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Published on July 17th, 2020 | by Michaelw


Keto Diet to reverse kidney disease

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If you are a kidney disease patient and
you’re getting informed,
and you are working hard to repair your kidneys,
there’s no way you haven’t heard about the keto diet

always more kidney disease patients are starting to follow this simple diet –
where counting calories isn’t necessary and you get really a lot of incredible health benefits.

But can it really help people with kidney disease?

Let me read you a couple of comments here on 00kidney because they’re really inspiring

I’ve been on the keto diet for 2 years now.
I only eat twice a day, but I’m not starving myself and I also have so much more energy now!
Most important, Keto changed my kidney health for the better: my yearly exam blood results are absolutely stellar, my creatinine went from 167 to 110!
My doctor believes in the Mediterranean diet, but he said my results are so good so he said: “just keep doing what you’re doing!”
Wow, that’s great!
And here’s another one
After only 2 months on keto my CKD went from stage 3 to stage 2. Hoping next check in April is even better!

Another comment about the keto diet,

I reversed kidney disease from stage 4 to normal functions on Keto way of eating.
Oh, I really would like to know more about this Tammie!

And in the meantime, thank you EVERYONE for these very inspiring comments.
I really love it when people come here and tell us that this can be done.
That reversing kidney disease is possible.

My name is Katherine, and I’ve been working with kidney disease patients for 7 years, now.
I’ve seen patients getting back their kidney function with an improved diet and lifestyle and today
we’ll take a look at a very interesting way of doing this. The keto diet.
Now, if you are new here, welcome to our journey together to a better kidney health!
Subscribe to 00kidney and tap the notification bell!

And I think that after reading these comments, you may understand more clearly why I’m so hyped about the Keto diet!

But, before ditching all the carbs on your diet and starting the ketosis… watch the whole video because there are a couple of things worth knowing about the keto diet before trying it.
There may even be dangers!

So, let’s answer the fundamental questions about the keto diet, ok?

Ok, there are a couple of things we should absolutely understand about the keto diet and kidney disease to answer this question.
First, Keto diet refers to a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, medium-protein, low-carb diet.
The aim is to get the body in a state of ketosis.
It works by depleting your body of its store of sugar, so it will start to break down protein and fat for energy. This is what is called ketosis.
Now, this is actually a rather drastic diet, alright?
but it is supposed to have a very long list of benefits that may make it worth the effort, including the chance to reverse kidney disease.



There’s a study showing that the keto diet, if done right, can improve your heart health.
Now, heart health is strictly correlated with kidney health. You need to have a strong heart to improve your kidney function.
Very important. The heart and the kidneys are part of the same system and the kidneys need the heart to work well to be healthy.

This important too, High cholesterol is linked to High blood pressure and hypertension, the bane of your kidneys!
When the arteries become hardened and narrowed with cholesterol plaque, the heart has to strain much harder to pump blood through them.
As a result, blood pressure becomes abnormally high.
This will damage your kidneys, your heart and… well basically your whole body.
So, if you have high cholesterol, this diet can help you avoiding this.
And also

Being overweight or obese is one of the leading causes of kidney disease, and this is not news.
Obesity is also known to make kidney disease progress faster.
So, for people that need to lose weight, using the keto diet to control body weight can greatly help slowing down kidney disease.
Now, this is a benefit that all well-planned dietary regimes have, not just keto.
The benefit of keto is that it is supposed to make this process faster and easier.
It takes more work to turn fat into energy than it takes to turn carbs into energy.
Because of this, a ketogenic diet can help speed up weight loss.
Now, maybe the most important benefit of the keto diet:

These are HUGE benefits for people suffering from kidney disease.
Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of CKD.
If you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar levels are too high.
All this sugar in the blood is what, more than anything else, can damage the kidneys.
Actually, kidney disease is very common in people suffering from type 2 diabetes, so if you are suffering from diabetes, finding a way to treat it is imperative.
Here’s where the keto diet can really shine.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that the keto diet is taking the world by storm these days.

Now guys, if you think this info is useful, remember to share this video with anyone you know that may suffer from chronic kidney disease! Maybe knowing more about the keto diet can help them too!

Now, let’s see how it can be adjusted to suit the needs of someone suffering from kidney disease.

Because, while from this very first outlook on the keto diet it may seem that people suffering from diabetes and kidney disease may have found a powerful ally in fighting these conditions… there are some things we need to look at a little bit in deeper before EVEN considering this diet.

what can you eat on the keto diet?

The keto diet is not really an easy diet to start or to follow, and this should be clear.
It can have a lot of great benefits, ok, but these come with a price.
The ketogenic diet tries to bring carbohydrates down to less than 5 percent of a person’s daily caloric intake which means eliminating really a lot of foods from the diet.
People on the keto should remove most grains, like bread, pasta, pizza… but also fruit, starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and legumes and, obviously sweets and processed foods.
Instead, they should be replaced with calories from fat.

What they usually don’t tell you about this diet is that this is a very hard goal to achieve.
Your body will struggle against a change like this, because it was used to get energy from carbs for all its life, right?
So, the dietary changes needed to get there are huge.
Let’s try to understand this with the good old food pyramid.

Here, on the left side you can see a standard food pyramid for the healthy eating.

