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7 Innocent Mistakes That Put Your Kidneys in Trouble

Reader's Digest Logo By Marissa Laliberte of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 7: Most processed food is chock-full of sodium, which isn’t just bad for your heart—it can also lead to kidney problems. When you're showing signs you eat too much salt, your body needs to flush the sodium out when you pee, and it takes calcium with it. In turn, having too much calcium in your urine increases your risk for kidney stones, says James Simon, MD, nephrologist with Cleveland Clinic. (Watch out for these other warning signs of kidney stones.) The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, but the average American has more than 3,400 milligrams every day—and some people eat twice that. Take a look at your nutrition label and you might be surprised how quickly sodium can add up (especially with these foods with way more sodium than you realized). 'People look at carbs and fat and calories, but they don’t pay attention to sodium,' says Dr. Simon.

You’re a fan of packaged food

If your kidneys aren't working properly, you could also raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Most processed food is chock-full of sodium, which isn’t just bad for your heart—it can also lead to kidney problems. When you're showing signs you eat too much salt, your body needs to flush the sodium out when you pee, and it takes calcium with it. In turn, having too much calcium in your urine increases your risk for kidney stones, says James Simon, MD, nephrologist with Cleveland Clinic. (Watch out for these other warning signs of kidney stones.) The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, but the average American has more than 3,400 milligrams every day—and some people eat twice that. Take a look at your nutrition label and you might be surprised how quickly sodium can add up (especially with these foods with way more sodium than you realized). 'People look at carbs and fat and calories, but they don’t pay attention to sodium,' says Dr. Simon.
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