Go to DaVita.com

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 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 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

February 24, 2012

Kidney Diet Tips: A new recipe for Sodium Girl’s Low-Sodium Recipe Rally

This week I’m stepping up to the challenge. Sodium Girl, who blogs on living salt-free and who has first hand experience dealing with kidneys, has challenged her readers to take a salty recipe and replace the high-sodium ingredients with low-sodium substitutes, creating a low-sodium dish full of flavor. I found out about the challenge a day ago, so had little time to to stew on what to create. Last night my hubby kept popping into the kitchen to check on the end result of the yummy smells and clanging pots.

I started with a couscous recipe I love from allrecipes.com. Here’s the original (and to give credit, it was created by Levedi, a cook who has shared several recipes.)

Couscous, Cranberry and Feta Salad


  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, or to taste
  • salt to taste


  1. Place the couscous and cranberries in a heatproof bowl. Pour in the boiling water, and stir with a fork. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Fluff the couscous with a fork, and fold in the cucumber and feta cheese. Season to taste with balsamic vinaigrette and salt.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrients (my calculations–used 1/4 tsp salt for the recipe)

243 calories, 6 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 455 mg sodium, 175 mg potassium, 116 mg phosphorus, 91 mg calcium, 2.9 g fiber.

The feta cheese, salad dressing and salt to taste–all full of flavor and sodium, were my challenges. Additional challenges–the mushy cuccumber I had planned to use, and an almost empty bag of dried cranberries, plus keep it kidney-friendly with low potassium and low phosphorus ingredients. Needless to say, my creation was a bit different from the original recipe, but ended as a pleasant culinary surprise.

Here’s my low-sodium rally recipe:

Couscous, Apple and Carmelized Onion Salad 


  • 2 cups thinly sliced white onion (Maui or other sweet onion variety)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small apple, cut, cored and thinly sliced (leave the skin on)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted sweet butter
  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook onions over medium heat, stirring often. When the onions are translucent and soft, cover with a lid and continue to cook until carmelized, about 15 minutes. Stir about every 3-4 minutes and adjust heat if needed.
  2. In a separate nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray, cook apple slices over medium heat until tender. Reduce heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Continue cooking until soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add balsamic glaze and honey to caramelized onions and stir.
  4. Boil the water, add butter and stir until melted. Pour over couscous in a bowl. Cover and let set for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon over couscous and stir with a fork to mix.
  6. Add onions and stir until well mixed; add apples, toss and serve.

Tip: Serve hot or cold–it’s great both ways!    

Makes 2 servings


230 calories, 4 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 155 mg potassium, 66 mg phosphorus, 32 mg calcium, 3.4 g fiber.

I loved participating in this challenge. Sodium Girl has not only proven you can live with and enjoy a low sodium, salt-free diet, she has also prompted a whole group to create and prove there is flavor without salt. Thank you Sodium Girl!

What’s next? March is National Nutrition Month. Find out what the DaVita Dietitians are doing to celebrate!

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…

September 15, 2011

Flavored oils and vinegars: low sodium flavor for kidney diets

Do you ever find a new food or ingredient that you absolutely fall in love with and want to always have on hand? I had such an experience earlier this year when I attended a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. Afterwords with some free time to explore, I discovered Outrageous Olive Oils and Vinegars, a wonderful shop that specializes in high quality extra virgin olive oils, flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world. I immediately thought how perfect for adding new and exciting flavors to a kidney diet or for anyone limiting sodium intake. Read more…

November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Tips for the Kidney Diet

 Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many people because it’s a time for family and friends to be together, plus all that great food. If you are following a special diet, like the kidney diet, you may find that holidays centered around eating are stressful.  You can refocus by planning some non-food related holiday events. How about some pre or post meal exercise such as walking, basketball, bonce ball, or a Wii activity? You can plan a time for guests to focus on what they are truly thankful and share with the family. Recalling great family stories is fun and a great way to hand down family history to the younger ones. Think about showing family videos, a photo slideshow or photos albums.

When it comes to destressing over holiday foods, time to stop worrying. Read more…

October 13, 2010

New thin bagels and buns offer lower carbohydrate and sodium choice for people with kidney disease and diabetes


Bagel1  ©iStockphoto.com/lushmedia

New foods are constantly appearing in the market. My newest favorites are on the bread isle–thin bagels and thin buns. What a great idea–wish I had thought of it. Have you ever dug out the inside of a bun or bagel to reduce the number of carbs or calories consumed? Or eaten only half the bagel instead of the whole thing? No more–add the new thin buns to your grocery list. Read more…

March 27, 2010

Salt: a hidden danger for people with kidney disease

A high salt intake is even more damaging to your health than eating too many calories, too much cholesterol or even smoking. That’s because eating too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and can interfere with the effectiveness of your blood pressure medications. Uncontrolled blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes and heart attacks. For kidney patients on dialysis, salt not only increases blood pressure, it contributes to thirst and makes removal of fluid from your body more difficult. Read more…

November 25, 2009

Make kidney-friendly changes to your Thanksgiving meal

Typical Thanksgiving Menu

3 ounces Turkey (pre-basted, frozen)
1/4 cup Turkey Gravy
1/2 cup Stuffing or Dressing
1/3 cup Mashed Potatoes
1/3 cup Sweet Potatoes
1/3 cup Green Peas
1/3 Green Beans
1/4 cup Cranberry Sauce
1 slice Pumpkin Pie
1 tablespoon whipped cream topping

Nutrients:  930 calories, 35 g protein, 128 g carbohydrate, 30 g fat, 112 g cholesterol, 1785 mg sodium, 1216 mg potassium, 515 mg phosphorus, 14 g fiber

Here’s a typical Thanksgiving meal with conservative portions. As you can see from the nutrients fat, sodium, potassium and phosphorus are quite high. Consider some changes to make your meal more kidney-friendly and help you to feel better afterwards! Read more…

    Search blog


    Subscribe to
    this blog

    Enter your email address:

    Share this blog

    About this blog

    Learn about the renal diet, get tips, and stay informed. Learn more

    Monthly Recipe Alerts

    Image: Recipe Alerts Sign up at DaVita.com for a monthly update on new kidney-friendly recipes.
    Sign up for recipe alerts »

    Discussion forums

    Image: DaVita 
        Discussion forum Join in or just read what others are saying.
    Check out the forums »


    Image: Your Kidneys Empower and educate yourself about kidney disease, kidney disease symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
    See YourKidneys.com »

    RSS Feed

© 2004-2013 DaVita Inc. All rights reserved. Web usage privacy | Privacy of medical information | Terms of use | FAQs | RSS
This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician.
Please check with a physician if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. If you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1