Kidney Diet Tips

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An Apple a Day and Other White Foods for a Healthy Kidney Diet

We’ve all heard nutritionists promote health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, often by comparing the benefits to produce colors. ‘Eat the rainbow’, ‘Taste a rainbow of fruits and vegetables’ are used to remind us about produce benefits. Even if you are on a kidney diet limiting your potassium, it’s still important to eat a variety and include allowed portions of lower potassium fruits and vegetables each day.

Beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids are present in colorful fruits and vegetables. These plant compounds act as antioxidants, boost the immune system, fight inflammation and protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease.

But what about plain,white foods? A recent study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association shows that plain white fruits and vegetables do provide health benefits. Dutch researchers studied consumption of different color fruits and vegetables over one year in over 20,000 people. Ten years later, follow-up study showed that those who ate more white-fleshed fruits and vegetables had a 52% lower risk of having a stroke compared to those who did not.

Linda M. Oude Griep, MSc, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, says an apple a day “is an easy way to increase white fruits and vegetable intake,” but  because other fruits and vegetable color groups also protect against chronic diseases, it’s important to eat a lot of different fruits and vegetables.

Foods in the white category include apples, bananas, cauliflower, chicory, and cucumbers. Garlic, ginger, jicama, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, pears, potatoes and turnips are also in the white-flesh produce group. Anthoxanthins are present in the white-colored pigments. Allicin, a compound that may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and lower the risk of cancer and heart disease are also present in the white-fleshed produce group.

For people following a low potassium kidney diet, be aware that bananas, parsnips and potatoes are high in potassium. Good news—the other white-fleshed fruits and vegetables are acceptable for a low potassium diet.

Try these white-fleshed fruit and vegetable recipes from the DaVita.com Kidney-friendly recipe collection.

Almost Mashed Potatoes

Apple Baked in Cider

Cauliflower Latkes

Cucumbers with Sour Cream

Garlicky Ginger Eggplant

Jicama Fabulous

Zesty Cucumber Salad

Zingy Spiced Pears

 

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

 

 

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.