This post contains affiliate links. THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. I am not a medical professional, I'm just someone on dialysis who is trying to not make eating the most depressing part of my day. Please talk to your dietician or doctor before making any dietary changes.
The diet is one the hardest parts of this ESRD/dialysis life… it's cheese-free, you guys. CHEESE-FREE! This is basically me on most days, especially ones where I'm craving my favorite thing, Mexican food:
The Dialysis Diet
But it's not all tragedy and sadness all the time, there are some great recipes and substitutions out there that I've found that help make my renal diet less tragic. I've collected some of my favorite tricks and substitutions.
|Instead of this...||Use this!|
|Table Salt||Mrs Dash or a homemade salt-free blend|
|Soy Sauce||Bragg's Aminos|
|Frozen or Processed Veggies||Fresh Vegetables|
|Jarred Marinara / Sauces||Make it at home|
|Cola||Lemon Lime Soda|
|Peanut Butter||Jam or Jelly|
|Brown Rice||White Rice|
|Baked Potatoes or French Fries||Mashed Potatoes (soaked)|
|Chocolate Flavors||Vanilla or Fruit Flavors|
|Half and Half in Coffee||Mocha Mix|
|Coke, Dr. Pepper||Blue Sky or Zevia Cola|
|Milk||Rice Dream, Pacific Select Soy, Pacific Organic Almond|
|Bananas, oranges, kiwi, melon||Apples, berries, grapes, peaches, pineapple|
Tricks & Hacks
- Soak potatoes in water overnight to reduce the potassium. Be sure to drain and replace that water before cooking though!
- To reduce the sodium in premade sauces that you just can't do without, dilute with fruit juice to maintain flavor. Pineapple juice pairs beautifully with teriyaki sauce!
- When you're making scrambled eggs, use two whites per yolk, to increase the bulk while still keeping the protein lower.
- Not all brands of milk substitutes are low-phosphorus, so stick with brands that you know are lower. (The suggestions I make above are from DaVita, and kidney-friendly)
- Instead of prepackaged lunch meat, slice your own to keep the sodium low.
- In general, if salt is used in preparation of food, don't use table salt, and if you don't use any salt while cooking, it's OK to use salt at the table.
Disclosure: I haven't tried any of these except this one, but it's got a great variety of recipes that are both naturally friendly and with substitutions. I'll share specific recipe reviews as I make them in the future.
I write semi-regularly about my dialysis (and eventual transplant) journey. Here are some posts you might find interesting: