These tough economic times should remind those living on a fixed budget the importance of pinching pennies. But what does that really mean for people suffering with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) who have to be concerned with eating healthy as well? KidneyBuzz.com suggests you can accomplish both. You can Eat For Less while Eating Healthy! The following recommendations take healthy eating choices into consideration.
The key to eating healthy on a budget is the Three P's: Proper Planning and Preparation (PPP). The first step is to plan your shopping and meals to avoid any extra expense or poor food choices. In this regard KidneyBuzz.com recommends that you develop a budget so you would know how much money you intend to spend on food. Then write out a grocery list.
While you are planning, you want to use foods that are in season because they are usually lower in cost. You should utilize the foods that are available. Check your cupboards to see what foods you have available and utilize them in the budget planning process.
Based on the food that you already have, you should establish your grocery list. If you are going to cook for example, Chilli on Monday then you know that you are going to need beef, tomatoes, hominy, ect. Therefore, your grocery list should be based on the meals that you are planning to have, instead of impromptu "pie in the sky" meals because it may force you to blow your budget when you realize how expensive it is to purchase the necessary ingredients.
Once you are at the supermarket, you should remember to read the food labels. KidneyBuzz.com recommends checking the serving size on the label. Some people with CKD believe that the total container is the serving size of that product the manufacturer is referring to, but that is not the case. Individuals with CKD especially should recognize that the Nutritional Facts on the label refer to the fat and sodium content for the recommended serving size. If you consume double the serving size, you will be consuming double the contents. Not reading and following the labels is directly linked to CKD and other chronic disease problems such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Although you plan the meal and know what you have in your supply cabinets, you still must learn how much fat and sodium are in the products you purchase. In an effort to remind yourself to read the labels, you can purchase a Label Reading Card that you can carry in your purse and/or wallet. Checking labels are also important when you compare prices of a product. Sometimes the cheaper product contains similar or even higher nutritional content than those with brand names so it is important to compare labels. Also, you could consider stretching meat dollars by substituting some other protein products for some of the meat that you normally use. But check with you dietitian to make sure that any changes to your diet complies with your treatment plan.
The next step for people suffering with CKD to living healthy on a fixed budget is to eat less processed foods and eat as natural as possible by preparing more meals at home. KidneyBuzz.com recommends an easy to prepare, inexpensive Impact Meal daily to encourage people with CKD to improve their eating habits. KidneyBuzz.com does not suggest that you stop eating all processed foods, but instead of eating it every day return to the basics of mostly cooking for yourself at home.
A lot of people with CKD do not cook so KidneyBuzz.com tries to get them interested in cooking at home through its daily Impact Meal. It is also cheaper! Time is a deterrent factor for many individuals with CKD, but many of these meals can be cooked in a short space of time. You just have to be willing to change your habits. To further cut back on your food bill and save time, prepare your food in advance by cooking double the amount and freezing the extra for another day.
In summary, Eating Healthy does not have to be expensive. You have options to address your concerns of the rising cost of food and the requirement of your Kidney Disease to eat healthy foods. However, you have to change your habits to take advantage of them.