At the base of the standard food pyramid there are whole grains, fruits starchy vegetables… all these foods are sources of carbs.
So, in a normal healthy diet, this would be where you’ll get most of the calories.
On the right side you may see the food pyramid for the keto diet.
There’s a big difference here, in the big step.

Whole grains, fruit and starchy vegetables are totally missing here.
They’ve been replaced with more fats and protein, coming from fish and nuts.
But also from dairy, eggs and red meat.

So this bring us another question.


Now, it’s clear that there’s already a huge issue here. Protein intake.
In a keto diet you’re supposed to get 25 percent of your caloric intake from protein. INDICA 25%
But in a regular renal diet, you will only have to get 10 to 15 percent of your caloric intake from protein.
Or even less.
Because protein is very hard on the kidneys, as you may already know.
This quantity of protein can make kidney disease progress faster. Not what we want.
So, I don’t see any respectable dietitian recommending a kidney patient a diet with 25 percent of protein anytime soon.
So, if you follow a standard keto diet, it will probably be hard on your kidneys.
There is just too much protein, right?

Another concern, in my opinion, is that there’s a ton of misinformation on the internet about the keto diet.
I’ve seen a lot of people talking about it just in order to sell books, supplements and products.
And this is worrisome, since this may make even harder for people to understand who is right and who is wrong about this subject.

What studies are out there that we can really trust?
There are actually fewer studies on the keto diet made on humans than I was hoping to find.
In fact, many of the benefits attributed to the keto diet, the reduced inflammation, lifespan extension and even the improved recovery after brain damage – have only been confirmed in studies in mice.
Why are there so few studies on humans?
Well, ketosis is a difficult state to maintain; avoiding carbs, including fruit, bread, legumes, and the occasional sweet isn’t feasible for many people in the long run.
So, without peer-reviewed clinical trials, many of the benefits remain anecdotal.
So, Yes, a lot of people tried this diet and said they had an improvement in their health and that they felt much better doing it.
Like the people that have left the comments I have read you before.
Now, these are real success stories from real patients, and I absolutely don’t want to take away anything from their success.
But, there’s even the chance that all these improvements were at least correlated to eating less processed food, sleeping better and losing weight.
Which is not a bad thing at all, don’t get me wrong, but can also be obtained without the keto diet.

Now, there are studies confirming at least that the diet itself isn’t inherently dangerous.

but, just looking at these numbers, especially getting 25% of daily calories from protein, it is clear for me that, if you want to try this diet, you should find a dietitian that can tailor suit it for you.
There’s no way you’re going to improve your kidney function with all this protein.

This is why I always tell you that before making a change as big as starting a keto diet, you will really want talk to your doctor or dietitian.
So, let me know what you think about the keto diet, alright? Let me know if you tried it and if you have seen an improvement.

And talking about your comments, I have some of your questions from my previous videos to answer!
These are not about the keto diet, but are about kidney health in general.
I always get a lot of great questions in comment section and when they are interesting for everyone, I will answer them in the final part of the video!
Like this one, from

She asks

How many Liters of water to drink for healthy kidneys?

Hello Michelle!
Well, a good rule of thumb would be the 8 by 8 rule. Basically, you would have to drink 8 glasses of water per day and each glass should contain 8 ounces of water. 8 ounces corresponds to 250 milliliters, so total would be 2 liters per day.
Now, this is a bit oversimplified, because it doesn’t factor in body weight, level of physical activity, climate and so on.
So a better way would be drinking before you feel the thirst. Bring a water bottle with you and get into the habit of drinking from it during the whole day. That’s what I do and it’s easier than counting the glasses of water in my opinion.

Now a comment from
Lie Winarto
What about durians and Pineapples, are they good also for a person with CKD? Why? Why not?

Hello Lie, interesting question as always! Now, pineapples are good and healthy for people with CKD, they’re low in potassium and rich in bromelain, an enzyme that helps with digestion.
Durians are not safe if you have a potassium restriction. They’re richer in potassium than bananas, so avoid them unless you’re 100% sure you can eat them.
Hope this helps!

Another very interesting question, this one from Harry Tanumiharja, this was on my video about anemia.
I thought for CKD ppl with Aenemia should not drink tea and coffee as they lower Iron level?
Ok, this is partially true: coffee doesn’t lower iron levels by itself, alright? So you can drink it even if you have anemia.
But when you eat foods rich in iron such as legumes, dark leafy greens, seeds but also red meat, never eat them with coffee or tea.
Because these beverages can lower iron absorption during that meal.
So coffee and tea are ok. But don’t drink them during or after meals.

Ok, this was the last question for today, I hope my answers will be able to help you.
And if you guys have other questions… write them down in comment section! If they’re interesting I will be answering them in my next video, next Tuesday!
This is all for today, thank you for watching!

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About the Author

Hi, my name is Michael and in this blog I'm gonna share the story of how I got off kidney dialysis for good. Getting off dialysis isn't easy at all, and that's why I'm trying to help people as much as I can.

One Response to Keto Diet to reverse kidney disease

  1. naomi says:

    I loved this blog and would love to have your story on my blog and podcast too. Lets tell more people they have control their health. Loved this blog post keep it up

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