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Kidney Diet Tips

September 1, 2014

Diabetes and Kidney Diet Conversation

Google+ Event image- RESIZE

Do you have diabetes and kidney disease? Are you confused about how to combine the eating guidelines for both diets? So are many others! You are invited to join me along with DaVita dietitians Susan and Megan for a Google+ Hangout “Kidney Diet Tips Diabetes Edition”.  Sign up and join the diabetes and kidney diet conversation today. You can send your questions to us prior to the event and we will answer as many as possible at the event.

August 29, 2014

Easy Labor Day Snack Recipes

These days people are so busy and constantly connected. Here’s a reminder to take full advantage of a day of rest from usual work tasks this Labor Day. Kidney patients who work often have even more to do because they are juggling work with doctor appointments, clinic visits, ordering medications, checking health records, and other health-related tasks. Unplug and focus on doing what you love, visiting family and friends, or even sleeping in this coming Monday.

When you get ready for a snack, try one of these easy-to-make kidney-friendly recipes from DaVita.com. Share one with a friend who’s also taking advantage of a labor-free day.


Addictive PretzelsArtichoke Relish with Pita Chips
Artichoke Relish on Toasted Pita
Deviled Eggs
Easy Summer Fruit Dip





Resources from DaVita.com:

August 6, 2014

  Please pass over the salt

iStock_000000597146Small-Salt Shaker PassFollowing a low-sodium diet would be easier to monitor if you bought only fresh, whole foods and prepared them at home. In current times, that just doesn’t seem so doable all the time. Read more…

July 21, 2014

Is sea salt or kosher salt better than table salt?

SaltSea salt features a coarse texture and stronger flavor compared to table salt. Sea salt is made from evaporated seawater, so sea salt contains traces of additional minerals and is natural instead of processed. Kosher salt has large crystals and contains no preservatives. Kosher salt can be derived from seawater or underground sources. Table salt has fine granules and is mined from underground salt deposits. Table salt is processed with anti-caking agent to prevent clumping. Some table salts are fortified with iodine, a mineral important for thyroid hormones.

While there are textural and processing differences in sea salt, kosher salt and table salt, all of these salts share one thing in common; all are high in sodium. While none of these salts is lower in sodium, due to the size of the sea salt and kosher salt crystals, a measured teaspoon will contain less sodium compared to the fine granules in table salt.  When following a low sodium diet, all salt should be limited. However, using larger textured sea salt and kosher salt may help reduce sodium by a very small amount.

Resources from DaVita.com:

June 24, 2014

Kidney Diet Tips Live Conversation at Google+ Hangout on Air

KDT Twitter ImageLet’s talk!

You are invited to join me for a live Kidney Diet Tips conversation on Tuesday, July 1st at 5 pm PT/ 6 pm MT/7 pm CT/ 8 pm ET. @DaVita Kidney Care is hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air sharing tips for managing the kidney diet. The panel will feature myself and another renal dietitian and two dialysis patients. We will answer kidney diet questions from viewers, so come prepared with your questions. RSVP to join the Hangout: http://bit.ly/KidneyDietTipsSummer

June 24, 2014

Hemodialysis and fluid intake: How much to drink?

iStock_000013019978Small-Water-IcePeople on in-center hemodialysis usually have dialysis treatments three times a week. The amount of fluid they can have is limited since the kidneys lose the ability to remove excess fluid from the body. Too much fluid can increase blood pressure, make the heart to work harder, and may cause shortness of breath.

To determine how much fluid to consume each day several things are considered, starting with urine output. Many hemodialysis patients no longer urinate due to complete kidney failure. In this case, liquids are usually limited to 32 ounces or 1000 ml each day. This amount will result in a daily fluid weight gain of 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds. Some hemodialysis patients still urinate due to residual renal function. For them, the fluid intake is usually more liberal. All obvious liquids like coffee, tea, juice and water plus items that are liquid at room temperature like ice, sorbet and gelatin count as part of a person’s fluid allowance.

How much liquid can dialysis patients consume each day if they still make urine? To find out, a 24-hour urine collection is measured. The measured volume is added to 1000 ml (1 liter or approximately 32 ounces) fluid allowance. For example, if the 24-hour urine collection is 500 ml, the fluid restriction is 1500 ml per day instead of 1000 ml. This is approximately 48 ounces or 6 cups of liquid each day. Residual renal function can decrease over time and fluid goals may change as a result. For people on home hemodialysis the treatments are usually more frequent—5 to 6 days a week. Fluid is removed more often so the daily allowance is greater. Dialysis patients are advised to weigh themselves daily to help keep track of weight and fluid balance.

