The energy-producing processes in your muscles leave a by-product or a chemical compound called Creatinine, which is an important marker of kidney health. If there is a build-up of creatinine in your blood or a high creatinine level, it signals likely trouble in kidney function, which may lead to chronic kidney illnesses. A rise in creatinine level, thus, requires precautions to maintain optimal levels of this compound for the overall well-being of your health.
Understanding Creatinine Levels
Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscle metabolism, which is excreted from the body through the kidneys. Healthy kidneys filter out excess creatinine from your body through urine. It is important to have a stable level of creatinine in the blood. An increase in creatinine is a sign of poor kidney health. Below is the normal range of creatinine levels in males and females:
- For adult males, it should be between 0.74 to 1.35 mg/dL (65.4 to 119.3 micromoles/L)
- For adult females, it should be 0.59 to 1.04 mg/dL (52.2 to 91.9 micromoles/L)
If a test result of creatinine shows abnormal results or elevated creatinine levels, it means the following:
- There may be a blockage in the urinary tract
- An infection in the kidney or sign of kidney damage
- There may be a severe loss of body fluid
- A muscle issue such as muscle disintegration called rhabdomyolysis, etc.
Best Diet Plans for Creatinine Control
Food has a huge role to play when it comes to controlling creatinine. Including a healthy diet is essential to promote healthy kidneys and to manage the levels of creatinine. At the same time, it is equally important to consult a healthcare professional for relevant medical advice. Further, some lifestyle modifications need to be done to maintain creatinine levels. Let’s look at how to lower creatinine levels through food and diet.
1. Renal-Friendly Foods
Include food items in your diet that are beneficial for kidney health. Here are some such foods that are kidney-friendly and may help reduce creatinine levels:
- Kidney-friendly fruits: Fruits like Apples, Papaya, Guava, Pineapple, Cranberries, Blueberries, Watermelon, Red Grapes, and Peach are termed as kidney-friendly fruits
- Kidney-friendly vegetables: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, Onion, Garlic, Leafy vegetables, Radish, Turnips, Bell Peppers, and Eggplant are some renal-friendly vegetables
- Kidney-friendly cereals: Wheat products, White rice, Buckwheat, and Bulgur are some examples of cereals that are good for kidney patients
- Kidney-friendly pulses and legumes: Chickpeas, Arhar dal, Bengal gram, and Toor dal are some examples in this list
Besides the above renal-friendly food, the diet of kidney patients should also be low in potassium. Here are some low-potassium food items to include in your diet:
2. Low-Potassium Food
When kidneys do not function properly, they find it difficult to remove excess potassium. This creates the build-up of potassium in the body, which may cause conditions like hyperkalemia. High potassium levels can cause nausea, weakness, slow pulse, and numbness.
Hence, controlling potassium intake and including a low-potassium diet is important for people with kidney concerns. Here’s a list of food items with low-potassium content:
- Low- potassium fruits: Apples, Plums, Raspberries, Tangerine, Watermelon and Pears
- Low- potassium vegetables: Alfalfa Sprouts, Asparagus, Broccoli, Eggplant, Cucumber, Kale, Green peas, Zucchini, etc.
Further, to reduce potassium levels in Indian cooking, you may soak pulses in warm water for an hour and drain them before cooking.
3. Phosphorus Management
Healthy kidneys are capable of removing extra phosphorus from the blood. However, patients with chronic kidney ailments have difficulty removing phosphorus with ease. When extra phosphorus gets stored in the body, it causes changes and may weaken the bones. Hence, managing phosphorus levels is also vital for overall health.
4. Sodium Moderation
Salt or sodium is another vital ingredient that has a significant role to play in kidney functions. Food with high sodium intake may cause a spike in blood pressure and damage the kidneys. Hence, monitoring salt intake is very important for kidney patients or patients with high creatinine levels.
To reduce sodium intake in the diet, you may avoid some food items like processed foods, bakery products, ready-to-eat foods, pickles, papads, and more.
Meal Planning Tips
For a patient with high creatinine levels, it is essential to balance macronutrients. It can be done by including various food items in their meal to make them healthy for the kidneys. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are the key nutrient elements found in food. Including vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, and lean protein in the diet will give creatinine patients a balanced meal option to manage creatinine levels.
Portion control is another important aspect in this regard. Rather than having a large meal, try to control the portion size and include a balanced diet to curb excess food intake.
Also, incorporating dietary fiber is another essential aspect. Including lots of dietary fiber makes it easy to manage creatinine levels. Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds are rich in fiber and can be included for the kidney as well as overall health.
