Get the grill ready! It’s that time of year to move from the kitchen to the patio and enjoy the smoke-carried smell and terrific taste of kidney-friendly foods from the grill. DaVita’s collection of grilling recipes — low potassium, low sodium, low phosphorus — are so good your family and friends will love them too. There’s no need to tell them that they’re eating healthy food for people with kidney disease.
When it comes to foods good for kidneys, the nutritional profile of meat is impressive. It is a good source of iron, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and zinc. The protein in meat contains all the essential amino acids, so regardless of the portion for a high protein dialysis diet or low protein chronic kidney disease diet, it is one of the best sources of high quality protein. Many grilled meat recipes are easy to adjust the portion to match your individual kidney diet plan.
Meat is a source of potassium and phosphorus. Generally, one ounce of cooked meat contains approximately 100 mg potassium and 65 mg phosphorus with 7 grams of protein (9.3 mg phosphorus per gram of protein).
Stick with low-sodium marinades and seasonings as shown in the DaVita grilled recipe collection. Beware of pre-marinated meats and fresh meat/poultry enhanced with sodium, potassium and phosphate additives. You can determine if meat is high in sodium, phosphorus or potassium by checking the ingredient list. Sodium is always listed on the nutrition label, but you may not see potassium or phosphorus listed. Fresh meat has 20 to 30 mg sodium per ounce, but if enhanced the sodium content is much higher. By law, the package must list additives—but you may need a magnifier to find this information on the package.
The smoky grilled taste added to vegetables turns plain vegetables into flavorful, healthy sides to pair with grilled meat or poultry. Some great low potassium vegetable grill-mates include asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, peppers, yellow squash and zucchini. Use a grill pan, skewers or cook directly on the grill over low to medium heat. Vegetables cook quickly, so keep a close eye on them.
In addition to the grilled flavor, you can add low-sodium seasonings such as Mrs. Dash® grilling blends, herbs and spices, or low-sodium marinades to grilled meats and vegetables. Try kidney-friendly sauce and marinade recipes or look for prepared products that have less than 100 mg sodium per serving without high potassium ingredients.
Finish off a grilled meal with a grilled low-potassium fruit for dessert. Flavors of fresh pineapple, peaches, plums or watermelon are enhanced by a few minutes on the grill and are a delicious way to end a kidney-friendly meal. To prepare pineapple and watermelon, cut into 3/4-inch slices. To prepare peaches or plums, cut the fruit in half and remove the pit. Peeling the fruit is optional. Spray each piece of fruit with a canola-based nonstick cooking spray. Place on a clean grill over medium hot heat, cover and cook until tender with grill marks, about five minutes.
A special holiday (such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day), a stay-at-home weekend or a dinner spent outdoors is a great reason to grill. Try one of the DaVita grilled recipes or be adventuresome and create your own kidney-friendly grilled meal. Also, add these yummy recipes to DaVita Diet Helper, which can easily help you manage a kidney diet.