Have you ever been hungry in the middle of the day or rushing out of the house to a scheduled appointment in the morning? What do you do, grab a sugary treat, a greasy bag of potato chips or stop by your local fast food restaurant?
Unfortunately for many Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetic patients, these types of eating habits can become increasingly common with just one trigger which derails an entire day of healthy living. This is not because patients are uninformed, or negligent with their diet or health. In fact, dietary mishaps happen to the very best and most strict patients. Why? Well, they may have momentarily forgotten because they are just human.
Hence, your goal shouldn't be to completely eliminate Grab-And-Go foods, it should be to have the best snacks available which can maintain and even improve your health outcomes. You may be surprised to learn, but according to Dietitian Laura Cipullo, these types of foods "don't have to be your diet downfall – they can actually help you stick with your meal plan, as long as you choose wisely..." This may include foods that contain proteins, and (healthy) fats.
The key is to plan ahead as much as you can and keep the right snacks close by so that you aren't tempted to make a run for nearest vending machine, bakery, or fast food joint. Here are a handful of options to stash in your car, purse, cupboard, and/or bedside so you always have a smart snack on-hand.
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The Right Fruits: Fruit is always a good option for Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetic patients! Not only do many fruits match your Renal or Diabetic diet, they also provide added benefits to your overall health. When your sweet tooth flares up in the afternoon, satisfy it with a piece of ripe, fresh fruit such as an apple, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or grapes. You should note that fruits contain potassium and carbohydrates so be sure to limit the number and serving sizes of fruits and vegetables to those recommended by your dietitian.
Recommended Reading: Fruits And Vegetables That Are Acceptable For Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
Natural Popcorn: Fruit and vegetables are great, but you can also snack on other options not found in the produce section. For a filling snack that offers a healthy combo of good fats and high-quality carbohydrates, pop a bag of natural popcorn and enjoy 2 whole cups! Although popcorn can improve your blood sugar control, and maintain weight by curbing your appetite, you should opt for unsalted and unbuttered varieties. Otherwise you could be doing more harm than good. Also, check the nutrition label and avoid any items that contain added phosphorus.
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Tuna Pouches: If you are struggling with constant low energy levels, it may be due to a lack of protein in your diet. If your Dietitian recommends extra protein, you may want to have a pack of StarKist single-serve tuna pouches which are available for a high protein snack. Only about 80 calories, this portable snack comes in many flavors including herb and garlic, zesty lemon pepper, and hickory smoked. Add a single serving of your favorite whole grain, low-sodium crackers to create a filling snack that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. However be watchful of the sodium count as some pouches contain 290 to 380 milligrams sodium depending on the flavor. Also, Dialysis patients taking phosphate binders may be instructed to take binders with protein-containing snacks to keep phosphorus in control.
Recommended Reading: Eating Fish Extends and Improves the Lives of those with Kidney Disease
Snack Bars: Snack bars are convenient for tossing in your bag, but some brands are basically candy bars just posing as "health food." KIND bars are a better option because they are made with simple ingredients and come in several lower-sugar varieties. However, the nuts included in many flavors may deter some Chronic Kidney Disease patients. In which case, Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'N Honey may be a better option. Each package contains 2 crunchy and sweet whole grain oat bars. Eat one to stay under 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Now that you have a few quick Grab-And-Go snacks to choose from, after talking to your Dietitian to make sure they are right for YOU, head over to your local store and stock up on a few varieties. Also, head over to our Facebook Fan Page to share which snacks you tend to grab in a pinch.
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"Snacks for a Kidney Diet." Davita.com. DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.
"Smart Snacking Choices for the Dialysis Patient." Http://www.rsnhope.org/. Renal Support Network.
"Top 25 Diabetic Snacks." Http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/. Diabetic Living Online.
"Eating Smart With Diabetes: 7 Grab-and-Go Snacks - Everyday Health." EverydayHealth.com. Everyday Health Media, LLC.