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Kidney Diet Tips

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:

Vinegars—Apple cider, balsamic, distilled white, unseasoned rice and wine vinegars are a sodium-free, low phosphorus way to add flavor in marinades, as vinaigrette dressings or splashed directly onto foods. Check labels for added ingredients in vinegars as some may have added sodium. In addition to traditional vinegars, there are those flavored with fruits and herbs to expand your palate.

Citrus zests—The colorful skin of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits are fragrant and flavorful, so don’t throw away the skin; use it to flavor cooked or raw foods. Use a citrus zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler to access the zest, but avoid the bitter white pith under the skin. Citrus zest is sodium free and one tablespoon has less than 10 mg of potassium.

Fresh herbs—Like citrus zest, flavoring foods with fresh herbs can be very aromatic adding another dimension to enjoying foods. Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, ginger, horseradish root, hot peppers, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme are some of the kidney friendly herbs you can add to cooked and raw foods. Buy clean, fresh, fragrant herbs that are not brown or wilting. Store herbs that come in bunches in your refrigerator with stems in water like cut flowers.

Spices—Shake a little spice on foods for a burst of flavor such as: allspice, caraway seeds, celery seeds, cumin, curry powder, mustard powder, nutmeg, onion powder, paprika, pepper (black, red, white), tarragon and turmeric. Dry spices vary in price and last quite awhile on your spice rack. You can purchase low-sodium seasoning blends with a combination of herbs and spices, or try making your own blends.

Try using vinegars, citrus zest, fresh herbs and spices in different recipes to see which flavors are most appealing. The kidney diet doesn’t have to be bland, visit the recipe section at DaVita.com for more flavorful ideas and delicious foods.

Resources from DaVita.com:

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:

 

January 23, 2014

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 disease, dialysis 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 HelperBesides 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. 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…

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…

May 30, 2013

Kidney Diet Tip: Phosphate-free Kool-Aid®

I grew up before the plethora of canned and bottled beverage choices. In our household thirsty kids had 3 beverage choices: water, home brewed iced tea or Kool-Aid®. Coca cola®, aka Coke® was an occasional treat. I preferred the orange or punch-flavored Kool-Aid over water or sweet tea.

Fast forward to 2013: water is enhanced with vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus; tea is available pre-made in cans and bottles, some brands with phosphate additives; Kool-Aid powder no longer gets clumpy, thanks to the calcium-phosphate additive. All are red flags for kidney patients who are following a kidney diet and avoiding phosphate additives.

Today I was pleasantly surprised to discover the new Kool-Aid® Liquid Drink Mix does not contain calcium-phosphate additives, plus it’s sugar-free. Each 1.67 ounce container has 24 servings of a liquid Kool-Aid concentrate you squirt into a bottle or glass of chilled water. Approximately 1/2 teaspoon makes an 8-ounce serving of Kool-Aid with zero calories, carbohydrate and phosphorus. Sodium is low at 0 to 10 mg a cup (all flavors are sodium-free except orange). Potassium is not provided but it is in the product since it contains acesulfame potassium (sweetener) and potassium sorbate (preservative).

Read more…

April 22, 2013

Kidney Diet Tips for Celebrating Earth Day on Meatless Monday

Today is Earth Day, an extra special reason to plan a  Meatless Monday meal.  

Eating meatless for one day has a positive impact on your health by lowering your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. If you already have one or more of these diagnosis, a meatless day can potentially benefit you by decreasing saturated fat and calorie intake. This is a healthy step for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or those at risk for CKD, because heart disease and diabetes are risk factors for kidney disease. Another plus for going meatless at least one day a week—less meat consumption is friendly to the environment. The more livestock we raise for meat sources, the more we use natural resources and produce waste that adds to land pollution.

If you are following a kidney diet, you may be limiting protein if you are in stages 3-5, non-dialysis. Many people with CKD find incorporation of meatless meals helps them stick to a lower protein diet.

 If you are following a dialysis diet, you may be eating more meat or high protein foods as your protein needs must replace protein lost in dialysis treatments and provide extra for your body. You can still participate in Meatless Mondays by choosing a non-meat entrée that  provides a healthy serving of high quality protein, or add a high protein shake or protein supplement to your meal.

Celebrate Earth Day and Meatless Monday by considering one of these kidney-friendly vegetarian recipes today or any day.

Armando’s Chiles Rellenos

Asparagus Cauliflower Tortilla

Confetti Omelet

Couscous with Vegetables

Crunchy Tofu Stir Fry

Eggplant Casserole

High Protein Berry Shake

Omelet with Summer Vegetables

Quick Pasta Primavera

Tempeh Pita Sandwiches

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

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