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Kidney Diet Tips

July 30, 2015

Thirst Quenching Flavored Water for Hot Summer Days

By guest blogger DaVita Dietitian Kara Hansen, MS, RDNiStock_000047085042_Small Rasp Water

Summer is here and so is the heat! Nothing quenches thirst like an ice cold beverage. If you are a kidney patient who’s watching fluid intake, always be aware of how much fluid you are drinking, especially in the summer when tempted to drink more because of the heat. It’s a good idea to check with your dietitian to find out how many ounces or cups are allowed each day for fluid. Read more…

December 20, 2013

Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes-a Sweet Kidney Diet Tip

holiday cookiesFive days until Christmas, which means you have time to make some of your favorite holiday cookies. Imagine the aroma of fresh baked cookies filling the house! I’ve selected 5 of my favorite holiday cookie recipes from the DaVita kidney-friendly recipe collection. In addition, consider these 5 reasons to make a batch of cookies Biscottitoday! 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…

July 24, 2013

How to deal with thirst when it’s hot

July and August are two of the most challenging months for people following a limited fluid allowance. When the weather heats up, you may find yourself getting thirsty. In addition, a diet high in sodium will increase thirst.

Here are some suggestions for dealing with thirst while adhering to your fluid restriction on the dialysis diet. Read more…

July 18, 2011

Staying on track with your kidney or dialysis diet: Match your mind set

Last time I blogged about the kidney diet reality and goals. This week is all about how your mind set helps you stay on track. 

There are different mind sets that help people stay on track with their kidney diet meal plan. For some of you, it is ‘all or nothing’. You do best with a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to avoid to manage protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and fluid.  Plain and simple, no gray areas and fewer decisions to make.

For others, you prefer ‘following the numbers’ and tracking what you eat. For example if your goal is 2000 mg potassium a day, you may learn to work in some high potassium foods, even though it  means limiting how much or how often, as long as your daily potassium total stays under 2000 mg. The Nutrition Log in DaVita Diet Helper is a great tracking tool for you to show you how much protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus in the foods you eat.

Following preplanned menus is another way to stay on track if you prefer the ‘tell me exactly what to eat’ mindset. Knowing what to eat and not worrying about the numbers is much easier for some kidney patients. You will find the preplanned meals in DaVita Diet Helper useful because you don’t have to do any calculating to meet your diet goals. All the planning is done; you simply select the meals that are most appealing to you. After following these meals you learn which foods can be included and which ones are limited, making it easier to plan your own meals over time.

Another mind set is ‘what I don’t know can’t hurt me’. If you think this way, you may not be ready to accept or deal with the changes that will keep you healthier. By learning more about your chronic kidney disease or dialysis, focusing on foods that are good for kidney patients, and incorporating new recipes you like, you can progress to a better place and start making changes that will help you feel better and manage your kidney disease in a healthier way. For you, the Kidney-friendly Recipe section of DaVita.com is a good place to start. I also recommend a visit to the Diet and Nutrition section to find articles that will help your better understand your kidney diet.

Many of us are a combination of all the mindsets described, and what works may vary or change depending on your circumstances. There are many resources and tools to help kidney patients like you learn more and incorporate the kidney diet into  your life. If you feel alone, reach out to others dealing with diet issues by joining the DaVita discussion forums. The subforum ‘Diet/Nutrition’ is a place to post questions, read about  how people with kidney disease have figured out the diet, and receive help from the kidney community.

What’s your mindset that helps you stay on track?

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

June 11, 2011

USDA’s new Chose My Plate and your kidney diet

Last week a new diet tool to help guide people toward healthier eating, called My Plate, was unveiled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, provides detailed information on five Food Groups (Grains, Vegetable, Fruit, Dairy, and Protein Foods) including which foods are in each group, how much is needed each day, what counts as a serving and health benefits and nutrients. Visually, a plate divided into sections shows how much food from the food groups to fill your plate. Read more…

March 16, 2011

Is watermelon safe for a kidney diet?

This week a question came up about watermelon in the dialysis diet. Some patients are told to avoid watermelon while others are told it’s ok to include. Why the mixed messages? It has to do with 3 issues—portion size, potassium and fluid.

  • Portion: The typical portion is a wedge of watermelon—equal to about 3 cups. For a dialysis diet that includes limited potassium and fluid, a wedge of watermelon contributes too much potassium and fluid. Most dietitians advise limiting watermelon to a 1 cup serving. Instead of cutting a wedge, cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces and measure into a cup.
  • Potassium: Knowing how many fruits and vegetables to eat and the best portion size is essential to controlling potassium intake. A wedge of watermelon contributes 560 mg potassium but a smaller 1 cup serving contains only 180 mg potassium. Since a one cup portion of watermelon is smaller than a typical portion, try measuring your servings until you can successfully guesstimate a 1 cup portion. You can also cut your portion into small triangular pieces as sometime seen when watermelon is placed on a salad bar or used as a garnish. Most other melons are much higher in potassium compared to watermelon. For this reason watermelon is usually the only melon included in a low potassium diet plan.
  • Fluid: It’s easy to exceed your fluid goals if you don’t count watermelon as part of your fluid intake. That’s because watermelon is 92% fluid and has little fiber. A wedge of watermelon has close to 3 cups of fluid!  For dialysis patients on a fluid restriction, watermelon is limited to 1 cup and may be counted as a replacement for fluid if water weight gains are a concern.

Nutritionally, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene, a phytochemical with antioxidant activity that may protect against cancer. As mentioned, when consumed in small portions it is also low in potassium, and naturally very low in phosphorus and sodium.

Once available only during summer months, watermelon is now available year round in most large markets. Consider adding watermelon to your favorite fresh fruit salad. Make summer salsa with watermelon as a replacement for tomato. For a special refreshing watermelon treat, try Watermelon Cooler from the DaVita.com kidney-diet recipe collection.


Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

January 20, 2010

DaVita Diet Helper can help with 2010 diet resolutions

iStock_000002829546XSmallCouple at computerJanuary is a great time to make positive lifestyle changes. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) or are a dialysis patient, consider resolutions around eating better to keep your nutrition up and manage potassium, phosphorus, sodium and fluid the best you can.

Among the DaVita resources, several tools are available to help you stay on track. There are Diet and Nutrition articles, kidney-friendly cooking videos and my favorite, DaVita Diet Helper.  All of these resources can help you stick with your 2010 kidney diet resolutions.

Sign up for DaVita Diet Helper an online kidney meal planner. This one-of-a-kind planner uses your diet prescription for protein and potassium to create several weeks of kidney-friendly meals including recipes, what to serve with the recipe and what to snack on in between meals. Read more…

January 9, 2009

About Kidney Diets

Diet Questions

Diet Questions ???

What is a renal diet or a kidney diet? For a person with a newly diagnosed chronic kidney disease, figuring out what to eat is quite confusing. The truth is there are different diets for kidney disease and diet focus changes depending on the stage of CKD.
Early stages of CKD usually focus on low sodium intake to help control blood pressure and carbohydrate balance if you have diabetes and CKD. Controlling blood pressure and blood glucose can help slow progression of kidney failure. You may be told to avoid excess dietary protein to reduce the kidney workload and minimize build-up of protein waste products in the blood. As kidney disease progresses, more focus is placed on phosphorus and potassium, since the kidney loses ability to remove excess amounts from the body.
Once you start dialysis, diet changes again. A low protein diet is replaced Read more…

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