What you eat and drink can hugely impact your Chronic Kidney Disease. Eating a healthy kidney-friendly diet may protect your kidneys from further damage and slow down the CKD progression. However, eating a kidney-friendly diet can be challenging in today’s busy pace. On top of work, errands, and other activities, you need to do regular lab tests and checkups as a CKD patient.
In this article, we’ll explore easy-to-prepare lunch ideas and recipes that will not overwork your kidneys. Before whipping up these kidney-healthy recipes, let’s cover the basics of eating a healthy meal plan.
Preparing a Grocery List
Planning your meals before starting the week prevents you from making impulsive food choices. You can consult your renal dietitian for CKD-friendly ingredients that you can include in your grocery list. Before grocery shopping, make sure to eat to avoid buying on impulse.
Reading Food Labels
Checking label information allows you to evaluate the quality and quantity of nutrients in a food product. Food labels keep you in check in consuming crucial vitamins and nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, sodium, phosphorus, protein, and potassium. Pay attention to phosphorus and potassium as they are not always indicated in the food labels. Furthermore, be wary of hidden phosphorus (phosphorus additives) and sodium additives masked as potassium chloride or potassium phosphate. These additives can add up to your daily limit and can result in the waste buildup to your kidneys.
Limiting processed and canned foods
Processed and canned foods have high potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. Try to avoid or limit your consumption of these foods and replace them with fresh-cooked meats including chicken, turkey breast, pork or fish in 2 to 3-ounce portions. You can opt for homemade soups or canned foods without added sodium. Skip the salt and use spices when making casseroles at home. A great way to remove excess sodium in canned vegetables is by rinsing them in a colander under fresh water.
Slowing down on takeaway and fast foods
Eating fast foods and takeaways is inevitable and convenient when you are pressed for time. However, these foods are rich in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus that can harm your kidney functions. You can make adjustments if you choose to dine in fast food restaurants. These adjustments can include watching your food portions, skipping on deep-fry foods, slowing down on side dishes, and asking for sauce, condiments and dressings on the side or completely omitting them
Kidney-friendly Lunch Recipes
Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, you can dig into these healthy lunch ideas that are gentle to your kidneys.
Green Garden Salad
Makes 3 servings
4 cup red leaf or other lettuce, shredded
1 pc carrot, sliced
2 pcs celery stalks, sliced
2 pcs cucumbers, sliced
2 pcs radishes, sliced
1 pc large bell pepper, diced or sliced into rings
1. Combine vegetables in a large bowl and toss.
2. May serve with your favorite salad dressing.
Crunchy Lemon Herbed Chicken
Makes 4 servings
4 tablespoon unsalted butter (half chilled), divided
1/4 cup of lemon juice, plus zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
1 table fresh chopped basil
1 table fresh chopped thyme
1/2 cup Japanese bread crumbs (Panko)
1 pc egg yolk
3 T water (1 T for the egg wash, 2 T for the finishing of the sauce)
6 pcs (2-oz) chicken tenders
1- 1/2 cup cooked rice
6 pcs green pepper, seeded with tops removed
1. Preheat 2 tablespoon of butter on medium-low heat.
2. Add zest of one lemon and half the herbs to bread crumbs, save the rest for lemon sauce.
3. Beat egg yolk with 1 T water.
4. Place chicken tenders between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a small groove side of the mallet until thin, but not ripped.
5. Dip chicken in egg wash mixture then in the herbed- breadcrumb mixture until coated.
6. Place breaded chicken in a sauté pan with melted butter only after increasing heat to medium.
7. Cook chicken, approximately 2 to 3 minutes each side.
8. Remove chicken and place on a sheet tray to rest.
9. In the same pan, add remaining herbs, water, and lemon juice, then heat until simmering.
10. Turn off heat; cube remaining 2 T of chilled butter and add to sauce (stir vigorously).
11. Slice the chicken on the bias.
12. Place sliced chicken on a plate, pour the sauce over the top, and add garnishes.
Pasta with Pesto
Makes 8 servings
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb pasta uncooked
1. Combine all ingredients except pasta in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth.
2. Cook pasta in unsalted boiling water according to package directions. Toss sauce with drained pasta. Serve hot.
Tuna Salad Bagel
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup low-sodium canned tuna, water-packed
1 tbsp onion
1 tbsp celery
1 tbsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 pc medium 2-ounce bagel
1 lettuce leaf
1. Break tuna into fine pieces.
2. Finely chop onion and celery.
3. Combine tuna, celery, onion and mayonnaise.
4. Mix well.
5. Spread mixture on bagel with lettuce leaf.
1 pound chopped steak or lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1. Mix together meat, onion, green pepper, black pepper, and egg. Form into patties.
2. Heat oil in a skillet, add patties and cook on both sides.
3. Add half of the water and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove patties.
4. To meat drippings, add remaining water and cornstarch. Simmer while stirring constantly
to thicken gravy.
5. Pour gravy over steak and serve hot.
The Bottom line:
Having a meal plan can help you sustain healthy eating habits while still enjoying your food. It can also take away the stress of deciding what to eat, especially when you are pressed for time and hungry. You can start your weekly meal plan by incorporating these kidney-friendly recipes in your diet. However, before making any dietary changes, make sure to always check in with your renal dietitian to ensure you meet your unique nutritional requirements.
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