National kidney month: Better food choices

March is National Kidney Month and each Thursday I will be sharing some older posts to help you make better food choices to prevent Kidney Disease and may also slow the progression of Kidney Disease. If you read my post from Monday then you know I have gotten back to stage 2 and I am so excited about that. That doesn’t mean I can slack off. I want it to stay there. Strict eating lifestyles are very hard to stick with and you will have days, or weeks where you fall off the wagon and need to get back on. But, in the long run all that hard work will hopefully pay off. One of my main reasons for becoming a Health Coach, and starting this blog, is to raise awareness about Kidney Disease both prevention and treatment. If I am able to help even one person than I am happy.

  1. I have probably talked about this ad nauseum by now, but decreasing your salt intake is one of the healthiest things you can do for your kidneys. I have to add for your heart and blood pressure as well. The typical Western Diet has way too much added salt, or sodium. The two best ways to do this are learn to cook at home with lots of different spices to add flavor instead of salt, and reduce your processed/fast food intake. Learning to read labels and takeout menus will make you more aware of exactly how much sodium is in a serving and what a serving is. 140 mg of sodium, or less per serving, is considered acceptable. Just be sure to stick to a serving. Here are some of my articles on sodium:, Using vinegar on your food can add the flavor of salt without salt. The same is true for lemon juice. Try to use unsalted butter if you must choose butter.
  2. Reduce the amount of fat you are eating and use proper portion control. This is good for heart health as well as kidney health. Again, I go back to cooking at home and avoiding processed/fast food options as the best ways to help lower your fat intake. But, you have to be aware of other ways fats can sneak in in subtle ways, such as gravy, sauces, butter, cooking oil, etc. Maintaining a healthy body weight can also come under this tip. Losing weight when you already have kidney disease can be very difficult due to the metabolic issues associated with it. Likewise if you are underweight, gaining weight may be your goal to help your kidney disease, your heart, and your brain. Choosing lower fat options of dairy products is optimal. Just be sure and check how much sugar is added because fat was removed, especially if you have Diabetes. Here are some of my articles on this topic:,,,,,,,
  3. If you already have Kidney Disease, Heart Disease, or Diabetes, know your limits and follow them. Keep a food journal to help you keep track. I use my Fitbit to keep track of my calories, fat intake, and protein intake. I have also added a sodium tracker, though I don’t use it as much as I used to. You kind of will get used to how much salt is in what foods. I use an app called Nutrition Facts to get a better understanding of how much Phosphorus is in certain foods. It took me four years to finally figure out how much protein my body needed to function at optimal level but still protect my kidney. I don’t have Potassium restrictions, but if you do that same app I shared can help you. There are some other kidney apps but I did not find them user friendly. If you don’t have a smart phone the website Eat This Much, a pen and paper can help you journal what you eat and how much.

There are many other articles in my archives, besides the ones I shared. Browse through them and see if there is anything that can help you. If you would like to learn more about my Health Buddy Melissa Coaching Service, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free health assessment and evaluation after via email. Any questions can be posted in the comments, or again use the contact form.

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