Food on a restricted renal diet can still be hugely fun and enjoyable

Deborah Duval, the editor of Kidney Matters magazine, tells us how we can enjoy food even on a restricted renal diet

Deborah Duval, Editor of Kidney Matters magazine, Kidney Care UK

If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease, it’s really important to eat a healthy and balanced diet to keep as well as possible. Kidney disease is often linked to high blood pressure or diabetes and that’s where a healthy and balanced diet can offer better options to keep these conditions under control.

As editor of Kidney Care UK’s regular magazine, I often hear from people with kidney disease wanting to know what they can eat.  When I was first diagnosed, I remember being told about the foods I wasn’t allowed to eat - foods that are high in salt, potassium and phosphorus, for example, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and chocolate. I ended up living on barely anything, as I was worried about eating the right thing. This was neither healthy nor helping me live my life to the full.

Food and drink is such an inherent part of our culture because it brings people together. However, Kidney Care UK found out that only 44% of the UK general public are aware kidney disease can restrict your diet, and less than two in five know it can affect the amount of liquids you can consume every day.

That’s where our new website, the Kidney Kitchen, comes in. The Kidney Kitchen reflects the vital importance NICE has placed in its Renal replacement therapy guideline on patients being offered some choice and excitement in their diet. 

Instead of focusing on what foods to avoid, we want to inspire people with kidney disease to lead better lives, to enjoy food and celebrate all the foods they can eat. Recipes on the Kidney Kitchen website include shepherd’s pie, spicy beef stir fry, salmon and coriander salad, pork burgers and even a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

The website provides diet advice and tips, including a range of healthy and nutritious recipes for kidney patients. The Kidney Kitchen recipes can be trusted; they have been devised by renowned Chef Paul Ripley and modified by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) renal nutrition specialist group, to fit closely with the needs of people with chronic kidney disease. There are videos on the website as well as downloadable kidney-friendly recipe cards that everyone can enjoy.

Tags: kidney disease, renal diet

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