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Published on January 14th, 2020 | by Michaelw


Kidney food swap – eat this, not that!

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So, can we really replace butter and margarine in a renal diet with something both healthier and tastier?

Well, let’s see what’s inside!
Oh, so this nutrient-dense superfood will lower your cholesterol, has basically no potassium or phosphorus and it’s even yummier than butter! Great!

Hello this is Katherine, welcome to 00Kidney
For a lot of kidney patients the diet is a real pain …
I mean, one day you can eat whatever you want and the next day? No more milk because it has phosphorus, no more sodas because there’s sugar in them and no more bananas and other fruits because they have potassium.
I mean, is there something you can actually eat on a renal diet?
Now, as you may already know, following the proper renal diet is maybe the most important thing to do if you are serious about improving your kidney health.
And wouldn’t it be great if you could just swap some unhealthy and dangerous foods for similar ones that are actually HEALTHY for you? That maybe are not so rich in potassium, phosphorus and protein?
Is this even possible?

Well, only one way to tell,

let’s start immediately with our first swap!

What do we have here?
Cow milk
Cow milk is considered a staple in many people’s diets. It is consumed as a beverage, poured on cereal and added to smoothies, tea or coffee.
So, removing it from your diet is often a trauma, because milk makes a lot of things taste better.
But, while cow milk is a popular choice for many, if you have kidney disease you cannot drink milk or eat dairy products, due to the high amounts of phosphorus.
This glass of cow milk I have here contains about … “255mg of phosphorus “

And this is definitely too much for people with kidney disease, phosphorus is usually limited even in stage 3. And for a good reason, having too much phosphorus can give you bone problems.
There’s also 8 grams of protein in it, which is not much but protein adds up very quickly.

So, what are we going to replace it with?
What’s the Best Milk if you Have Kidney Disease?
Let’s see what’s inside!

And it is…

ALMOND MILK is a tasty, nutritious dairy-free milk alternative that has many important health benefits.
It is low in calories and sugar and high in calcium, vitamin E and vitamin D.
And, most of all, it has really little phosphorus in it!
Now, I have 2 glasses of milk RIGHT here, the cow milk one contains about 255mg of phosphorus, as we can see.
But do you know how much phosphorus there is in a glass of almond milk?
It is just… 24 milligrams
And just 1 gram of protein.
Remember that people with kidney disease are usually recommended to get no more than 800 mg a day of phosphorus! Now, this quantity may be higher or lower for you, depending on your lab test results, but it’s unusual that your doctor will tell you NOT to limit phosphorus.
So, if you drink just one glass of cow milk, you’ll be at one third of your daily phosphorus allowance and you wouldn’t be able to eat other fruits, vegetables and dairy products for that day.
On the other hand, this full glass of almond milk has just 24mg of phosphorus!
Now, there are a couple of things worth knowing about almond milk.
Not all brands are created equal.
First of all, your almond milk should be unsweetened. All the benefits will be useless if you drink it with a ton of sugar.

But sugar is often added to enhance flavor of these beverages, so be very careful, read the label and try to avoid brands that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients.
Also, a lot of brands make Fortified almond milk with calcium and vitamins that could be useful, because
cow’s milk is rich in calcium, which is vital for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis.
Most nondairy milks are fortified with it, so choose one that contains at least 120 mg of calcium per 3.4 ounces (or 100 ml).
So, as I always say, check the label of what you’re buying very carefully.
There are other milk alternatives you can consider if you don’t like the taste of almond milk like rice milk, soy milk and others, but in my opinion almond milk is the healthiest one.
Question, have you ever tried milk substitutes? What is your favorite? Let me know in comment section!

Ok, let’s see our next food swap!

Ah, butter and margarine.
Are they unhealthy? Well, margarine is a processed food made to look and taste like butter. And, like many processed foods, it’s not particularly healthy. Most brands are full of hydrogenated fats and unhealthy trans fats. It also may contain several food additives, including emulsifiers and colorants.
Butter is healthier than margarine, but it’s a dairy product and, like milk, it’s rich in phosphorus.
And it’s also very rich in saturated fats, known to increase bad cholesterol, and risk for heart disease.

Well, here with me today I have a better alternative to these two foods, which will improve your kidney health and that’s also very tasty.
This food is known to prevent heart disease and stroke, it lowers bad cholesterol and may even reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes! A real super food.

It is…
Olive oil!
Why is olive oil so healthy? Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree.
It has no phosphorus and it’s rich in antioxidants!

