Kidney disease is an ailment that severely affects what you can and cannot eat. Not only are the guidelines highly recommended, but the dietary restrictions can change, or even save, your life.
For kidney disease, dietary restrictions are meant to reduce the amount of waste and harmful substances in your body that can build up. Your kidneys are usually responsible for filtering and ridding your body of excess substances like sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Kidney Disease Education Program (associated with United States Heath and Human Services- http://nkdep.nih.gov/), Asian Americans are more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than the rest of the population.
There is speculation as to why Asian Americans seem to be affected more, but there do not seem to be any hard answers. Some health professionals believe it to be due to a higher usage of mono sodium glutamate (or MSG) and salty sauces being a common addition to most Asian cuisine.
If you enjoy Asian food, however, there are still plenty of foods that you can enjoy. Just always remember that moderation is key for some of these products. Also, talk to your doctor or dietician before making any decisions. Your specific dietary needs might be more or less restrictive, or you may have special dietary needs to follow.
Asian Grocery Shopping Tips:
What not to eat.
Be wary of sauces and dips, especially if they are pre-packaged, bottled or jarred. They tend to have a lot of extra sodium and MSG.
Depending on your specific dietary restrictions (speak to your doctor), you may need to avoid leafy green vegetables. This can mean bok choy and Chinese cabbage.
Avoid fried foods.
Avoid soups if you are on a fluid restriction, and keep in mind that a lot of soups are very high in sodium as well.
What to eat.
Steamed or stir-fry mixed vegetables are always delicious and better for you.
Steamed rice is a good alternative to salty fried rice.
Sushi is usually pretty safe to eat depending on what kind you get.
Chose low sodium soy sauce if you absolutely need it, and remember to only use it in moderation.
Spring rolls are a healthier alternative to egg rolls.
Other tips for Asian grocery shopping with kidney disease:
Always choose fresh fruits and vegetables over canned. Canned vegetables are packed with tons of extra sodium. You can choose frozen as an alternative. Canned fruits are often packed in sugary syrup. If canned is your only option, drain and rinse them for a few minutes to wash away some of the sodium before you cook or eat the product.
A more “traditional” Asian diet of fish and rice is much healthier than the restaurant options found in America today.
If you pay attention to nutrition labels and make good decisions about high sodium, fried, and saucy foods, you can easily eat Asian cuisine on a renal diet. Many Asian grocery stores have lots of healthy options and fresh produce to choose from.
For more information on other kidney disease diets click here.
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