Whether it is Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or New Year’s Day, the holidays come with festivities and traditions that revolve around tempting foods. It is easy for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to eat foods outside of their Renal and/or Diabetic restrictions and overindulge to feel like they are a part of the festive season. This directly relates to a spike in emergency room visits and poor health outcomes among patients. That is no way to end the holidays or begin the New Year. Try the following tailored tips to enjoy the holidays with family, eat many of the foods that you want, and help limit negative health outcomes:
1.) Watch The Salt: Most patients do not even realize that they are eating foods that have higher levels of salt (popcorn, pretzels, etc.). When the thirst center goes on alert because things are too salty and the body needs water to dilute the salt, that's when you start to feel thirsty which can lead to extra drinking and fluid overload. Hence, try enjoying a few salt-free or hydrating snacks such as watermelon, peaches, or cucumber slices.
2.) Try To Make It From Scratch: Many patients think that some of their favorite dishes are off limits and they are NOT! Try to make some of your favorites from scratch with appropriate substitutes to meet your dietary restrictions. For instance, according to Davita Inc. if patients make
stuffing from scratch then they can "reduce or eliminate the high sodium ingredients such as salt and broth." Find your favorite Renal and Diabetic tailored recipes at the KidneyBuzz.com Impact Meal Section.
3.) Hidden Sources Of Fluid: Remember that Jello® and other gelatins count as fluid. Also, remember that gravy counts as fluid. You do not have to avoid these foods entirely, just go light and count them in your fluid intake for the day.
4.) Leach Potatoes: To enjoy your favorite potato based dish, lower the potassium content in potatoes and sweet potatoes by leaching them. The process is simple: Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Soak the high potassium vegetable in a large amount of water (for 1 cup of potatoes, use 10 cups of water) for at least four hours. Drain the water and rinse. Cook the potatoes in a large pot of water until tender. Drain the potatoes and prepare.
5.) Enjoy Your Dessert: Select low potassium desserts such as cake and/or fruit pies, instead of pecan pie, pumpkin pie, fruitcake or chocolate desserts. Use nondairy topping or whipped cream instead of ice cream on desserts. What's more, remember to take your phosphate binders. Binders should always be taken with food, because the main action occurs as food is being digested.
As patients know, when in doubt, always ask your Dietitian about healthy meal choices, especially for your individual eating plan. Remember to prepare foods with herbs and spices in place of high sodium seasonings. Reduce or replace high potassium and high phosphorus ingredients. You can always find great cooking options for any time of the year at the KidneyBuzz.com Impact Meals Section. We always have tailored seasonal delights that patients, family, and friends can all enjoy!
Recommended Reading: Top Ten Best Hospitals For Chronic Kidney Disease And Dialysis Patients
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