What Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Should I Choose This Summer for Pre Dialysis Kidney Failure?

Posted on Jul 1, 2013 | 0 comments

What Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Should I Choose This Summer for Pre Dialysis Kidney Failure?

green beansWhen you have been diagnosed with pre dialysis kidney failure, making wise dietary choices is one of the best strategies to extend your life.  You know that you need to eat right to get your kidney failure under control.  And you want some variety when you are eating, so choosing fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season is a great way to get a good meal with a lower cost.

Research studies have shown that a diet high in sodium or too high in protein overtaxes the kidneys when their functioning is impaired. However, both these dietary guidelines are easily achieved when you plan the fruit and veggie component of your diet. That’s because fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium and in protein.  So using them to make up over 1/2 of your plate makes your meal naturally healthier.

The Fact That Can Reduce Your Sodium by 41%

But there are ways to easily increase the sodium content of fresh vegetables and fruits, and the food industry has discovered them! For example, canned black beans score up to 480 mg sodium per half cup serving. The secret for those in pre dialysis kidney failure is to drain and rinse the beans or cook them yourself without added salt.  Reading the label is key.

By doing this, you can reduce the sodium by 41%, which is reported in one study at a Tennessee university. That means that now the sodium level is 196 mg per half cup, about 10% of the day’s entitlement for sodium. At this point, you can make a decision: does my sodium intake for the rest of the day allow me to eat one serving of the beans, or would half a serving be better?

That is one of the best ways to manage through your day – look at what you are eating and determine what you can eat more of and what you need to eat less of.  Sounds easy, right?  I know it’s not.  Remember, we have a guide for learning about low potassium and phosphorus foods.  Click here now to learn more.

Vegetables – To Eat or Not Eat

Eating vegetables that are raw or steamed, simmered at low temperatures, or grilled without added salt is the best way to stay within your dietary guidelines. Vegetables such as green beans, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, lettuce, onions, garlic, herbs from your herb garden, zucchini, parsnips, green leafy vegetables, and carrots are some of the many vegetables you will enjoy this summer.  If you want to know about more vegetables to grow in your garden – read our article about renal diet gardening by clicking here.

On the other hand, stay away from processed potatoes (French fries, chips). If you really love potatoes eat them less often and consider boiling red potatoes and refrigerating them. Eating them cold has been found to decrease the Glycemic Index (GI) because the sugars aren’t absorbed as rapidly.  Or choose rice and noodles instead.

How to Make Low Sodium Fruits Into High Sodium Ones

Generally, people don’t think about adding salt to fruits so how can a low-sodium fruit become high sodium? The answer is that they are combined with other foods that are high in sodium.

Fruits can be magically transformed from low sodium to high sodium when they’re added to pies, cakes, or cookies. Baked goods are generally high in sodium, so either making baked goods yourself with low sodium leavening agents and without salt or not eating them at all are the best solutions.

Fruits That Are Great Choices Deserve Consideration

As a pre dialysis kidney failure patient, you can essentially have any type of raw fruit. However, think about what’s in your absolute best interest. If you have diabetes too, then eating fruits moderately high or high on the Glycemic Index is not the smartest move. These fruits include grapes, most dried fruits, dates, figs, bananas, and raisins. Some of these foods may not be exceptionally high on the GI scale, but nevertheless, they may be enough to affect your blood sugar and keep it high.

High blood sugar will contribute to all types of complications from degenerative diseases, including diabetes and kidney disease. On the other hand, a low Glycemic Index diet slows the progression of all degenerative diseases. Low GI fruits include quite a variety: apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries, as examples.  Most of those are also the low potassium fruits – so doubly good.

See how easily it is to make smart food choices? Now go make them, and have the best summer yet!  You are well on your way to being in control of your renal pre dialysis kidney failure and slowing the progression of kidney disease.  Want to learn more about our programs?  Check them out here: Kidney Diet Meal Plans

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