Specific Fast Food Options Which Chronic Kidney Disease And Dialysis Patients Can Still Eat




If you are like most Chronic Kidney Disease patients including those on Dialysis, then you enjoy  a fast food burger or taco from time-to-time. While some patients never indulge, most patients will end a busy and exhausting day after Dialysis, work, school, errands, exercising or other activities with food delivery or at their favorite fast food stop to avoid spending any extra time on their feet cooking in a hot kitchen. 

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After their meal, however, many patients feel guilty and concerned that they have chosen a dish that is outside of their dietary restrictions which will surely hinder their lab results. In other cases, patients feel the side effects of a high sodium, potassium or phosphorus meal immediately with swelling, upset stomach, and difficulty breathing. Both of these scenarios can be avoided by choosing the right fast food meal options as outlined by the Large Dialysis Organization, DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. 

1. Hamburgers: Hamburger on a bun with lettuce, onion, mayonnaise, mustard or a packet of ketchup with no cheese or special sauce is a safe order for most patients. A grilled or broiled chicken sandwich with mustard or mayonnaise, lettuce, onion, and no cheese or breading is also a good option for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients. Consider having onion rings instead of French fries. Limit the ketchup and the portion size.

2. Chicken or fish options: Go for grilled or roasted chicken or fish which does not have high-sodium breading.

3. Mexican fast foods: A good option for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients is a burrito (chicken or beef) with rice, sour cream, a little salsa or hot sauce. Leave off the beans and cheese. Other options include: Fajitas (Beef, chicken, pork or shrimp), tacos with flour tortilla (beef, chicken or fish), taquitos (chicken or beef) with sour cream instead of guacamole. Always choose rice over beans and limit salsa or hot sauce to  one (1) tablespoon or (1) packet.

4. Sub sandwiches: Stick to the 6-inch sub on a white roll with turkey, chicken, roast beef, ham or egg salad. Lettuce, onion, cucumber, thin slice of tomato, bell pepper, vinegar, oil, pepper, mayonnaise, and a small amount of mustard are all good topping choices in moderation. Steer clear of cheese, sauces, olives and pickles to keep phosphorus and sodium down.

5. Chinese take-out: "Order stir-fry shrimp, chicken, pork or beef with lower potassium veggies such as bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, and onions," said DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. Go with steamed white rice instead of fried rice. Egg rolls or fried wontons or small salad with vinegar-based dressing are best for appetizers. Request no MSG and skip the salty soups to save on fluid and sodium. 

6. Sides: The best sides for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients include: Coleslaw, pasta salad, white roll, green beans, and half ear corn on the cob. Try to avoid potatoes and biscuits to keep potassium and phosphorus lower.

7. Drinks: A good rule of thumb for the drinks is to order the smallest beverage — no refills, no cola. Acceptable drinks include: apple juice, cranberry juice, grape juice, pineapple juice, peach nectar juice, raspberry juice, strawberry juice, 7-Up, Sprite, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, root beer, club soda, cream soda, grape soda, orange soda, strawberry soda, Kool-Aid, Capri-Sun, punch, homemade lemonade or limeade, tea, herbal tea, coffee, water, sparkling water or fruit-flavored water.

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