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March 24, 2015

Healthy Springtime Eating

Happy Spring!

Birds are singing, snow is melting (or will be soon!), plants are flowering , and trees showing their new green leaves. Springtime is a time of renewal, a great time to focus on your kidney diet. Think about updating your meal routine with some of the newest guidelines for eating healthy on a kidney diet.

Checkout the newest DaVita cookbook, Today’s Kidney Diet: Healthy Kidney-Friendly Meals in 30 Minutes or Less for some great recipes to renew your kidney diet. You’ll also find tips for stocking a kidney-friendly kitchen and a quick reference guide for what to eat based on your stage of kidney disease.

Some of my favorites in this collection are:

Cilantro Cod (only 4 ingredients)CodCilantroLime-2044

Spicy Green Bean SaladGreenBeansSpicy-1721

Stuffed StrawberriesStrawberriesStuffed-2360


For more great ideas on Springtime eating on a kidney diet, DaVita dietitians created a 3-Day Springtime Menu for a Kidney Diet.

Check out these additional kidney resources from DaVita.com:


February 23, 2015

Staying on Track with Your Kidney Diet

So far February has been packed full of holidays and events. Super bowl XLIX, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Chinese New Year and even the Oscars. Everyone has something to celebrate!  We’ve been tempted by chocolate candies, jambalaya, King cake, Dim Sum dumplings and chicken wings. These temptations can have an impact on how you feel and your lab results. As February winds down this week, it’s a good time to refocus on healthy eating for your kidney diet.

Here are 3 ways to get back on track, plus a 1-day menu to get you started. Read more…

February 5, 2015

Kidney Diet Tip: Choosing the best milk substitute

MilkSubs-273Cow’s milk is naturally high in protein and minerals. An 8-ounce cup of 1% low fat milk contains 8 grams protein, 366 mg potassium, 232 mg phosphorus, 305 mg calcium, 107 mg sodium and 27 mg magnesium.

Because of the high levels of potassium and phosphorus in milk, people with severe or total loss of kidney function (stages 4 and 5 chronic kidney disease) are generally advised to limit milk to 4 to 8 ounces a day. Non-dairy milk substitutes such as almond, rice or soy milk are recommended instead. Read more…

October 8, 2014

Sandwich-High Blood Pressure Connection: Try These Lower Sodium Sandwich Tips

MyPlatePork-425Is your daily lunchtime sandwich contributing to higher blood pressure and weight gain? Medical News Today has a must read story “Your daily sandwich may be chewing up nearly 50% of your sodium allowance”.   The article describes a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that reveals a typical sandwich can contribute one fifth of daily sodium intake. In addition, people who consumed sandwiches averaged an extra 300 calories a day. Read more…

September 16, 2014

How can I make my kidney diet foods tasty?

Herbs and spicesWhenever a diet limits sodium, people tend to think that means their food will be bland. However, think of a low-salt diet as an invitation to introduce your taste buds to new sensations.

Here are some ideas to give your renal diet foods extra flavor: Read more…

April 10, 2014

DaVita Diet Helper “How to” Part 2: Meal Planner Pre-planned Meals

The Meal Planner feature in DaVita Diet Helper provides pre-planned meals, or allows you to create your own meals. The pre-planned meals, or DaVita suggested meals, provide kidney-friendly menus and recipes for 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. These meals are designed to meet daily nutrition targets for protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus selected in the meal plan settings.  The meals are on a 2 week rotation, plus additional meals are available in the “Substitute” list. Read more…

September 19, 2013

Kidney Diet Tips: Pumpkin and Kidney Diets

PumpkinsYesterday a  farmer friend delivered a fresh pumpkin to my mom’s front porch. Yes, it’s that time of the year— the beginning of fall harvest, cooler evenings, and soon-to-be leaves turning vibrant colors in celebration of another year passing.

As we were discussing what to do with the pumpkin, the question came up “How does pumpkin fit into a diet for stage 3 CKD?”  To answer, I’ve gathered  some kidney diet tips facts and figures on pumpkin  to share with you. Read more…

August 21, 2013

Summer cookout recipes for a kidney diet

iStock_000016880339XSmallLabor DayThe end of summer is approaching, and August  and September weekends are best times to stay out of the kitchen and plan a few last summer cookouts. One great way to stick to your kidney diet and still enjoy a backyard cookout is to host it at your house. Read more…

January 3, 2013

A Fresh Food Start for Your Kidney Diet

Happy New Year!

This is my favorite time of the year to not only reflect on the past year, but to start changes that will make 2013 even better. Today, my focus is on fresh foods in the kidney diet as a healthy change. The whole nation is experiencing a transformation in how we think about our food, with a renewed focus on

  • where and how food is grown
  • how it goes from the farm to food distributors, then to our tables
  • the amount of food processing and impact it has on personal health and the health of our country

This food transformation has an impact on kidney diet and food recommendations. New research on the best foods for kidney diets and health outcomes will further influence recommendations made by kidney health professionals in the future. Gaining control over how and what we eat means choosing fresh foods and preparing food at home instead of relying on takeout, fast foods, convenience foods and restaurants. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, used in policy making, education materials and nutrition programs, is a valuable resource with guidance for building healthy eating patterns and making healthy choices.

For kidney patients, a fresh food start means lower sodium, phosphorus and potassium intake from processed foods, and more control over what goes in or stays out of the foods consumed. Think about ways you can make a fresh start with your foods in 2013. Here are some of my suggestions. Read more…

June 7, 2012

Save your kidneys with a DASH Diet

A big question after diagnosis of kidney disease is “What can I eat to save my kidneys?” If you are in early stages 1 or stage 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD), or if you have normal kidney function but are at high risk for kidney disease, today’s kidney diet tips may save your kidneys and prevent or delay the need for dialysis in the future.

The June issue of Renal and Urology News contains an article by Alison Steiber, PhD, RD, LD titled “DASH-style Diet Effective in Preventing, Delaying CKD Progression”.  DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, so as you may guess part of the focus is to reduce sodium intake, which is recommended for anyone with high blood pressure or kidney disease.

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products. Emphasis is on lean proteins such as fish and poultry, whole grain products, legumes and nuts. The DASH diet is reduced in red meats, sweets, added sugars and sugar-containing beverages.

Composition-wise, the DASH diet is high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, protein and fiber. Calcium, potassium and magnesium in the diet play a role in reducing blood pressure.




Steiber explores several DASH diet studies and makes observations for those with CKD:

  • The DASH diet and variations of the DASH diet are proven to result in significant reductions in blood pressure.
  • High potassium and phosphorus content of the DASH diet usually is not an issue in early stages of CKD, as these restrictions may not be prescribed until stage 3 or stage 4 CKD. (Dialysis patients are not advised to follow a DASH diet due to high potassium and phosphorus content.)
  •  ACE inhibitors prescribed for blood pressure control may cause more potassium retention, so routine monitoring is important.
  • A vegetarian DASH-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts but lower in protein may reduce protein (albumin) in the urine (measured as albumin excretion rate) in patients with proteinuria.
  • The DASH diet is associated with lower risk of kidney stone development.

High blood pressure, protein in the urine, and kidney stones are damaging to the kidneys and can speed the progression of kidney failure. For early stage CKD consider a DASH or vegetarian DASH-style diet to reduce blood pressure, reduce protein in the urine, prevent kidney stones and save your kidneys.

For more information on the DASH diet check out “Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with Dash”  or go to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to read more about DASH.

Consult your doctor or dietitian for advice on the best diet for your individual needs. 

 Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

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