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Eating better with one kidney

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

My husband is a TROOPER. He has modified his diet in so many spectacular ways. But I'm struggling with the sodium aspect of things. It seems almost impossible to achieve the proper levels for 1 kidney. Does anyone have any tips on this? His creatinine level post surgery was 1.5 and remained the same 7 months after his total diet transformation. The doctor was happy it didn't get any worse. I'd love to hear any tips, resources, web sites anyone would like to share. It just feels like a full time job to keep him  (and our 8 year old daughter) eating right. 

N_Woods_Gal
Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2013

I have a couple of sites I like for low or no sodium recipes.

sodiumgirl.com  Offers humor along w/ her food ideas.

DaVita.com  Focused on kidney disease/dialysis, w/ over 800 kidney-friendly recipes. 

MrsDash.com   Leans heavily on advertisement, but offers recipes and also the detailed nutrient list of all their products. (potassium cloride in the new line of seasoning packets surprised me, had planned to purchase and try the taco mix until I noticed it listed online)

Actually, this time of yr I don't struggle as bad w/ the sodium - fresh vegetables and fruit to the rescue!

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

Great, thanks! It's so obnoxious that products labelled "low sodium" really are not low at all, just lower. For example, there is absolutely NO turkey sandwich meat on the market appropriate for living with one kidney. This was my hubs "go to" for packing healthier post-nephrectomy lunches (think home made sandwiches instead of McDonalds) and while better, still not helping him keep the sodium within an appropriate range for him. 

I've come up with a trick for the "taco mixes". Old El Paso brand sells the "taco mix" in large shakers. Instead of following the recipe, I use a sprinkle or two for taste when the meat is still sort of uncooked and then some of the "juice" from a salsa. Keeps the sodium down. 

 

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

is PHOSPHEROUS. Apparently it is found in a lot of things....such as "seasoned" chicken (which does not mean sprinkled with seasoning). Apparently when it says "seasoned" it is a pretty way of saying "injected with stuff that our bodies should not consume, but - hey - it plumps up the chicken". It is especially found in boxed frozen chicken, processed cheese, etc.

 

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

I've just switched my husband off processed turkey. I've been buying breasts (you know, the kind without the injected implants, lol!!!) and slicing the with a meat slicer to avoid all that crap in his lunches. So far, he has not complained. It's such a difficult thing to eat clean. Sigh. . . 

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

This level (1.5) is in the normal range with people with 1 kidney. That's really a pretty good level of kidney function. If the kidneys are working properly, is there any reason to keep sodium levels so low? I don't mean to discourage anyone who thinks it is. I'd like to understand the reasoning behind it.

I know high sodium can push blood pressure up for people that already have high blood pressure. But does sodium actually damage the kidneys? Does eating extremely low levels of sodium protect the kidney against damage? I've heard we should not overeat protein. That too much protein can damage the kidneys.

Besides sodium and protein, is there anything else we are supposed to keep low/avoid? Alcohol?

My nephrologist told me to not overdo things, but that I could eat normally and not to worry too much about it. Just not to overdo salt and protein, but not that I needed to keep the levels super low. My creatinine is 1.7.

Todd

therapture
Posts: 25
Joined: Dec 2012

I just had my 18 month checkup Thursday, and my level was 1.5, slightly up from 1.4 the previous 6 month session. Probably due to the muscle breakdown from my Ironman 4 weeks ago. I know I eat too much sodium so I am going to work on that, as well as cut down a little on the protein. But I am from Texas and I LOVE to bbq brisket and ribs as well as some chicken here and there, so that's kind of hard to do.

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Sodium is important.. but... there is so much sodium in all the foods we eat, that cutting down on added salt is a very good thing.  Your Kidney has to filter all the excesses out... excesses of anything is bad, except pure water.  Yes some bottle water have sodium in them as well.  The RDA of sodium is 2,000.  Many canned soups are in the 1,500 range all by them self.  Oh yes, and the label on the can says it serves two people.. right how many of us eat a whole can of soup..?  Restuarant food has way more salt than needed.  If you read labels on everything you buy, you will soon get the idea.   I have shouted loudly in the health food store that the label on some items say "no preservatives" yet they are filled with salt.   Yes, I was asked to leave....  Plus all the processed foods have all kinds of chemicals, that again the Kidney has to filter out.  Fresh chicken almost always has been salted, however some companies are taking notice.

Yes, there are more and more food items that are salt free.  But beware of the lable that says "reduced sodium".. that 1,500 can of soup becomes 750..  yes it is reduced, but still far too high for me.

I found salt free Ketsup that does not have high fructose corn syrup in it

Mrs Dash seasonings

Some frozen veggies

Some meats

Some canned veggies, corn and beans (read the label)

Some soups.

Some soup bases have no added salt

Turst me, you mosat likely get plenty of salt each day.. 

 

It is easy to ignore your diet, but depending on your age, etc. those of us with one Kidney need to be a bit careful.. way more so for those of us on any kind of treatment.  As our drugs are processed either in the Kidney or Liver.. 

 

Ask your Doctor.. they should tell you.. and you should be offered a Dietician to help you..  I have had three diet consults.. I learn a lot each time.

Ron

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

If you examine the very latest research you will find that protein is not a major problem.  Of course nothing should be done in excess; but one need not be obsessing about normal or slightly higher levels of protein being consumed.

NanoSecond's picture
NanoSecond
Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

And speaking of the lastest research.  The cover story of the latest issue of Time magazine exonerates (finally! after 40 years!) eating butter and other saturated fats.  This is something I have been advocating for several years now.

Cook in saturated fats (i.e. butter; ghee; coconut oil; tallow; etc.)  These are the only fats that cannot be oxidized when heated - and, as the latest research continues to reveal - they are good for you; contrary to the "popular understanding".

Never, ever cook in vegetable oils (i.e. corn; canola; sunflower; safflower; etc.).  These poly-unsaturated fats can be easily damaged by heat and light - releasing free radicals that can play havoc with cell DNA and membranes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is terrific on salads or in sauces, etc.  But try not to cook in it either.  Since it is mostly a mono-unsaturated fat it is the least offensive of the unsaturated fats.  But why take a chance?

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

Nano, Ron, and everyone, thanks for the input. I just worry about later in life for my husband since he is only 47 and has one kidne. I want to make sure he starts keeping his diet as clean as possible from hear on in. I'm 100% convinced his cancer was caused by/triggered by long term exposure to environmental and dietary toxins (excessive, and I mean excessive consumption of diet sodas over several years, living for 18 years with a 3 pack a day smoker, extreme lack of fruits of vegetables in his diet, highly processed meats and red meats ate most meals all his life. 

 

Regardless as to the reality of this belief, I feel like I need to learn as much as possible about a healthy lifestyle and make sure we are POSITIVE ROLE MODELS for our 8 year old daughter. 

 

Also, clarification about his creatinine as 1.7 NOT 1.5. After I read Todd's comment I went back and checked since I knew it wasn't in normal range. 

 

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