5 ways your food and drink are impacting your urology health

08 March 2019, Tim Burton - 

This week is Nutrition and Hydration Week and so we’re taking a look at how the choices you make about what you are eating and drinking can make your bladder, kidneys, prostate, and fertility healthier and happier.

The message behind Nutrition and Hydration week is that what you consume can have a big impact on your health. Below are five examples of how your urology health can be made as strong as possible with a few small changes.

  1. Nothing beats water

Drinking the right amount of water is crucial for your urology health. It can help you to prevent UTIs, it reduces your risk of bladder and kidney stones, and it gives your kidneys the tools they need to do their job properly.

The advice about how much water to drink varies but is somewhere between 1 and 2 litres a day. This will be different for each person, though, and will depend on how much physically active you are, or whether you’ve been under a hot sun. If you’ve been sweating and if your urine is a dark yellow, you need to replenish your water supplies!

  1. Coffee and alcohol are not so great

Whilst your water intake can come in a few different forms, coffee and alcohol aren’t the best options. If you’ve got a sensitive bladder you will probably find that reducing your coffee and alcohol intake will ease the problem.

Alcohol intake is also linked to a number of other urological problems. For example, cutting back on alcohol intake will increase fertility in men and alcohol consumption is also linked to kidney cancer. As always with alcohol, moderation is key for your urological health.

  1. Ditch that salt

Getting your salt balance right can keep the chemicals in your kidneys in balanced and reduce your risk of kidney or bladder stones. The NHS recommends no more than 6g of salt a day.

            There are a few simple ways to reduce salt intake. Start by looking at the traffic light system on packaged foods and make sure the foods you’re eating aren’t too high in salt. Processed meats like bacon and sausages, crisps, and sauces like gravy, brown sauce, and ketchup are common offenders. If you have a tendency to add salt on the top of a meal, your kidneys will thank you if you cut back!

  1. Saturated fats and sugars

Both of these are often linked with being overweight and our urological systems work best when we are a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of kidney cancer and prostate cancer, as well as increasing your likelihood of encountering problems with erectile dysfunction and male infertility.

The NHS recommends no more than 90g of sugars and 20g of saturated fats. That’s 21 teaspoons of sugar or 4 of saturated fats.

If you’re looking to cut back on saturated fats then the traffic light system on food packaging is a big help. Foods such as butter, cheese, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sausages, and fast foods are high in saturated fats.

Naturally sourced sugars, such as those in fruit, play an important part of our diets. If your diet is high in sugars from fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, cereals, sweets, chocolates, or even fruit juice, then you might want to make a few changes. Again, the traffic light system on packaged foods is a big help!

  1. Balanced lifestyles

Our bodies are at their best when we are balanced in what we do. Sleeping well, not working too much, and getting the right amount of exercise are all good examples of that, but for Nutrition and Hydration Week we’d like to draw your attention to what the NHS’s guide to eating well.  

At The Urology Foundation we want to see healthy and happy bodies through the UK and Ireland and one of the ways we do that is by providing information for the public that can help to prevent urology disease before it can damage lives.

If you’d like to know more about your urology health then take a look at our Urology Health Pages. If you’d like to contribute to our work to prevent urology diseases, you can donate today. You could also take part in a free-from month and give up your vice for a month and donate the money you save to TUF. Email fundraising@theurologyfoundation.org to register your interest.

Kidney

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Bladder

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Prostate

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Male reproductive organs

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