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What are some foods that my dad can eat that are both kidney and heart safe?

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  • What are some foods that my dad can eat that are both kidney and heart safe?

    A heart-healthy, kidney-friendly diet is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and also in low potassium (if restricted), low phosphorus, and high-protein (or low if predialysis). To list foods would be quite extensive, but here are some guidelines:
    • Dairy (limit to ½ cup/day): Use 1% or skim milk, low fat/fat free cream cheese or cottage cheese, light/fat free sour cream, low fat/fat free Greek yogurt (for extra protein), or low fat/fat free non-dairy alternatives that are low in phosphorus and potassium
    • Meat and Eggs: Chose lean cuts of fresh meats, fresh seafood, and remove skin from poultry. Whole eggs can be included, though egg whites and egg substitutes do not contain cholesterol.
    • Starches: Though previously shunned for higher phosphorus content, the latest research has shown that whole grains can be included on a renal diet in moderation. Whole grains contain soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol levels. Whole grain foods include oatmeal, whole wheat bread/buns, whole wheat/some rice pastas, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals.
    • Fruits/Vegetables: Choose low potassium produce, and prepare without butter, margarine, or animal fats. Apples, carrots, green beans, strawberries, and broccoli are good sources of soluble fiber, as well.
    • Fats: Oils, such as olive, corn, safflower, soybean, peanut, canola, sunflower, are heart-healthy choices. Choose tub, squeeze, or spray margarine instead of stick margarine. Some margarines, such as Benecol or Take Control, are designed to help lower cholesterol.

    Remember that a heart healthy diet is also low in sodium, as is a kidney friendly diet, so limit salt intake and consumption of high-sodium packaged foods; fresh is best!