Breakfast options for people with diabetes and kidney disease are often limited, with a study finding that congee, clay oven rolls and fried bread sticks are not a good choice, but while oatmeal with milk and salad help regulate blood sugar, they are not good for the kidneys.
The study conducted by the Taiwan Society of Nephrology found that 80 percent of people who have both diabetes and kidney disease are not able to keep the diseases under control, primarily because they find it difficult to take into account various diet restrictions, such as low protein, low potassium, limited sodium and limited phosphorus, especially when they eat out.
Some may try to limit themselves to so-called healthy meals, but these could be harmful as well.
Taiwanese Association of Diabetes Educators president Yu Neng-chun (游能俊) said that breakfast is the meal with which diabetics and kidney disease patients are most likely to go overboard on, as congee, clay oven rolls and fried bread sticks are all high-glycemic-index foods, which make blood sugar levels surge if too much is consumed.
However, oatmeal is high in phosphorus, while salad is high in potassium, both of which increase the risk of developing complications for those with moderate and severe kidney disease, including the need for dialysis, he said.
A man, surnamed Chang (張), who had diabetic nephropathy, which means kidney disease or kidney damage caused by diabetes, had to eat breakfast out every morning, Yu said.
His choices included Taiwanese, Western and convenience store foods, but he could not control the amount of nutrients he consumed and his chronic kidney disease deteriorated from stage three (moderate) to stage five (end) within five years, Yu said.
Chang did not keep his blood pressure, blood sugar level and blood lipid level in check, and had to have dialysis in the end, Yu added.
Taiwan Dietitian Association president Tsai Ling-Jane (蔡玲貞) suggested that people with diabetic nephropathy try to control their food intake by following four principles: food with low protein, low glycemic index, dietary fiber and an appropriate amount of unsaturated fat.
Taiwan Society of Nephrology president Chen Hung-chun (陳鴻鈞) said diabetics are at high risk for chronic kidney disease, since elevated blood glucose levels put them at risk of blood vessel damage, which reduces the blood flow to the kidneys and harms renal function.
The society and the two associations have collaborated on a guide to breakfast options for people with diabetic nephropathy.