One-stop resource offers nutrition information and recipes for kidney patients and caregivers
ROCKVILLE, Md. (June 4, 2019) – The dietary restrictions that are central to the treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD or kidney failure) are a stumbling block for many patients. The American Kidney Fund's (AKF) new online Kidney Kitchen™ is designed to put the joy back into food by helping patients and their caregivers find food options that they can enjoy while still meeting their individual nutritional needs.
AKF's Kidney Kitchen provides nutrition information, searchable recipes, recipe videos and tips to help support kidney patients. The project was funded with support from Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Genzyme and Satellite Healthcare.
"Being diagnosed with kidney disease changes your life in many ways. One of the most challenging aspects for many people is that you have to change how you eat and drink," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "At the same time, there isn't a standard kidney diet to follow — everyone's nutritional needs are different. Figuring out what you can eat and then sticking to that routine can be extremely tough, and we believe Kidney Kitchen can be a big help."
Kidney disease diminishes the ability of the kidneys to remove waste products, excess minerals and extra fluid from the blood. Adjusting intake of certain foods and nutrients, such as potassium, phosphorus, protein, salt, and fluid, often means drastic changes in a person's way of eating. In 2018, AKF released the results of a nationwide survey of dialysis patients and renal professionals that showed more than half of patients had not followed their dietary and fluid recommendations in the previous week.
Nearly half of the survey respondents who did not adhere to their diets said they wanted to take a break from the strict regimen, and about a quarter said they did not like the recommended foods. Kidney Kitchen seeks to tackle both problems by providing varied recipes that include international cuisine and many options for preparing common foods. Eating well can be extra challenging because some foods that are generally associated with "healthy eating" are not healthy at all for people on dialysis.
Kidney Kitchen outlines the differences between healthy eating for a range of scenarios, including chronic kidney disease, dialysis and post-transplant. It debunks common kidney diet myths, offers tips on how to talk to friends and family about kidney-friendly eating, and arms patients with dozens of easy, tasty, kidney-friendly recipes. AKF will continue adding recipes and other content to Kidney Kitchen over time.
Included in the recipe section are step-by-step video recipe preparations from culinary instructor Joel Schaefer, an expert in designing meal plans for specialized diets, and more than 100 recipes contributed by Satellite Healthcare.
"We hope this resource empowers patients to take charge of their food choices, whether they're cooking at home or dining out, and better understand how their nutritional choices affect their kidney health," Burton said.
To explore Kidney Kitchen, visit Kitchen.KidneyFund.org. The website is intended for educational purposes only. Every individual's dietary needs are different, so all patient and caregiver questions should be directed to a health care professional.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.