Traditional dietary recommendations to renal patients limited the intake of fruits and vegetables because of their high potassium content. However, this paradigm is rapidly changing due to the multiple benefits derived from a fundamentally vegetarian diet such as, improvement in gut dysbiosis, reducing the number of pathobionts and protein-fermenting species leading to a decreased production of the most harmful uremic toxins, while the high fiber content of these diets enhances intestinal motility and short-chain fatty acid production. Metabolic acidosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is aggravated by the high consumption of meat and refined cereals, increasing the dietary acid load, while the intake of fruit and vegetables is able to neutralize the acidosis and its deleterious consequences. Phosphorus absorption and bioavailability is also lower in a vegetarian diet, reducing hyperphosphatemia, a known cause of cardiovascular mortality in CKD. The richness of multiple plants in magnesium and vitamin K avoids their deficiency, which is common in these patients. These beneficial effects, together with the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress observed with these diets, may explain the reduction in renal patients’ complications and mortality, and may slow CKD progression. Finally, although hyperkalemia is the main concern of these diets, the use of adequate cooking techniques can minimize the amount absorbed.
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