are bananas bad for kidneys?
People suffering from kidney disease should avoid potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, avocados, apricots, and more.

Most fruits are not harmful in individuals with healthy kidneys. When the kidneys are damaged or people suffer from a renal disease, the filtration process is disrupted and waste products are retained in the body. Accumulation of waste or toxic substances in the blood may further damage the kidneys.

  • Foods heavy in minerals, such as salt, potassium, and phosphorus, stress the kidneys and may cause further renal damage.
  • Among these compounds, avoiding potassium-rich foods and high sodium diet is highly essential in situations, especially kidney damage. 
  • Dietary modifications are recommended to avoid these substances that increase stress in the kidneys.

The kidneys are essential organs of the body that perform multiple functions, such as:

  • Filtration of toxic and waste substances from the body through the urine
  • Production of hormone that stimulates red blood cells production
  • Maintenance of body’s mineral balance

Although fruits are typically quite beneficial to have in the diet, certain fruits are high in potassium and should be avoided by patients with renal disease, which include:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruit
  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Apricots
  • Dried fruits, such as dates and raisins
  • Melons, such as honeydew and cantaloupe

The citric acid in oranges may increase the risk of developing kidney stones in patients with kidney damage. Salt and salt substitutes that are made with potassium are to be avoided. If levels of potassium or other toxic substances increase in the body, the patient may undergo dialysis.

Dialysis is a procedure used to eliminate waste products and excess fluid from the blood when kidneys do not function properly. This procedure is usually performed by redirecting the blood into a machine for cleaning.

How to extract potassium from fruits

If possible, substitute fresh or frozen fruits with canned fruits. The potassium in canned products leaches into the water or juice, thus reducing potassium levels in the fruits. If a person includes this juice in their meal or consumes it, their potassium levels may rise.

The juice often has a high salt content, which causes the body to retain water. This can result in kidney issues. So, before consuming the canned fruits, they must drain the juice and rinse the fruits thoroughly to reduce the salt and potassium content.

Soaking in water and rinsing the fresh fruits thoroughly before consuming helps eliminate unwanted compounds.

What are the effects of high potassium in the body?

Patients with kidney damage or diseases may have high potassium levels in the body even after they consume the daily recommended dose.

Healthy people aged 19 years and older should take at least between 3,400 mg and 2,600 mg of potassium per day, respectively. However, if the kidneys malfunction, the dose should be reduced.

Hyperkalemia (high potassium levels in the body) may lead to:

Consult a doctor if the symptoms worsen.

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Medically Reviewed on 12/21/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Cleveland Clinic. Hyperkalemia (High Potassium). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15184-hyperkalemia-high-blood-potassium

WebMD. Potassium Rich Foods. https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-rich-in-potassium#1