Wednesday, August 07, 2013

NKF: Eat to gain enough energy

Patients on dialysis are advised to restrict their intake of phosphorus, potassium and salt. However, sometimes, these restrictions may result in them not getting adequate nutrition each day, thereby affecting their daily activities and in the long run. Without enough energy can lead to fatigue, weight loss and higher risks of infection.

Kidney-friendly fats and energy

Fats supply the body with energy too. Besides giving us energy, fats keep the body warm and help in using up certain vitamins. . However, the body needs only a small amount of fat, but consuming too much of it will raise the cholesterol in the blood, leading thus to heart diseases. It is, therefore, important to know the types of dietary fats: healthy fat and unhealthy fat.

There are two types of unhealthy fat: saturated and trans. The saturated fat, also known as bad fat, is found in greatest amounts in food derived from animals, is solid at room temperature, can raise cholesterol levels and increase risk of heart disease. Some examples include fatty cuts of meat, lard, butter, whole milk dairy and processed meat. Saturated fat is also found in some vegetables oils such as coconut oil and palm oil.

Trans fat is more harmful than saturated fat because it raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol and increases triglycerides levels in the body that are not good for the heart. It is usually found in all food made with shortenings or hard margarines.

Healthy fat refers to unsaturated fat, which is also known as good fat. Good fat is mostly found in vegetables oils, nuts and fatty fish and is usually liquid at room and refrigerator temperatures. Unsaturated fat includes non-hydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, olive or corn oil and soft, trans-fat free margarines. Unsaturated fat, when taken in moderation, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, and in addition, provides the energy to especially those on dialysis.

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