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Kidney Diet Tips

July 1, 2015

Red, White and Blue Recipes for Independence Day

PieRWB-whole-698Celebrate Independence Day with the colors of freedom!  DaVita dietitians put together red, white or blue salad and dessert recipes  to complement your July 4th decorations. Pick one or more to include at this weekend’s barbecue, picnic or social gathering.

Recipes made specifically for the kidney diet can help you limit sodium, potassium and phosphorus while still enjoying great food with family and friends. Read more…

April 28, 2015

New Phosphorus Pyramid: Today’s Focus on Phosphorus for Kidney Patients

The Phosphorus Pyramid, a new tool for learning about phosphorus control, was created by researchers Claudia D’Alessandro, Giorgina B Piccoli, and Adamasco Cupisti from Italy. This pyramid does not focus on phosphorus content of foods alone. It incorporates the newer focus on phosphorus load–how much phosphorus is retained due to digestion, absorption and removal (by the kidneys, dialysis and/or phosphate binders). 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…

February 10, 2014

Kidney Diet Double Ps -Potassium and Phosphorus

SONY DSCPeople on dialysis have heard more than once to watch their phosphorus and potassium consumption on the kidney diet. When it comes to Potassium, Phosphorus and the Dialysis Diet, this may be the biggest challenge for many dialysis patients. First, remembering the difference between the two Ps. Read more…

December 5, 2012

Holiday Flavors for the Kidney Diet

December is the month for holiday celebrations, and now is the time to pick out a few ‘go to’ kidney diet holiday recipes you can prepare with little fuss. By selecting recipes made for your kidney diet you can always feel good about enjoying food with your guests or bringing a dish to a holiday event. There are so many choices in the DaVita recipe collection, I thought I would inspire you with a few of my ‘go to’ favorites.

We all love easy when there’s so much to do, so my first holiday pick is a quick appetizer with only 4 ingredients plus apple slices and low-sodium crackers.

Holiday Cheese Ball is a combination of cream cheese, Russian dressing, onion powder and a thin coat of ground walnuts. Mix the ingredients and form into a ball then wrap it and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you slice the apples and pull out your favorite serving dishes.

Holiday Cheese Ball also travels well. Keep it wrapped and place in a cold lunch bag to transport.

You can change it up by shaping it in a log instead of a ball, or by serving with celery of other low potassium raw vegetables.

Holiday Cheese Ball keeps over several days so you can make it a day in advance or save part for a second event the next day. Read more…

October 18, 2012

Vegetarian Diets for Chronic Kidney Disease

 World Vegetarian Day (Oct 1), Vegetarian Awareness Month throughout October, and Meatless Mondays are among some of the activities drawing more attention to vegetarian eating.  What used to be a strange way of eating to the majority of Americans is now becoming popular and embraced by those seeking to improve health, save animals and protect the environment.

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) a vegetarian diet may help  protect your kidneys and delay progression to end stage kidney disease (ESRD).

Benefits of vegetarian diets include:

  • Lower protein intake, resulting in less kidney stress and decreased protein waste build-up 
  • Lower blood pressure, which reduces pressure in the kidneys
  • Decreased cholesterol, especially LDL, the cholesterol that contributes to artery narrowing, including the renal arteries
  • Better heart health with less risk of plaque build-up
  • Lower cancer risk related to less saturated fat and eating more grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Lower food costs (have you seen the price of steak or roast lately?)

If you decide to try a vegetarian eating plan but are unsure where to start, try adding meatless meals several times a week. Read articles such as The Vegetarian Diet and Chronic Kidney Disease written for DaVita.com by DaVita renal dietitian Chhaya Patel or Soy Foods: Vegetarian Options for a Kidney Diet. Check out resources such as Vegetarian Diets in Chronic Kidney Disease  from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Vegetaian Practice Group.

Find recipes online, purchase a vegetarian cookbook (for quick and easy recipes try Meatless Meals for Working People ), or subscribe to a vegetarian magazine such as my favorite, Vegetarian Times.  Many recipes can be modified for a kidney diet. There are a few vegetarian books specific for kidney disease such as The Vegetarian Diet for Kidney Disease  by Joan Brookhyser Hogan, RD.

Many of these resources provide information on protein, potassium, phosphorus and sodium–all concerns for a kidney diet. Even for people on dialysis it is possible to incorporate meatless meals or even a vegetarian diet with guidance from your renal dietitian.

In addition to saving kidney function,  you may find that a vegetarian diet also helps with your energy level– and that improves your quality of life!

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com



March 17, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Tips and Recipes for the Kidney Diet

On March 17th we all have a bit of Irish in us. Here in America St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish-American culture more so that a celebration of the patron saint. We love to prepare a hearty Irish meal, wear something green, and drink Irish beer, even if it’s green.  Parades and parties are  are all around, and Irish pubs have standing room only.

For those of you following the kidney diet I have a few tips to help you stick with a kidney-friendly diet and still join in St. Patty Day celebrations.

  • Go for a hearty beef stew, roast lamb, salmon or Shepherd’s pie and steer clear of the corned beef, which has over 900 mg sodium for a 3 ounce serving. You can also cook a fresh brisket without the curing seasonings.
  • If you plan a traditional Irish potato dish like Potatoes O ‘Brien,  Colcannon (a cabbage and potato dish), or plain old Mash (mashed potatoes),  you can reduce potassium in the potatoes by double boiling or soaking the potatoes, and limit to one serving.
  • Save your vegetable choices for the day for your celebration meal and watch portions to avoid potassium overload.
  • If you include beer, make it a root beer or a lower phosphorus  light beer (with green dye, of course).  Some of the best kidney-friendly choices are Bud Light® or Michelob Ultra Light®. Most other beers, including traditional Irish beers (even O ‘Doul’s®) contain almost 100 mg potassium and 140 mg phosphorus for 12 ounces. Always check with your doctor before including alcohol in your diet, and be aware of your fluid intake if you are on a fluid restriction.
  • Look for kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com to help keep sodium, potassium and phosphorus in check.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Choose a main dish from these kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com

Barley and Beef Stew

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Honey Spice Rubbed Salmon

Roast Lamb

Choose a side dish

Boiled Cabbage

Country Soda Biscuits

St. Patrick’s Crinkle-cut Carrots and Green Peas

It’s-Better-Than-Potato Salad

Zesty Cucumber Salad

Choose a Dessert

Apple Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

Lively Lemon Tart

Sour Cream Apple Bread

Choose a beverage

Irish Coffee (6 ounces brewed Coffee, 1.5 oz Irish whiskey, whipped cream)

Irish cream (6 ounces brewed coffee and Irish cream flavored coffee nondairy creamer)

Minted Lemonade

An Irish Blessing for you

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.
May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

And an Irish Toast

May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

An Irish Quotation

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”~~By Adrienne Cook.~~

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

January 12, 2012

Kidney Diet Food Budget for the New Year

The beginning of a new year is a great time to assess and plan your food budget. When it comes to buying food for a kidney diet, some people express concern over spending more money on special products to help reduce sodium and phosphorus intake. For example, the low sodium version of canned tuna and canned veggies costs more than the regular salted canned products. Low sodium condiments like no salt added ketchup and low sodium salad dressings also carry a higher price tag, not to mention the probability of containing potassium chloride, a salt substitute that kicks up the potassium content. Read more…

December 21, 2011

Selecting the best cheese for a kidney diet

Cheese is a featured ingredient in this month’s DaVita recipe collection, Kidney-Friendly Cheesy Appetizers. Almost everyone likes cheese, but kidney patients are told to limit or even avoid it due to the phosphorus content. In addition, some cheeses are quite high in sodium. Read more…

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…

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