Western-style diet may lead to decline in kidney function

Apr 07, 2011

High amounts of red meat are one of the features that make a Western diet a potentially less healthy choice.

Western-style diets, characterized by high consumption of red meats, processed meats, sugar and saturated fats may lead to a decline in kidney function, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

The study was developed using data from the Nurse's Health Study, and compared the Western diet to the Dietary Approached to Stopping Hypertension diet, which focuses on fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy, and a prudent diet, which includes a lot of vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and fruit.

Kidney function was determined by how well the participant's kidneys were filtering blood and urine tests that looked for a certain protein called albuminuria, which, according to researchers, is a sign of inflammation and vascular disease.

Researchers found that the female participants had well functioning kidneys, however women on the Western diet had a higher risk for a rapid decline in kidney filtration rate. They also had more albuminuria in their urine, a discovery which researchers say "adds to growing evidence that albuminuria, which is widely considered to be an early reflection of vascular disease, may be influenced by diet."

Having an unhealthy diet has been linked to many diseases that may result in death at the most, or increased health and life insurance rates at the least.  

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