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Cut out one red meat meal a week to reduce kidney failure risk
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

If you’re eating red meat most days, think about cutting back—it could help lower your risk of kidney failure. Replacing even one weekly meal of meat with another protein, such as chicken or fish, will reduce your risk of ending up on dialysis.

ESRD (end-stage renal disease) is the final stage of chronic kidney disease, by which time the patient needs to be on dialysis or have a kidney transplant. But this can so easily be avoided by cutting back on the red meat, say researchers from the National University of Singapore.

For 15 years, they tracked the health and diets of 63,257 Chinese people living in Singapore, and discovered a ‘strong association’ between red meat and risk of ESRD; those who ate the most red meat had a 40 per cent increased risk of developing the disease compared to those who ate the least. Eating chicken, fish, eggs or dairy products didn’t increase the risk at all, and soy or legumes—such as peas, lentils and chickpeas—had a slightly protective effect. Cutting back on the red meat reduces the risk of kidney failure by 62 per cent, they reckoned.


(Source: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2016; published ahead of print, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2016030248)

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