New Meatless Campaign Targets Vital Importance of Kidneys to Overall Health

National Kidney Foundation and The Monday Campaigns Team Up on Kidney Health
New York, NY—October 15, 2018—The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is partnering with The Monday Campaigns' global public health initiatives, which include Meatless Monday, to encourage Americans to make healthier changes to their diets. Studies suggest that incorporating meatless options into an overall balanced diet may help slow the progression of kidney disease.
With a catchy promotional campaign and research drawing the connection between overall good health and the vital role kidneys play, this collaborative effort encourages Americans to think about meatless options as a way to help your kidneys. Featuring slogans like "Your kidneys keep you alive. The least you can do is serve them a good meal", followed by important information about how eating plant-based proteins instead of meat can help maintain kidney health, is the theme of this new creative promotion produced by The Monday Campaigns with the National Kidney Foundation. View the creative.
View a video about how healthy eating changed Chef Duane's journey with kidney disease.
Plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, have been shown to provide a number of health benefits, including lower body mass index (BMI), better control of blood pressure and blood glucose, less inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and less dietary acid, sodium and phosphorus leads," said Joseph Vassalotti, MD and Chief Medical Officer of NKF. "As a result, research indicates that a plant-based diet may be part of an effective lifestyle program to help treat or slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease."
The links between kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes are often overlooked; but diabetes and high blood pressure are the top risk factors for developing kidney disease accounting for two-thirds of all cases. Kidney disease can also lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in kidney patients.
Ron Hernandez, Managing Director of The Monday Campaigns, said, "We realize that making dietary changes is challenging for people who are coping with kidney disease, and we encourage them to start with cutting out meat just one day a week. Our research indicates that Monday is the day a majority of people choose to make positive, healthy changes, and often describe a higher intention to continue the rest of the week if they start on Monday. By promoting a Meatless Monday practice, we hope to support those with kidney disease in making this important dietary change, while also helping all people learn about the benefits of reducing meat consumption."
Meatless Monday new creative materials that focus on kidney health launched today and are available for free to organizations, hospitals, city leaders, universities, and the public for use across multiple media platforms including social media, online and print. Resources on how to incorporate plant-based options into a kidney-friendly diet and recipes are available through the National Kidney Foundation at
About Plant-Based Diets and Kidney Disease*
  • Studies demonstrate the beneficial role of a plant-based diet in slowing the progression of some chronic diseases (including kidney disease.)
  • Plant-based foods produce less of a dietary acid load than animal-based foods (meats and dairy). If not highly processed plant-based foods are also lower in sodium and bioavailable phosphorus (phosphorus that's easier for the body to absorb). This reduces absorptions decreases the phosphorus load on the kidneys and lowers the risk of complications caused by excess phosphorus.
  • The consumption of animal protein increases the acid load in the kidneys, which increases harmful ammonia levels that can damage kidney cells.
  • Plant-based diets may protect against tissue damage and suppress inflammation (fatty acids in plant foods are anti-inflammatory, whereas those in animal foods can be pro-inflammatory).
  • Plant-based diets are lower in saturated fats, which is better for the health of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart and kidneys.
About Kidney Disease
In the United States, 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren't aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF, visit
The Monday Campaigns, a non-profit public health initiative associated with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities, encourages individuals and organizations to join together every Monday to commit to healthy behaviors that may help end preventable chronic diseases. Learn more at Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, encourages the public to cut back on meat consumption one day a week for personal health and the health of the planet. See free recipes and materials at
*Kalantar-Sadeh K, Fouque D. Nutritional management of chronic kidney disease. New Eng J Med. 2017;377:1765-1776.