Putting the Joy Back into Food: American Kidney Fund Launches Kidney Kitchen™ to Help Patients Navigate Their Nutrition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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
As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling the nation’s low-income dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.