March is National Nutrition Month
Daily kidney diet tips
In observance of National Nutrition Month, the DaVita® dietitian team has compiled an education calendar of daily diet tips. These tips are displayed in DaVita dialysis centers across the nation to help people following a kidney diet enjoy a healthier life.
Eat a variety of foods from your allowed food list
- Include a source of protein at each meal, such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry.
Remember to take your phosphorus binders
- Too much phosphorus can harm your heart and make your bones weak.
- Binders help keep phosphorus out of your blood.
Low or high potassium can be trouble
- Eat the right amount of fruits and vegetables to keep your potassium normal.
Take a renal vitamin every day
- There are special vitamins made for people on dialysis.
Measure for success!
- Fluid ounces allowed should equal fluid ounces you drink.
- Measure and track fluid intake for your health.
Avoid star fruit
- Do not eat star fruit (carambola). It is dangerous for dialysis patients and can cause bad symptoms and even death.
- Foods high in sodium can make you thirsty.
- Avoid frozen foods and dinners, ham, pickles, salty snacks, etc.
- Greek yogurt is the best choice for a protein boost.
- Limit to 4 ounces/day to control potassium and phosphorus.
Today's kidney diet includes 100% whole grains
- 100% Whole Grain + Healthier
- Look for the 100% whole grain stamp on the package
- Be sure whole grain is the first ingredient.
Eat out with confidence
- Choose a restaurant where food is "made to order"; look over the menu and ask how food is prepared.
- Request "no salt."
- Share or take home large portions.
Enjoy kidney-friendly cookbooks
- Download kidney-friendly cookbooks.
- Free! Just a CLICK away at DaVita.com/Cookbook.
Snacking can be healthy
- Unsalted popcorn or pretzels.
- Fresh berries.
- Canned tuna with low-sodium crackers.
- Fresh vegetables with dip.
- Drink only if you are truly thirsty.
- Eat less sodium.
- Chew gum.
- Suck on hard candy or lemon wedges.
- Rinse mouth with cold mouthwash.
- Avoid activities that cause you to become overheated or extra thirsty.
Ask your personal coach: The registered dietitian
- Work with a personal coach-your Renal Dietitian. Healthy rewards come with kidney-friendly meal planning teamwork.
- Albumin is one way your protein is measured. It should be at least 4.0 mg/dl.
Play it safe with food
- Prepare, handle and store food properly to keep it safe.
Add whole grains to your kidney diet
- It will help increase fiber and micronutrients which can improve cholesterol and constipation.
Stay for your entire dialysis treatment
- Stay for all of the dialysis that your doctor has prescribed. If you skip treatments, poisons can build up in your body.
Going salt-free can be very tasty!
- Use salt-free and potassium-free spice blends in your cooking.
- Use fresh herbs and spices to flavor your meals.
Got coconut milk?
- Best choices are coconut milk blends, for example Coconut-Almond milk.
- 100% coconut milk and coconut water are very high in potassium and phosphorus - and should be avoided.
Get kidney-friendly recipes
Get access to 1,000+ free recipes at DaVita.com/DietHelper.
Recipes include nutrients and helpful kidney diet tips.
Is JUICING allowed for dialysis patients?
- Juice blends may have too much potassium, fluid or sugar.
- Check labels for ingredients and potassium content.
- Count juices toward your daily fluid and fruit and vegetable allowance.
- Ask your dietitian for safe juicing guidelines.
Healthy meals begin in your kitchen
- Homemade meals are healthier than restaurant and fast food meals.
- To begin, start using DaVita Diet Helper on DaVita.com for help with:
- Meal planning
- Food and fluid tracking
- Learning how to cook
Buy fresh meats
- Buy fresh meats, not enhanced or processed ones, to keep sodium intake lower.
Fast, frozen and packaged foods usually contain phosphorus additives
- Phosphorus additives can increase phosphorus levels in your blood.
- You may need to take more phosphorus binders with meals.
- Read Hidden Phosphorus in your Diet and How to Control It.
Taking vitamins, supplements or herbs?
- Please let your healthcare team know to prevent possible reactions with other medications and altered blood test results.
- Be sure to bring all vitamins, supplements and herbs you take to your medication review.
Do not use salt substitutes
- Most substitutes contain potassium chloride.
- Season your foods with garlic, lemon juice, herbs and spices.
Exercise for success
- Feel better, look better, sleep better
- Have more energy
- No health club necessary. Try stepping in place or go for a walk.
Slow eating helps maintain a healthy weight
- Take small bites.
- Slowly chew your food.
- Put down your eating utensils after every bite.
Variety is the SPICE of life!
- Choose from a variety of foods and food groups when meal planning.
- Always make sure that foods fit into your kidney-friendly meal plan.
Time your binders
- Take your phosphorus binders with meals and snacks as prescribed.
- Take them within 10 to 15 minutes of eating.