The diet, termed a Southern-Style diet, consisting of processed meats, fried foods and sugar sweetened beverages has been linked to a substantially higher rate of death in patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. A previous study has linked this diet to an increased risk of stroke.
Kidney disease impacts on buildup of waste products and fluid in the blood and choosing the right healthy food can decrease the workload on kidney function.
The research team identified 3,972 participants who had stage 3-5 chronic kidney disease, but had not started dialysis and analyzed the dietary patterns in those individuals. People who ate a primarily Southern-style cuisine had a 50 percent increase in death over a 6.5 year follow up period. Consuming a higher intake of a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables was associated with improved survival.
“This adds to the evidence that suggests that the foods that they eat can meaningfully impact long-term survival in individuals with kidney disease,” said lead author Orlando Gutiérrez, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Nephrology.
“For clinicians, this suggests that focusing on modifying general patterns of foods that people eat, instead of individual components of the foods like salt intake or fat intake, may be more helpful in counseling patients,” Gutiérrez said. “It may be more helpful to focus on general patterns of eating instead of individual nutrients since this may be easier for patients to conceptualize and therefore actualize.”
“We did not find an association of either a Southern-style diet or a fruits and vegetable diet with risk of developing end-stage renal disease, though this may have been because we were underpowered to detect any relatively modest effect,” Gutiérrez said.