September 9, 2008
Starting and following a renal diet for people with kidney disease is a challenging and often frustrating task. If you are on a kidney diet you can probably relate to lists–foods to eat, limit or avoid, lists of foods high in potassium, high sodium food lists and foods high in phosphorus.
Sometimes the lists contradict each other. The dialysis diet often goes against traditional healthy eating guidelines. Instead of ‘eat more fresh fruits and vegetables’ the new guideline is limit fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those high in potassium. Instead of “eat more whole grains and fiber’ the kidney diet guideline is ‘limit or avoid whole grains because the potassium and phosphorus content is higher than refined grains’.
Even for renal dietitians, planning individualized menus for each patient is an almost impossible job. Menu planning takes lots of time, especially considering each person’s food preferences and the differnet renal diet prescriptions.
Thanks to DaVita.com, people looking for help with renal diets now have another tool. A new online meal planner for kidney diets called DaVita Diet Helper is available at no charge for anyone looking for preplanned kidney friendly menus with recipes. Users can pick and choose 2 weeks of meals and snacks according to their food preferences. DaVita Diet Helper is based on the diet prescription prescribed by the doctor or dietitian. Meal plans from 50 to 100 grams protein are available. Potassium choices are 2000 mg low potassium or 3000-4000 liberal potassium. All meal plans are low in sodium and phosphorus.
In addition to menus and recipes, DaVita Diet Helper has a Nutrition Log where any foods eaten during the day can be recorded to show intake of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol, fiber, sugars, sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. The large database includes many restaurant foods, and all foods have potassium and phosphorus data included.
To use this fantastic tool, users need to know their kidney diet prescription. Clickhere to find the Diet Prescription sheet that can be printed and taken to the doctor or dietitian to complete before using DaVita Diet Helper.