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Healthy Living: Kidney Month

Last month we talked about three recommendations for healthy living and disease prevention; healthy diet, exercise and maintain a healthy weight. These recommendations can also help prevent kidney disease. March is National Kidney Month. Kidney disease is more prevalent than you might think. One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease.  Risk factors include diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, if you are older than  60 years or of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent, you are at greater risk. While we can not control our age or genetics there are things we can do. Our kidneys have many jobs such as keeping our body fluids in balance, filtering wastes and toxins and maintaining sodium and potassium balance. You can help protect your kidneys by controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Taking all medications as prescribed by your doctor and eating healthy meals can also help protect kidney function.

Guess what? It’s also National Nutrition Month. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers a month of tips for eating when you are pressed for time. Thinking and planning about food options for the day can help prevent overeating or eating the wrong foods. Adding fruits and vegetables can boost nutrition and help you feel full. Carry nutritious snacks such as trail mix, fruit, single serve packages of crackers and peanut butter. Maybe you can make healthy eating an adventure for the family.  Try a new fruit or veggie every week, involve the kids with learning how to prepare the food and they will learn healthy habits too!

So, at risk of repeating myself: every small improvement we make toward healthy eating and healthy living can have a huge impact on our general health. What will you change today?

Learn more at the websites below:

National Kidney Foundation

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley 860-767-0186

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