Are Precut Vegetables Worth Cost For CKD & Dialysis Patients & Do They Improve Health Outcomes?

A KidneyBuzz.com viewer asked, "Are precut vegetables worth the price? I always purchase my vegetables precut because they seem fresher and they are easier to prepare. However, with a tighter budget, I do not know if they are worth the extra cost."

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This viewer makes a very good point. Often, precut vegetables may be most desirable for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients due to the fact that on days they feel fatigued or exhausted, vegetables that are already cut are much easier to prepare with a healthy balanced meal that matches the Renal (Kidney) Diet restrictions. What's more precut vegetables are easier for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to Leach (process to reduce the amount of potassium in some vegetables).

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For years, Renal Dietitians have encouraged their Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to reduce the potassium content in many high potassium vegetables by cutting up and soaking the potassium rich veggies. Simply, Dialysis patients can use the following process to leach their high potassium vegetables.

1.) Wash and then cut the raw vegetable into thin slices. Vegetables with a skin (eg, potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabagas) should be peeled before slicing.
2.) Rinse the cut vegetables in warm water.
3.) Soak the vegetables for at least two hours or overnight. Use a large amount of unsalted warm water (approximately 10 parts water to 1 part vegetables). If possible, change the water every four hours. Drain the soaking water.
4.) Rinse the vegetables again with warm water.
5.) Cook vegetables as desired, using a large amount of unsalted water (approximately 5 parts water to 1 part vegetables). Drain the cooking water.

Hence, by purchasing precut vegetables, Chronic Kidney Disease patients save themselves a lot of time and energy. 

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However, with the Today Show recently highlighting that the average consumer may be spending approximately 50% to 370% more on precut vegetables when compared to the price of whole vegetables, patients must ask: "Is it worth it?"

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The answer, as with most things related to Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis, "It's complicated." While incorporating vegetables and a safe level of potassium into the Renal Diet is important to general bodily functions such as heart beat, if you are on a very tight budget and the difference between $0.99 for uncut onions and $4.65 for precut onions makes a substantial difference in your monthly expenses then you may consider whole vegetables. However, if the price variations are worth the convenience of ensuring you can easily fit vegetables into your day-to-day diet, then consider maintaining the use of precut vegetables. 

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Moreover, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should not only rely on leaching their vegetables because  water-soluble vitamins including vitamins C and B are sometimes lost during the soaking process, and all  vegetables are different and don’t lose the same amount of potassium when leached or boiled. Therefore, Dialysis patients should check with their Dietitians to determine the amount and type of leached high potassium vegetables  they can safely include into their diets.

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Aim for lower potassium, vitamin rich vegetable options such as asparagus, cauliflower and celery. For a FREE "Dietary Guide For Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease," complete the below form . Also, Like KidneyBuzz.com on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for the Latest Breaking News and Information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis and Diabetes how to better manage their lives.

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