Losing belly fat
and limiting processed foods and other sources of dietary phosphorus might help
reduce your risk of kidney disease, a new study finds.
added to many processed foods to enhance their flavour and extend their shelf
life. High levels of phosphorus are also naturally found in animal, dairy and
vegetable proteins, said study leader Dr Alex Chang, of Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore in the US.
The study of
nearly 500 overweight or obese adults enrolled in a healthy-lifestyle program
found that a shrinking waistline and lower consumption of dietary phosphorus
were associated with reduced levels of protein in the urine (albuminuria),
which is an early sign of kidney disease.
After six months,
participants' waistlines shrunk an average of 1.7 inches and they had a 25%
reduction in urine protein. The researchers also found that a 314-milligram
reduction in phosphorus excretion resulted in an 11% decrease in urine protein.
The study appeared
in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.
What have other studies suggested?
have suggested that weight loss may slow kidney disease progression, but this
is the first research study to support losing belly fat and limiting phosphorus
consumption as a possible way to prevent kidney disease from developing in the
first place, Dr Joseph Vassalotti, chief medical officer at the National Kidney
Foundation, said in a foundation news release.
"A good rule
of thumb is that if the food comes in a package, it's likely to be high in
phosphorus," he said. "Approximately 90% of phosphorus additives are
absorbed by the body."
More information on phosphorus
phosphorus consumption, look for the root letters "PHOS" on food
labels. But phosphorus isn't always listed on food labels, Vassalotti said, so
you need to know likely sources. They include:
- Processed foods such as dark
colas, cereals and flavoured waters.
- Dairy products such as cheese,
milk, cream, ice cream and yoghurt.
- Animal protein such as deli meats,
organ meats, meat tenderisers, oysters and sardines.
- Dried beans, lentils, peas, nuts
and seeds (including peanut butter and other nut butters), cocoa
(including chocolate-based drinks and puddings).