Is a vegan or vegetarian diet better for patients with kidney disease?
Over the last few decades, we have seen the accumulation of evidence that supports the health benefits of plant-based diets. Vegetarian diets have been shown to be associated with a lower incidence of obesity, hypertension , diabetes , and coronary artery disease . Since all these entities are risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD), it might be reasonable to assume that these diets might actively reduce the risk of CKD development and progression. However, at the very outset, let me emphasize that any diet, vegetarian or not, comes with the same restrictions that are advised for patients with CKD . For instance, potassium intake might need to be restricted in advanced CKD. Fruits, a significant portion of the vegetarian diet, are an important source of potassium, and will need to be appropriately restricted. So you have to watch what you eat regardless. More importantly, you owe it to yourself to know what exactly is there in the food that you eat.