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The Keys to Eating Almost Anythiing You Want

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  • The Keys to Eating Almost Anythiing You Want

    I've been on in center hemodialysis for three years. I eat anything I want, except starfruit! For me the main keys to be able to do this are KNOWLEDGE, DISCIPLINE, MODERATION, and TRACKING!

    For the KNOWLEDGE part, inform yourself about the protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and liquid content of the foods you eat. An excellent source of information can be found at the USDA web site:
    This site has mineral, liquid, and nutritional content for almost any food you can imagine.
    Talk to your renal dietitian to find out how much phosphorus your binder absorbs and take enough binders for the phosphorus you consume.

    DISCIPLINE and MODERATION go hand in hand. You can't eat a whole cheese pizza, but you may be able to have a small piece occasionally. For me, fresh, whole foods, fruit, and vegetables are best. I look at foods high in phosphorus and potassium as an occasional treat and only a SMALL amount!

    TRACKING is keeping a daily log of everything you consume. Not just what you eat but how much of each mineral is in the food. This way you can track how well you are following your dietitian's guidelines. As far as liquid is concerned don't forget foods high in liquid (watermelon is 98-99% water.) As far as sodium is concerned the less you consume the better. I go further than typical recommendations, my target is less than 1000 mgs per day. This will help with less fluid retention. To get more flavor, check out the many salt free seasonings available.

    This sounds like a lot of work, and it is when you first start but eventually you will get used to the routine. If I can do it you can too!

  • #2
    Jim that is very well said. Even though I am not on dialysis (I am currently stage 3) if I want something that is high in potassium or phosphorus I just work it into my diet and still stay within my limits. Most of the time I find it is not worth the sacrifice to eat it. But if I really want it I eat a small amount and work it in. I think when people first find out their diet is more restrictive they feel like they can't eat anything. It is just a matter of control and keeping track like you said.


    • #3
      I pretty much do the same, except I generally "track" in my head; have too many tomato products, ease off on other high phosphorus items for a couple of day, etc. I also take binders occasionally, usually after eating something that's not terribly good for me. I still make chili once in a while, but use white beans instead if black, use less tomato and less cheese, often using ground turkey.


      • #4
        I have been on hemo since mid March, and have stuck so close to the only things I could eat and limited my potassium, sodium, protein and phosphorous to a level I lost 17 pound (I am 5'5" and now weight 108, way too little). I have just recently come to understand that I CAN occasionally have foods that are on the "too high" list. My labs have been perfect, so both my dietician and dr. Have told me that yes, have A pice of pizza, but not the same day you have say a chili dog or spaghetti.....this has also changed my outlook on switching over to pd....the only reason I was considering changing was for the expanded dietary selection.


        • #5
          I can't emphasize too much how helpful the DaVita Planner & Tracker is. My husband is not on dialysis yet, but his GFR is 18. We eat almost anything we want and stay in the guidelines. I cook from scratch and use mostly fresh foods. We just finished a slice of just-baked strawberry sheet cake and coffee. Chicken fajitas are on the menu tonight! If a food you want is not on the list of foods on the planner tracker, just enter it in the My Creations area, and it will be calculated for you.


          • #6
            Hi Jim, I had a kidney removed, cancer, and I'm at stage three. Its been almost a year. Everything you posted is so VERY TRUE. It all becomes less confusing and limiting when you KNOW what and how you can eat. I, too, watch my salt very carefully. I have a notebook full of information on phosphorus, potassium protein, etc. It really helps to look things up. I also track everything. My gfr has actually improved. Good Luck to you and all who read this.