Why is olive oil so interesting for us?
Observational studies on thousands of people showed that heart disease is less common in Mediterranean countries. And, guess what?
Most researchers now think that olive oil, one of the ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, is the key to get all its heart health benefits.
Actually, Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease in several ways.
It fights the inflammation thanks to its antioxidants, improves the lining of your blood vessels and may help prevent excessive blood clotting
This is why people from countries that use olive oil, instead of other oils, butter or margarine have lower chances of heart disease and even cancer.
Now you may tell me ok, it’s good for heart disease and cancer, but what about the health of the kidneys? That’s what we are here for, right?
Well, Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, oleic acid and antioxidant compounds, which will protect the kidneys from oxidation and inflammation.
These antioxidants are biologically active and may reduce your risk for chronic diseases.
Also, remember that our body is not made from separate components.
It’s a system that’s made to work as one. So what will affect the health of the heart, like the trans-fat in margarine, will cause damage to the kidneys too. Because they’re strictly connected and one cannot work if the other doesn’t.
This is why olive oil, which has been proven by a very large review of studies, involving more than 840,000 people to reduce the risk for stroke and heart disease, is so healthy for the kidneys too.
Olive oil can be used in almost any cooking that requires margarine or oil, but to get the best from it
use it as a salad dressing or as a dip for bread.
Olive oil is a high calorie food, so don’t overuse it if you want to lose weight.
On the other hand, people with advanced kidney disease that may have trouble keeping weight on, could find a great ally in this superfood.

Time for our next food swap that will improve the health of your kidneys!

ah, pasta! Another staple food, my life wouldn’t be same without pasta.
But there are a couple of problems here!
First of all, this portion of pasta, which is a cup or 130 grams, contains 14 grams of protein!
This may be already too much protein for a lot of kidney patients, but this pasta also contains some potassium, about 229mg of it.

So there are a lot of people with kidney disease that need to avoid to eat pasta.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy all your favorite pasta dishes without sacrificing the health of your kidneys?

Well, let’s see if it’s possible, let’s see what’s inside!

Ah, this is aproteic pasta! A great way to enjoy a nice pasta dish without protein!
This zero-protein alternative to pasta is really tasty and it’s a product specifically made and developed for people with kidney disease.
So it’s low in all those things kidney disease patients should avoid, like protein but also sodium, phosphorus and potassium.
Actually, this cup of aproteic pasta, which is about 130g has just 0 point 5 grams of protein and just 20mg of potassium.
Which is great if compared to normal pasta, which has 14 grams of protein and 229mg of potassium.
Now, is limiting protein really so important for the correct renal diet?
Well, protein metabolism is one of the biggest threats to the health of the kidneys.
There are studies proving this.
Removing the results of protein metabolism is one of the hardest works the kidneys should do every day.
So, kidney disease patients are often recommended to limit protein intake, because protein will put a great burden on the kidneys.
There are many advantages in a low protein diet and ditching the low-quality protein of pasta is a great way to give the kidneys the chance to improve.
Now, eating less protein will usually mean renouncing to eat something we like, like maybe a steak or a nice roast beef.
But with this aproteic pasta all you have to do is to replace your usual pasta with this and you already removed some protein from your renal diet.
Now, to make a pasta dish really suitable for kidney disease patients buying low protein pasta is not enough: you should also watch out for sauces and toppings.
For example, many tomato sauces can contain too much sodium, potassium and added sugar. In place of tomato sauce, you can maybe top pasta with garlic and oil.
Also, remember talk to your dietician before making any significant change to your diet!
But let’s not waste any more time, let’s see our number 2 now!

Ah, beans. A lot of people like them, and they are even healthy! If it wasn’t for all that potassium they have!
Just this small cup of beans has 2500mg of potassium. This is too much for any kidney patient, remember that people with kidney disease are usually recommended to consume around 1,500 to 2,700 mg of potassium each day.
And there’s also 45grams of protein in here.

So no beans, unfortunately!

Unless… let’s see what’s inside!
Oh, green beans! But are these healthy?
Also called string beans, these are unripe varieties of the common bean.
Not only are green beans a nice, crunchy, low-calorie food but they also provide many key nutrients. They are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin K and silicon (needed for healthy bones, skin, and hair).
And, most of all, they have just 211 mg of potassium and 2g of protein!

A great improvement from normal beans!
Also, one cup of raw green beans has 2.7 g of fiber, really healthy!
Now, legumes are one of those food groups that has been unfairly demonized.
While it’s true that legumes contain antinutrients, which can interfere with digestion and absorption of nutrients, they can be eliminated by soaking and proper preparation.
Also, green beans are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants useful to fight the effects of free radicals
And, there’s even more. Green beans are rich in a peculiar type of carb really healthy for your kidneys!
These carbs are different from most other because they can lower glycemic index instead of increasing it.
All these properties make a side of green beans a really great choice for people with kidney disease!

Ok, time for our number one! So, what we have here is a bottle of coca cola.
Question, is it so bad to drink a glass of this once in a while?
Well, even if it wasn’t for all the dangerous additives and chemicals in it, just a single glass of coke has a whopping 37 grams of added sugar. That’s about 10 teaspoons per glass. And other sodas are not better.
There’s a lot of researches strongly linking the regular consumption of Coca-Cola and other sugary drinks to a rapid decline of kidney function. These drinks have adverse effects on brain, liver and cardiovascular activity.
What should you drink instead?

Let’s see what’s inside!
Oh, this is my kidney detox tea! A great way to cleanse the kidneys and improve your health!
Have you already tried it? If not, here’s the recipe!
This is all for today, thank you for watching!

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About the Author

Hi, my name is Michael and in this blog I'm gonna share the story of how I got off kidney dialysis for good. Getting off dialysis isn't easy at all, and that's why I'm trying to help people as much as I can.

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