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Dietitian’s Blog

Our Dietitians’ Blogs provide fun, factual and interesting information for eating renal-friendly.

Latest Dietitian's Blog Posts

Is there a banana hiding in your sandwich?

There aren’t too many “nutrition emergencies” in the hospital setting. But when a patient has a critically high potassium level they shoot to the top of our must-see list. Potassium, which is an important nutrient for most people, can become dangerously high in kidney patients and can lead to serious and immediate complications, including a heart attack if high enough. Last week, one of my patients developed a high potassium level which was pretty unusual for …

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Respect the renal diet!

Every once in a while I hear something that really sticks with me. Today I met with a lovely patient who has been following some sort of renal diet for the last seven years. She expressed to me how frustrating it is when people give her “healthy” diet advice while critiquing her food choices. Limiting dairy and choosing white bread might seem strange to others but for this patient, they were an important strategy for …

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Savour Summer with New Recipes!

After a long, cold winter it is time to enjoy the warm weather and the wonderful, fresh foods that come along with that. Whether it’s blueberries, raspberries or fresh lettuce right out of your garden, the summer seems to make everything taste better! I’m excited to announce that there are ten beautiful and delicious new recipes available at to celebrate the 10th issue of the Spice It Up! series of cookbooks. Next time you’re having a barbeque …

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Have your say!

As if the kidney diet isn’t already complicated enough, there is a new food additive to watch for and avoid (for those on a restricted potassium diet). I’ve written a fair amount about phosphate food additives which should be avoided by everyone who has or is at risk for chronic kidney disease. But there’s a new additive that has been approved by Health Canada for use in meat and meat products. It’s called potassium lactate …

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What you see may not be what you get!

Vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements are a big business in Canada. Many people take vitamin supplements as a bit of an “insurance policy” just in case their diet isn’t quite as good as it should be. Or sometimes just because they think it might do some good and probably won’t do any harm. Others use herbals and supplements to cure or prevent disease. But there is little science to support the routine use of supplements …

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My September Resolutions

September always feels more like New Year to me than January! With the kids going back to school and a new group of dietetic interns starting at our hospital, I always find this is the time of year I make resolutions about food! Last year, I decided to get my kids more involved in making meals (very messy). This year, I’ve decided to do a better job with packing lunches – my own! Packing a lunch …

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Low-Phosphorus Cheese, product evaluation

Low-phosphorus cheese, product evaluation   Walking through my local grocery store one evening I noticed a new-to-me product, called Daiya, in the vegetarian section of the deli department. Daiya is a dairy- and soy-free cheese substitute product. Unlike dairy and soy cheese however, it is very low in phosphorus and protein – Making it suitable for those on a low-protein diet, prior to receiving dialysis, as well as for individuals looking for low phosphorus products. Daiya products …

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Updated nutrition info on!

The nutrition fact sheets on have been updated and are better than ever! Working collaboratively with the Ontario Renal Network, a team of dietitians has been working on these for several months.  I’d like to thank my dietitian colleagues who devoted their time and considerable talents to making sure that these are the most accurate set of materials we’ve ever had:  Christine Nash, Shannon Chesterfield, Melissa Atcheson and Darlene Broad.  I have been most excited to …

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Sometimes seeing (and tasting) is believing!

This week, the dietitians here at Grand River Hospital were excited to welcome Chef Leslie Cairns to a cooking demonstration of wonderful kidney-friendly foods. Leslie is the chef behind the recipes in the last two Spice It Up! cookbooks ( and in addition to being a fantastic chef, she has a degree in nutrition. I don’t know about you, but I am always drawn to recipes that have pictures – that way I know that …

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Getting back to summer!

Ah summer! We are, finally, having some truly hot weather in Southwestern Ontario and I have been happily ignoring my stove in favour of the barbeque. Somehow, cooking outdoors seems to make everything that much more relaxed and casual. But barbeque season has it’s dietary dangers – many BBQ favourites such as hotdogs, prepared burgers, and even the barbeque sauce are loaded with salt. So it’s important to read your labels, and as much as …

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