DASH diet known to lower blood pressure also has benefits for kidney health
It turns out the “DASH” diet, designed and proven to reduce blood pressure, is also good for your kidneys.
A new study from Johns Hopkins University found that people whose diet aligned with DASH principles had significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease over the course of more than two decades.
DASH—short for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”—emphasizes eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, while limiting sodium, sugary foods and drinks, and red and processed meats.
Designed in response to tests by the National Institutes of Health, the diet is meant to provide key nutrients that play a role in reducing hypertension.
Though past research has shown a number of positive outcomes from DASH beyond blood pressure benefits—such as preventing chronic cardiovascular disease—this new study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health is the first to focus on impacts to the kidneys.
Those with the highest intake of nuts and legumes were at 9 percent lower risk of developing kidney disease than those with the lowest intake.
Rebholz says the reason a DASH-style diet appears to align with kidney health may have to do with the known link between hypertension and kidney disease.
Food acidity may also play a role—the foods that DASH promotes are low acid, while high dietary acid is thought to be connected to kidney disease.