Kidney Diet Tips

Be Heart Healthy on Valentine’s Day

One of the most well-known holiday’s in the month of February is Valentine’s Day. It’s a day typically observed to show your significant others, family and friends how much you love them. Candy-filled hearts, red cards, and heart shaped decorations often fill the day. But did you know that February is also American Heart Month?

Heart Health

According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, American Heart Month was created to help people understand the importance of heart health and to encourage the prevention of heart disease. The Center for Disease Control stated that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, which is caused by cardiovascular disease. People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often also have cardiovascular disease, which can occur at any stage of CKD. To learn more about cardiovascular disease, check out this article, “Chronic Kidney Disease and Your Heart” on

High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

High blood pressure is one type of heart disease. This condition, which is also known as hypertension, is caused when blood goes through the blood vessels at a much higher pressure than usual. Over time this weakens the blood vessels and may lead to a stroke or heart attack. One way to help control blood pressure is to follow a low-salt, also known as low-sodium, diet. Checking food labels for sodium content, cooking with fresh herbs instead of salt, and using salt-free seasonings are some ways to reduce your salt intake. Cooking home-made meals also helps ensure you have control over the salt content of your food. Most restaurant, fast food and packaged foods tend to be high in sodium.

A Heart Healthy Diet

Along with a low-salt diet, following a heart-healthy diet can be beneficial to prevent heart disease. Some foods that are part of a heart-healthy diet are fish, lean meats, skinless chicken and turkey and eggs. Please check with your dietitian for serving sizes based on individual nutritional needs and stage of CKD.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans are also part of a heart healthy diet. If you are on a potassium or phosphorus restriction, please check with a dietitian for serving sizes and choose lower potassium fruits and vegetables.

More to Love

Check out these DaVita resources for additional information on heart healthy diets and CKD:

Looking for heart healthy and Valentine recipes? Check out these recipe collections:

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day make sure you love your heart on this day and every day!

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and a Happy American Heart Month!

Reference: Accessed: 1/30/2020

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                      

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Iris M. Pacheco MS, RD, LD/N

Iris M. Pacheco MS, RD, LD/N

Iris M. Pacheco is originally from the Bronx, NY, and now resides in Wake Forest, NC. She has been a registered dietitian for 6 years, specializing in long term care nutrition and renal nutrition, plus acute care experience. Iris has worked at DaVita over 2 years. She enjoys helping patients improve their nutrition. In her free time, Iris likes surfing the internet, reading and cooking, as well as her new interest in gardening.