Living with kidney disease can make life a little more difficult, especially when it comes to mealtime. With a little forethought and careful attention, however, that doesn't always have to be the case. While at first getting used to your new dietary needs can be stressful, you will eventually get used to it and perhaps even find joy in your new way of eating.
When it comes to deciding whether to stay in and cook at home, or go out, there are many factors that you need to consider. Restaurant eating can be fun and it's nice to not have to cook or do the dishes, but it is really best to cook your meals at home, for many reasons.
When you are living with kidney disease, every ingredient counts. Cooking meals at home means that you can account for each and every ingredient and make everything according to your specifications. This allows for less salt and more naturally delicious spices, which means that not only is your food better suited to your dietary restrictions, but it tastes amazing.
Most restaurants use tons of salt to cook and flavor their foods, sauces, and even vegetables. Even the “healthy” options like vegetable sides and salads have the potential to include surprising amounts of sodium, which can be really harmful for people with kidney disease. In some cases, you can request that dishes be made with no salt, but in many cases restaurants use pre-made sauces and entrees that the salt cannot be removed from.
It can also be very difficult to make the best decisions when it comes to choosing healthy meals when eating out. The temptation of all the rich sauces and decadent desserts is sometimes just too much to avoid. So, overall, cooking at home is a much healthier choice.
Especially with the added stress of medical bills and equipment, even a few dollars saved can make a big difference to your budget. Even if you can find restaurants that are able to accommodate your dietary needs and restrictions, you will save the most money by cooking at home. With the price of just one dinner out, you can often buy even a few days’ worth of groceries. So not only does cooking at home help you make healthier decisions, but it can save you money.
While cooking can seem like a chore at times, it can be a really fun pastime. Cooking at home can be an adventure, using new ingredients to create delicious new recipes and trying new techniques and foods that you have never tried. One of the biggest myths surrounding cooking at home is that it is time-consuming. This isn't true! You can find lots of recipes that make healthy and tasty meals in super quick time and there are kitchen tools you can use that will decrease your prep time dramatically. For example, one of the most time-consuming parts of food preparation is the chopping – save yourself time by purchasing a food chopper. I always thought these were pointless, but found some reviews online (https://allgreatappliances.com/best-food-chopper-for-easy-meal-prep/) and they persuaded me to buy one. Using it has definitely changed my mind! If you are a beginner, learning to cook might seem like a daunting task, but it really can be a lot of fun and is not as hard as you might think. There are plenty of cooking classes, books, and even how-to videos available all over the internet.
There are many benefits to cooking at home rather than eating out. These are the same for everyone, but are especially important for people that are living with kidney disease. Cooking at home allows you to make healthier choices, save money, and enjoy the joys of creating something delicious.
Also published on Medium.