You might have heard about all of the amazing benefits that a vegetarian diet can have for kidney failure patients. Added to the overall health benefits, a vegetarian diet can help to control blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, and stabilize cholesterol levels, all of which contribute to healthier kidneys. Perhaps most importantly, a vegetarian diet can actually help to slow the progression of kidney failure.
These reasons alone are enough to give a vegetarian diet a try. But many people feel that a vegetarian diet would be hard, or that they wouldn't like it. The typical American diet revolves around large portions of meat, animal proteins, and processed food, after all.
A vegetarian diet can be easier and more enjoyable than you might think, however. Here are some ideas you can try. All three meals of the day, plus snacks, are included to get you started.
Remember that breakfast often sets the tone for the entire day. You need to eat enough to give yourself the energy you need to make it to the next meal, but you don't want to overdo it. As always, watch your protein intake.
Omelet made with onions and bell peppers, with a slice of white toast.
Breakfast sandwich made with an English muffin, egg substitute, and a slice of Tofurkey sandwich meat.
Cream of Wheat hot cereal topped with a small diced green apple and cinnamon. If you need a sweetener, use one tablespoon or less of honey.
Lunch often comes at the busiest time of the day. To save yourself from scrambling to find something to eat and ending up at a fast food place, plan ahead and pack lunches.
One serving of pasta salad with onion, bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber. Pair with one serving of fruit such as an apple or half a banana.
Tossed salad with mushrooms, red bell peppers, and cauliflower topped with homemade dressing made with one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.
One serving of white rice with one cup steamed veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and mushrooms. Season with one tablespoon margarine and low sodium seasoning salt. Have a cup of mixed berries on the side.
After a long day, people feel drawn to the dinner table for delicious meals, togetherness, and comfort foods. You can still have all that on a vegetarian kidney diet.
Angel hair pasta sauteed with one tablespoon olive oil, garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Serve with a tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Saute chopped asparagus, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and broccoli with garlic and herbs. Serve over white rice cooked with saffron and herbs.
Tofu lettuce wraps: Saute tofu slices in one tablespoon sesame oil with garlic, onion, matchstick carrots, mushrooms, and a little bit of hot red pepper paste. Spoon steamed rice and filling into large lettuce leaves.
A handful of baby carrots and 2 tablespoons hummus.
One serving of vanilla wafer cookies.
One small apple, sliced with 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
A vegetarian kidney diet can be easy and quite delicious. At first you will need to put a little extra thought into your meals, but you will find that it is easier than you think. Not only that, but the benefits of a vegetarian diet for kidney failure patients are too many to pass up.
Look for more easy vegetarian kidney diet ideas here.
Also published on Medium.