Are Grits Good for CKD? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Grits are not very good for CKD. Because they have high amounts of phosphorus and sodium, and they can raise your blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood phosphorus levels.

CKD is a condition that affects your kidneys.

In CKD, your body cannot filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood properly.

This can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure.

One of the key factors in managing CKD is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood pressure, blood sugar, electrolytes, and fluid balance, which can impact your CKD symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage CKD, you should consume protein, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium in moderation, and follow the recommendations of your doctor or dietitian.

You should consume protein-rich foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, but limit the portion size to about 3 ounces per meal.

You should avoid potassium-rich foods like bananas, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach, and choose low-potassium foods like apples, cabbage, carrots, green beans, grapes, and strawberries.

You should avoid phosphorus-rich foods like cheese, nuts, seeds, beans, and chocolate, and choose low-phosphorus foods like rice, pasta, bread, corn, and cucumber.

You should avoid sodium-rich foods like salt, soy sauce, canned foods, processed meats, and fast foods, and choose low-sodium foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Now, grits are a type of porridge made from coarsely ground dried maize or hominy, which is maize that has been treated with an alkali to remove the hull.

People usually cook grits in water or milk and serve them as a breakfast dish or a side dish with other foods.

Grits are not very good for CKD because they contain high amounts of phosphorus and sodium.

According to the recipe from The Kitchn, one serving of grits (about 1 cup) can give you 454 calories, 15 grams of protein, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,037 milligrams of sodium, 300 milligrams of potassium, and 450 milligrams of phosphorus.

This means that one serving of grits can provide about 14% of your daily protein needs, 18% of your daily carbohydrate needs, 35% of your daily fat needs, 50% of your daily saturated fat needs, 17% of your daily cholesterol needs, 45% of your daily sodium needs, 6% of your daily potassium needs, and 45% of your daily phosphorus needs.

Phosphorus can negatively affect CKD because it can cause your bones to lose calcium and become weak and brittle.

It can also cause calcium deposits in your blood vessels, heart, lungs, and other organs, which can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sodium can negatively affect CKD because it can raise your blood pressure and make your kidneys work harder to remove the excess fluid.

High blood pressure can damage your kidneys further and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Furthermore, grits are a grain and grains are not very good for CKD.

Because, grains can raise your blood sugar levels and worsen your diabetes if you have it.

Diabetes is a common cause of CKD and can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

That’s why I suggest you limit your grits intake to avoid worsening your CKD.

Stick to half a cup or less of grits per day to minimize the effects of phosphorus and sodium.

Also, you shouldn’t eat grits if you have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high blood phosphorus levels to prevent further complications.

Because, grits can aggravate these conditions and make them harder to control.

You can buy fresh or dried grits in your local market or can order them online.

Always choose stone-ground or old-fashioned grits, which have more flavor and texture than quick or instant grits.

Because, quick or instant grits are more processed and have less nutrients and fiber.

You can store them in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to a year.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing CKD effectively.

I always recommend my CKD patients to follow a CKD-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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