Welcome to my blog!

I am very excited to be involved in the new Kidney Foundation of Canada Website!  What a wonderful resource for Canadian kidney patients and their families.

I have been a renal dietitian for 10 years and I can honestly say that the “renal diet” is one of the most challenging diets there is.  There is no simple diet sheet that we can hand out to everyone with kidney problems – every diet must be individualized to meet the needs of the person we see.  In addition, the diet may change as bloodwork, medication or kidney function changes.  Unfortunately there is also so much nutrition information in the media and on the web that many people are confused about what they can eat.  I hope that the nutrition section of this website will help answer some of your questions but if you have kidney disease I encourage you to get a referral to a dietitian.  It is so important that nutrition information be credible – make certain that the person who is advising you on your diet is a Registered Dietitian.  Dietitians must meet national standards for education and training and are held accountable by provincial regulatory bodies.

Ultimately everyone asks “what can I eat?”  With each installment of this blog I plan to include ideas and recipes that will apply to anyone with kidney disease.  The biggest challenge is often salt or dietary sodium.  Even without using a salt shaker most Canadians eat too much salt or sodium from processed foods and fast food.   The average Canadian consumption of sodium is 3500mg which is well above the Tolerable Upper Limit of 2300mg.  A small bag of potato chips can contain as much as 500 mg sodium!  Try the following lower salt alternative to chips and dip:

Baked Pita Chips:  12 servings
3 (6″) pita rounds
extra virgin olive oil
chili powder

Separate pitas into 2 rounds with kitchen scissors.   Cut each pita into 8 wedges.   Brush pita wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder.   Bake at 350F for approximately 15 minutes or until crisp.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip: (yield 1 cup)
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
Mix all ingredients together in food processor.   Serve with baked pita chips.

Recipes developed by Chef Leslie Cairns

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