The benefits of sticking to a Mediterranean diet are many, and now, a team of researchers have found that this diet could also play a role in significantly reducing the risk of chronic kidney disease.
The researchers, along with lead author Minesh Khatri, MD, of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York studied 900 patients for a period of 7 years. Each study subject was closely observed to determine how their dietary patterns resembled that of 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.
The researchers found that the study subjects who followed a diet that was similar to the Mediterranean diet were at a 50 percent reduced risk of being affected by chronic kidney disorder. What’s more, they were also 42 percent less likely to observe a rapid decline in their kidney function as opposed to those who did not.
To add to that, the researchers also found that there was a 17 percent reduction in the risk of chronic kidney disease in patients who adhered more and more to the Mediterranean diet. Julie Lin, MD, MPH, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston further emphasized on the importance of regular physical activity along with a healthy diet- all in all a healthy lifestyle when it comes to reducing the risk of chronic kidney disease.
The Mediterranean diet basically includes plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts and whole grains. It also stresses on the importance of the consumption of poultry and fish atleast twice a week, and the use of healthy fats (like olive oil) for cooking purposes as opposed to saturated fats.
There is a limitation imposed on the consumption of processed and packaged foods and red meats for those following a Mediterranean diet.
Recent studies have also revealed that following this healthy diet could reverse metabolic syndrome, reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, peripheral artery disease, heart attacks and even cancer.