Lifestyle Factors and Habits
As we know, creatinine indirectly influences renal functions. Factors like diet, exercise, and other physical activities do influence real kidney issues. Aerobic exercise of 30 minutes is good for significantly improving serum creatinine in kidney patients. Walking, swimming, bicycling, and skiing are other effective exercises that can be performed as per your capacity. However, patients might consult their physicians before starting any strenuous exercise regime.
Along with exercise, avoiding tobacco and limiting alcohol is also equally important. Consuming tobacco and excessive alcohol greatly impacts your kidney health. Hence, it is vital to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Supplements and Vitamins
Good food is the best source of all the nutrients we require. Including a wide variety of food in your meal each day will supplement the requirement for essential nutrients. However, people with kidney ailments may not be allowed to consume every food item needed for overall health and well-being. They had to limit the consumption of some foods that aid good health. Moreover, the capacity of kidney patients to digest food also changes when they are diagnosed with kidney diseases. Hence, using vitamins and supplements for the required nutrient needs becomes essential. However, checking with your healthcare professional or dietitian before including supplements is very important. Also, creatinine patients must avoid such supplements that may enhance the creatinine levels as they may cause harmful effects to their kidneys.
Recipes for a Kidney-Friendly Diet
Here are some healthy recipes for a kidney-friendly diet:
Recipe 1. Salad greens with pears, fennel and walnuts
- A large bowl of mixed salad greens
- 1 medium trimmed and thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1 medium thinly sliced pear
- 1 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Extra-virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Black pepper powder (as per taste)
Mix all the ingredients over the salad greens. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and walnuts. Drizzle some olive oil and vinegar and add some black pepper. Serve immediately.
Nutrition per serving
Calories – 140
Total fat – 8 g
Saturated fat – 1 g
Trans fat – traces
Monosaturated fat – 4 g
Cholesterol – 1 mg
Sodium – 60 mg
Carbohydrates – 15 g
Sugar – 9 g
Added sugar – 0 g
Protein – 3 g
Recipe 2. Broccoli with garlic and lemon
- Broccoli (small pieces) – 4 cups
- Olive oil – 1 tsp
- Minced garlic – 1 tbsp
- Lemon zest – 1 tbsp
- Kosher salt – 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper (powder) – 1/4 tsp
Take a pan and boil a cup of water. Cut broccoli into small pieces and add to the boiling water. Now, cook for a few minutes and drain. In a different pan, add some oil and heat it over medium flame. Now, add the garlic. Next, add broccoli, and the rest of the ingredients. Combine well and serve.
Nutrition per serving
Calories – 45
Total fat – 1 g
Saturated fat – 0 g
Trans fat – 0 g
Monosaturated fat – 1 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 153 mg
Carbohydrates – 7 g
Fiber – 3 g
Total Sugar – 2 g
Protein – 3 g
Common Myths and Misconceptions
All Kidney diseases, including creatinine, is Incurable
Fact – Most kidney diseases, including creatinine, are curable with the right medication and treatment.
If serum creatinine level is slightly above normal, you may not worry if you are fit
Fact – Even a mild increase in creatinine level requires attention as it can be an indicator of kidney dysfunction
Creatinine patients have nothing to do with potassium intake.
Fact – People suffering from creatinine or kidney diseases should limit their intake of fruits and vegetables high in potassium, such as bananas, apricots, dates, and cantaloupes. You must be mindful of what to eat when creatinine is elevated.
Popular Health Insurance Companies India, 2023
As discussed above, it is crucial to maintain creatinine levels if you want your kidneys to function properly. Habits like smoking, alcohol, and no physical activities may serve as a detriment to your kidney health. Moreover, consulting with a medical professional for personalized care is also very important. Ignoring issues like soaring creatinine levels may lead to severe kidney dysfunctions. Hence, early medical intervention is essential.
FAQs: Best Diet Plans for Healthy Creatinine Levels
How to reduce creatinine?
Creatinine can be lowered by using medication. Further, there are some ways to naturally lower the creatinine levels through food. However, one must consult with their healthcare provider before taking any such measures.
What is the difference between creatine and creatinine?
Creatinine is a by-product that is eliminated from your body by the kidneys, while Creatine is normally used as an energy source for the muscles. Blood creatinine levels are used as a measure of kidney function. On the other hand, creatine levels are normally used to regulate muscle health.
How to reduce serum creatinine?
Medicines can be used to lower your serum creatinine levels. However, natural ways can also be used to control serum creatinine through food as mentioned in the post above.
How to reduce creatinine levels through food?
Some fruits and vegetables need to be avoided if your creatinine level is high. On the other hand, there are foods recommended for consumption to naturally lower your creatinine levels as mentioned in the post above.
What to eat when creatinine is high?
You may eat foods with lower potassium such as cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, apples, cranberries, grapes, and rice. Also, reduce the intake of salt and protein and consume more water and fiber-rich foods.