June 13, 2014

What’s the difference between salt and sodium?

Eat Less SaltSalt is composed of two minerals sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl). Table salt (NaCl) contains about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. One teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 mg of sodium. As much as we are told to limit sodium in our diets, we all need some sodium for good health. However, the average American diet contains about three times more sodium than is healthy, which leads to high blood pressure and other health issues.

Many natural foods contain sodium organically; however, in much lower amounts than processed foods. Processed and restaurant foods are the culprits for the high levels of sodium in today’s diets. By reading food labels you can see how much sodium foods contain to make better choices. Looking for labels with “low sodium,” “reduced sodium” and “no added salt” is helpful, but always look for the nutrition label to see the actual amount of sodium. Eating natural foods and cooking these foods yourself are the best ways to control your sodium intake. For people with chronic kidney disease, the goal according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010  should be to consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium each day or the amount prescribed by their doctor. People on dialysis find it easier to control fluid intake when sodium intake is lower.

Basically, when it comes to the difference between salt and sodium, remember that consuming salt and processed foods is the ways we get sodium in our diets.

Resources from DaVita.com:

May 1, 2014

Renal Diet Recipes for Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Fiesta RollUpsSoftTaco145Cinco de Mayo is celebrated throughout the US on May 5th. According to Wikipedia, “It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War,  Read more…

April 28, 2014

DaVita Diet Helper “How to” Part 3: Using the Meal Planner to plan your own meals

Today’s post covers using the Meal Planner feature of DaVita Diet Helper to plan meals for a day, week or month. Pre-planned meals take the worry out of what to eat on a kidney diet, but planning your own meals allows you to select foods you like and plan from what’s on hand in your pantry and refrigerator. There are two ways you can use DaVita Diet Helper to plan your own meals. You can use the database to add recipes and foods in the Meal Planner section for each day, or you can first create meals using the “My Meal Creations” feature, then add the meals in the Meal Planner. I prefer the second option because the meal ingredients are entered only once and saved for future meal planning. This works great for meals that consistently contain the same items.

To plan your own meals in the Meal Planner first go to “View Day” for the day you are planning.  Remove the pre-planned, DaVita suggested meals by clicking on the delete icon for each meal occasion.

Diet Helper Add ItemsNext, click the Add Item button. The box that opens allows you to search for a recipe or food from the Diet Helper database or you can select an item from My Favorites, My Foods, My Meals or My Recipes—items you add to your personal DaVita Diet Helper database.

Select the foods, recipes or meals you want to plan for each meal occasion. After you have planned meals for the day, scroll down to the Nutrition Facts at the bottom to compare actual nutrients to your target nutrients. If necessary you can make adjustments in portions or items selected to be sure you are within your goal for important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.

Diet Helper Nutrients

Next, click on any of the recipes in your meal and select ‘printer-friendly version’ to print the recipe. You also have the option to include nutritional information on your recipe. Continue the above steps until you have planned your meals for the week or time period desired. Use the Monthly Meal Plan feature to print a menu that includes the meals you have planned.

A second way you can use DaVita Diet Helper to plan meals is to first create your meals using the My Meal Creations feature. I will detail how this feature works in a future post, but it’s easy to figure out. From the Diet Helper dashboard or drop down menu select “My Meal Creations”, then “Add New Meal”.  Plan and save your meal. Now return to the Meal Planner and instead of typing in the foods and recipes for your meal simply select the meal from “My Meals”.

DaVita Diet Helper makes planning kidney diets easy—and you have a choice to plan your own meals or use the meals already planned to meet your daily nutrient targets.

The next DaVita Diet Helper “How to” covers creating your own recipes and meals using the My Creations feature.

Resources from DaVita.com:

April 18, 2014

Recycling Easter eggs for a protein boost

Deviled Eggs by DaVitaHappy Easter! It’s a wonderful time to celebrate life with family and friends and share a meal and fun activities. No doubt many of us are boiling, coloring and decorating eggs in preparation for Sunday’s Easter egg hunt. But what do you do with  the leftover hard-boiled  eggs?  Here are some kidney diet tips for recycling this tasty, high quality protein source. Read more…

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