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Kidney Diet Tips

November 25, 2013

5 Kidney-Friendly Diet Tips to a Healthy Thanksgiving

By guest blogger DaVita dietitian Susan Lupackino, MHS, RD, LDN

DaVitaTurkeyRoast-6021I love this time of year. Falling leaves are turning beautiful shades of red, orange, brown, gold and yellow. Farmers’ markets are selling seasonal pumpkins and winter squash, coffee shops are serving spiced coffee and tea, and there’s a cool, brisk, and invigorating nip in the air. Apple Pie and Cornbread Muffins are baking in the oven and the swirl of colors and smells come together to make Fall a magical season. Read more…

November 21, 2012

Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving Veggie Platter


Even though I posted Thanksgiving Diet Tips earlier this week, I had to share this with you. These turkey veggie platter photos and recipes are posted on positivemed.com and eatingwithfoodallergies.com.  The ingredients are kidney-friendly and it’s easy to make as a last minute appetizer or table decoration. 









Add the Garden Veggie Dip or Raw Veggie Dip from DaVita.com and you’re ready to serve a fun, kidney-friendly healthy appetizer for Thanksgiving. 

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

DaVita Dietitian Sara









November 20, 2012

Positively Thanksgiving: Kidney Diet Tips to Keep You on Track

It’s almost here—my favorite fall holiday! Maybe it’s the cooking or the fact there are no presents to buy, or maybe it’s the memories of Thanksgivings past and the leftovers on Friday.  As you plan for this year’s holiday, think about the good times past and what you can do this week to feel good and stay healthy.  A positive approach can make the difference in how you handle your food choices on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. Many dishes are high in sodium, potassium and phosphorus. You have several options though.  Think ahead and plan your Thanksgiving plate with the goal of feeling good afterwards.

Here are our favorite Thanksgiving kidney diet tips:

  • Look at the table and select 2-3 of your favorites but focus on the dishes that are closest to your diet.
  • Apply the 25% rule. Serve yourself a 25% portion of the item in question. For example, instead of one piece of pumpkin pie, have 1/4th piece. Fill in the gap with another dessert that’s more kidney-friendly.
  •  If the potatoes are not reduced-potassium, decide on either the mashed white potatoes or the sweet potatoes or yams, then limit to a small portion.
  • Salted gravy on the table? Take only 1-2 tablespoons and see if it satisfies. You can always add more if needed.
  • Count the number of items served that fit into your kidney diet plan. Fill your plate with these items first then fill the gap with smaller amounts of the foods that are not on your plan.
  • Remember your phosphate binders and make adjustments if recommended by your doctor or dietitian.
  • Remove the cheese or nut topping—no need to eat extra phosphorus when what’s underneath is so good.
  • Identify the foods high in sodium and leave these off your plate. Do you really need the bread or rolls that have hidden sodium? Can you go gravy-free? What about the soup—are you happy with a salad with vinegar and oil or low-sodium dressing instead?
  •  When limiting fluids focus on the glass that is half full; sip slowly and savor your favorite holiday beverage. Hot or very cold drinks require you to slow down and sip so your liquid is not gone before you know it.
  • The first and last sips are the best. Enjoy every drop but focus on these two the most.
  • Ice, gelatin, gravy and anything that pours at room temperature are foods that count as fluid. Pick the ones you like the most and leave off or limit the others.
  • Take a break. In-between the main meal and dessert is a great time to take a walk or play a game for extra exercise.
  • Prepare some of your favorite holiday recipes from DaVita.com to serve with the holiday feast.
  • Do a recipe makeover with family favorites to reduce ingredients high in sodium, potassium or phosphorus.
  • Be prepared to choose from the best choices first—turkey, roast beef or fresh pork with cranberry sauce instead of salted gravy.
  • Rice or pasta dishes are lower in potassium than potato dishes.
  • Choose low potassium vegetables without sauces— broccoli, turnips, carrots cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, green beans, green peas, zucchini  squash, lettuce salad with cucumbers, celery, peppers onions and radish.
  • Best desserts include fruit pies such as apple, berries or lemon meringue; a dollop of whipped topping is fine.

Ask your dietitian and other patients about their best tips for staying healthy during Thanksgiving and the holidays. Check out past Thanksgiving tips for the kidney diet:

Thanksgiving Tips for the Kidney Diet

 More Kidney Diet Tips for Thanksgiving

 Make Kidney-friendly Changes to Your Thanksgiving Meal

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com


November 20, 2011

Kidney Diet Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

My favorite holiday is almost here again. I’ll be traveling from California to Tennessee to visit family and friends, help prepare dishes for the family Thanksgiving meal and enjoy the leftovers throughout the weekend. Like anyone following a special diet I’m already thinking about how to balance eating foods I love while controlling carbs, fats and calories, my most important diet issues. Read more…

November 23, 2010

More kidney diet tips for Thanksgiving

Did you read last week’s post on DaVita Dietitians Thanksgiving diet tips? There’s more. Check out our 2009 Kidney Diet Tips for Thanksgiving to get more ideas on what to prepare and eat for a kidney-friendly meal on Thursday as you and your family celebrate Thanksgiving 2010.

What do you do with the leftover turkey on Friday? 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…

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…

November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving: A Time for Giving Thanks

Thursday November 27th is Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate America’s beginning and give thanks for all we have. For kidney patients, following a renal diet is even more challenging when so many favorite foods are on the menu but not on the low potassium, low phosphorus, low sodium diet list.

Here are some ways to stick to your kidney diet, Read more…

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