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has found.
Minesh Khatri, MD, of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York and fellow researchers looked at 900 patients for 7 years. Each patient was assessed to determine how closely their dietary patterns resembled a Mediterranean diet – that is, a diet consisting of plant-based foods and the consumption of fish and chicken at least twice a week.
“There is increasing evidence that poor diet is associated with kidney disease, but it is unknown whether the benefits of a Mediterranean diet could extend to kidney health as well,” Dr. Khatri stated.
Patients who adhered closely to the diet were found to be 50% less likely to develop CKD and were 42% less likely to experience rapid decline in kidney function compared to those who did not.
Furthermore, there was a 17% lower risk of CKD as patients adhered more and more to the diet.
In an editorial, Julie Lin, MD, MPH, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston noted that regular physical activity along with a healthful diet is encouraged in order to achieve an overall healthy lifestyle.
The Mediterranean diet mainly consists of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It also includes consumption of fish and poultry at least twice a week, and healthy fats – such as olive oil – in replacement of saturated fats. Red meats, processed foods and sweets are limited. The diet has been hailed for promoting numerous health benefits.
Medical News Today recently reported on a study claiming a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or extra-virgin olive oil could reverse metabolic syndrome. Other studies have linked the diet to reduced risk of stroke, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, diabetes and cancer.