Every now and then, there is a chance or reason to eat out. Maybe you had a long day and just don't feel like cooking, or maybe for a date night or other special occasion, everyone likes to eat at a restaurant once in a while.
For people that have dietary restrictions, such as those people living with chronic kidney disease, eating out can be a little more delicate of a situation. You do need to be careful what you eat when visiting restaurants, but you can still enjoy eating out on occasion if you make the right choices.
Healthy Restaurant Choices For Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
Almost everyone likes to get an appetizer when they go to a restaurant to eat. Most of the options available are likely going to have a lot of sodium and not be renal diet safe, but there are options or modifications that can work for your restrictive diet.
For example, chicken wings without sauce. Wing sauce is usually pretty salty, but some restaurants might have low sodium options. If not, the wings will still taste good without the sauce.
For your entrees, stick to simple yet delicious options such as grilled meats with few sauces or toppings. A lot of sauces and certain toppings used by restaurants might be full of sodium, so you might want to avoid them. Stick with simply delicious lean cuts of meat with simple toppings.
For example, a grilled chicken breast with a mango chutney topping. Or grilled fish fillet seasoned with lemon pepper. Depending on your particular restrictions, you could even have a lean cut steak.
Shrimp is another great lean choice, and is a popular and delicious grilled option.
For restaurant dining, it is best to avoid casseroles or pasta dishes that have a lot of sauce. These options are usually loaded with sodium and are pre-made so they cannot be special ordered without the excess salt.
The sides that accompany your entree are often the more problematic parts of restaurant dining. A lot of options for sides can be full of rich sauces and tons of sodium.
For the best sides on a renal diet, opt for a nice side salad with the dressing on the side. Ask if the restaurant has low sodium dressing options. Green beans and corn are good side options, as are summer squash medleys. Steamed rice and toast are good carbohydrate choices.
Especially for vegetables, you can special order your sides and ask that they not be salted.
For an extra special treat, you might want to have a dessert on occasion. In these cases, avoid chocolate options and stick to fruit pies or cobblers. If angel food or pound cake is available, they are good options for renal diets.
When trying new restaurants, it is a good idea to call ahead and ask if the menu has very many low sodium options or if the chef is willing to make special orders. Usually there are options to be found everywhere, however, that make restaurant dining with chronic kidney disease possible.
Also published on Medium.