A diet proven to protect against high blood pressure could also lower your risk of chronic kidney disease, according to a new observational study. Researchers looked at adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) plan among nearly 16,000 middle-aged adults followed for more than 20 years. Those whose diets least resembled DASH recommendations were 16% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than those eating most like the DASH plan.
DASH recommends eating more nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, along with consuming less red and processed meat, fewer sugary drinks and less saturated fat and sodium. (For details on DASH, see <www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash>.) The study, published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease, also found that people with the highest intake of nuts and legumes were at 9% lower risk of kidney disease. On the other hand, participants who ate the most red and processed meats were at 22% greater risk. Hypertension has been linked to kidney disease, the researchers noted; a DASH-style pattern might also be protective by reducing the acidic load of the diet.