In an article on NutritionFacts.org, Dr Michael Greger has warned that around one in eight of us are now facing chronic kidney disease without even realising. This is a particularly scary statistic, however, Greger is quick to offer up a solution. According to the plant-based expert, eating more protein from plants and consuming less meat could be the answer.
In the past, Greger has often warned about the risks of a diet rich in animal products and he is a keen advocate of the vegan diet as the best option to keep your body healthy and nourished. In a lecture last year Greger said, ‘after a meal of animal products people suffer from endotoxemia, their blood stream becomes awash with bacterial toxins known as endotoxins that are present in the animal products, no wonder our body goes crazy.’
In terms of keeping your kidneys healthy and working efficiently, Greger stands by the statement that our bodies do not like having to process animal products. Plant-based foods however, he claims are a doddle.
“the consumption of animal fat can actually alter the structure of the kidney, and animal protein can deliver an acid load to the kidneys, increase ammonia production, and damage the sensitive kidney cells. This is why restricting protein intake is recommended for preventing kidney function decline – though it may be animal protein in particular that may need restricting not just protein in general.” Greger writes. “So, the source of the protein, plant versus animal, may be more important than the amount regarding adverse health consequences.”
He then goes on to add, “we saw in a study that eating meat increases the workload on the kidneys within hours of consumption, but, apparently processing plant protein is a cinch. That particular study was done with beef, but any animal protein will do. If you eat a meal of tuna fish, pressure on the kidneys goes up within just hours of consumption. Then the researchers switched it up and found that if instead of having a tuna salad sandwich, you have a tofu salad sandwich (with the same amount of protein): no adverse effect.”
If you need some help in your search for high-protein, plant-based recipes, see here.