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Kidney Diet Tips

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…

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…

April 3, 2014

DaVita Diet Helper “How to” Part 1: Account Creation and Daily Nutrition Targets

DaVita Diet Helper is an online meal planning and tracking tool created specifically for kidney diets. You will benefit from using this tool if you are concerned with:

  • eating healthy for kidneys and tracking nutrients
  • limiting sodium for blood pressure control
  • balancing carbohydrates for diabetes control
  • reducing intake of phosphorus
  • getting the right amount of potassium

This “How to” blog series aims to  help you get started, and teach you to use the new features in DaVita Diet Helper.

Part 1:  Account Creation and Daily Nutrition Targets

The first step is to go to the DaVita Diet Helper promotion page at www.DaVita.com/DietHelper . On this page you can watch a short video to see an overview of the features. Next, click on the “Get Started Now” button to go to the account registration page. After completing the form click “Create My Account”. Be sure to record your email address and password for later reference. If you forget your password, use the “Forget your password?” feature to create a new one. If you already have a myDaVita.com account, click on “Sign in Now” to access your account and activate DaVita Diet Helper. Read more…

March 26, 2014

Updated: Online tools for the kidney diet

Today I am re-posting an earlier  post on online tools and resources. I plan to follow this post with a series  to help you learn about the new features and get started using DaVita Diet Helper to easily plan meals and track nutrients for your kidney diet.

Online tools for the kidney diet

Knowing what to eat on a kidney diet can be complicated, so it’s good to know you can go online for helpful tools and education. DaVita.com offers education about kidney diseasedialysis treatments as well as an entire section on the chronic kidney diet, including hundreds of kidney-friendly recipes. Whether you’re pre-dialysis, on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD), you’ll find articles to help explain the kidney diet for where you are and healthy recipes that you can enjoy.

Welcome to DaVita Diet Helper

Besides educational articles, DaVita.com offers the DaVita Diet Helper to help you plan your meals and keep track of your kidney diet. This invaluable tool was recently  updated with new features and functions. If you haven’t used DaVita Diet Helper recently, sign in on your computer, tablet or smart phone and check out the new look. Use it to plan meals, download DaVita suggested menus, create your own recipes and meals, create your own database of favorite foods, and track your daily food intake to see how close you are to your goals for potassium, phosphorus, sodium and protein.  Now you can access all the DaVita.com recipes directly in DaVita Diet Helper to easily build meals around your favorite recipes. Over the next several months I’ll show you these new features and how to use DaVita Diet Helper on the Kidney Diet Tips blog.

In addition to DaVita Diet Helper, checkout the Food Analyzer that helps you manage your kidney diet by finding values for 13 nutrients including potassium and phosphorus. You can also try the Phosphorus Challenge to learn about the important role phosphorus plays in the kidney diet. The Phosphorus Challenge includes games, quizzes, polls, articles, videos, recipes and more.

Whether or not you have a renal dietitian to help you with your renal diet, you can rely on DaVita.com for online tools to help you navigate the kidney diet.

Resources from DaVita.com:

 

March 21, 2014

Tips for keeping a healthy potassium level

fruit and vegetables

Potassium is a mineral that keeps your heart beating at a normal rhythm as well as controlling the body’s other muscles. Therefore, because people with kidney failure can’t effectively eliminate excess potassium, it is usually limited on the dialysis diet. So how does someone on the dialysis diet keep potassium at a healthy level?

Generally, people on peritoneal dialysis are able to eat as they normally would because the peritoneal dialysis treatments are performed daily. People on home hemodialysis usually do dialysis treatments 5-6 times a week, making it easier to keep a normal potassium. People who are on in-center hemodialysis generally have 3 treatments a week, leaving more time for potassium levels to rise between treatments. Instruction on how to better control their potassium through the hemodialysis diet is helpful in keeping normal potassium.

People with chronic kidney disease who are not on dialysis may experience high potassium levels. Learning about which foods in their usual diet have the most potassium and making some adjustments can help keep potassium in the normal range.

 

 

Some tips for managing potassium include: 

Following these tips can help people on dialysis keep their potassium at a healthy level.

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

 

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