When you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, it is vital that you follow the renal diet given to you. If not, you risk your kidney health as well as your overall wellbeing.
Following your renal diet properly helps to lessen the deterioration of your kidney function. It can also help you reduce your risk for other complications, including hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Why Meal Prepping is Beneficial for a Renal Diet
By taking the time to prep for your meals, you will be able to make more educated choices. Researching and planning is important to ensure you don’t go over your dietary restrictions for you CKD.
Meal prepping also ensures you continue eating healthy, no matter how busy life gets. When you have meals prepped ahead of time, you know what you are eating, no matter your schedule. This eliminates the urge to hit up that fast food drive-thru on your way home after a crazy day!
Tips for Meal Planning on a Renal Diet
The following tips are useful for anyone following a renal diet. Your stage of CKD or your restrictions doesn’t matter, as anyone with CKD will benefit from following this advice!
Make sure you understand your dietary restrictions.
You MUST know what you can and cannot eat on your renal diet. You should also know your limits for things like protein, sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. Knowing and understanding your diet ensures you only eat foods that will benefit your body.
If there is any doubt about your renal diet, reach out to your doctor or a registered dietician. These people should help clear up any confusion as well as give you advice on sticking to your renal diet for optimal health when you have chronic kidney disease.
Planning comes before the prep.
Before you begin to get food ready for your renal diet meals, you want to plan out your week. Decide what you can eat, and only stock your fridge and pantry with those items. The less temptations for unhealthy foods in your home, the more you will stick to your renal diet.
Also, it’s a good idea to search for renal diet recipes. Find new foods to try or healthy substitutes for old favorites. Having some variety prevents renal diet burnout…and the chances of you consuming the wrong foods!
Create a renal diet friendly shopping list.
Never venture to the supermarket for renal diet meal prep without a list. Having no real direction when you step into the grocery store is just a disaster waiting to happen! Instead, arm yourself with a list that is cultivated from the research and recipes you found during the planning stage.
Make sure you stick to this shopping list. Since you have researched the best foods for CKD, it is important you only buy these foods.
Have the right meal prep tools on hand.
Once you are home with your groceries, it’s time to get to the meal prep portion of your renal diet activities. You will want to make sure your kitchen is equipped with the right tools for meal prepping. Have your cookbooks or printed recipes out and ready to follow.
Also, have some plastic food containers on hand so you properly store your snacks or the meals you make.
Don’t forget portion control!
Portion control is an essential part of following your renal diet. With so many limitations for the average CKD patient, you want to make sure you aren’t consuming too much of certain nutrients.
For example, it’s common for those with chronic kidney disease to have a limit on their protein intake. This is because protein is difficult for the kidneys to remove from the bloodstream. By limiting this nutrient, you have less excess that your kidneys have to filter.
It’s important that you familiarize yourself with proper portions for the foods you commonly eat. When making a new recipe, check the serving size and quantity so you know how to divide the dish up during meal prep.
Find better ways to flavor your food
You will likely be required to limit your sodium intake once you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Since sodium assists with fluid retention in the body, you want to cut it out of your diet as much as possible.
Instead, go for flavorful options that don’t contain a ton of sodium.
If you just can’t put down the common sauces like ketchup or soy sauce, opt for low-sodium varieties to still meet your dietary restrictions.
Use fresh or dried herbs to season your foods…they can be just a delicious as sodium without all the extra danger!
Dried herbs can be added to many recipes for extra flavor. Or, you can top your dish with fresh herbs to change up the taste a bit.
Some flavorings you can try when on a renal diet include:
- Bay leaf
- Balsamic vinegar
Prep meals on weekends – so you don’t make bad choices
For those with busy schedules, meal prepping is best when done in advance. Spend a day on the weekend to create and portion meals for your week. This is where those storage containers come in handy!
There are many meals you can freeze ahead of time, reheating them once you are ready to eat. So, on busy nights, you can grab something from the freezer and enjoy it without standing over the stove for an hour.
This may be where you find the most benefit of meal prepping on your renal diet. By having healthy choices on hand, you are much less likely to make the wrong decision.
Foods that are Great for Meal Prepping
Some foods are easier to keep for a week or so than others. When meal prepping in advance, you want to choose those that will not go bad before you can enjoy them.
When meal prepping, consider using the following foods:
- Beans and lentils
- Ground meat
- Brown rice
Meal prep will make your life on a renal diet so much easier. When you plan out your meals and know what you are going to eat, you won’t find it that difficult to follow your dietary restrictions for CKD. You can sign up for more tips through the buttons below.