Portion distortion: potato chips

Did you know that potato chips are America’s #1 snack food, raking in billions of dollars in profits every year? News alert I love potato chips! I have always loved them ever since I was a teenager. You probably do too. They are easy to pack in a lunch with a sandwich, and a quick snack in between meals. But, what exactly is a portion of potato chips and do they have any nutritional value at all? Well that depends on your definition of nutrition. If you read the label of the Lay’s Stax potato chips I bought for my daughter today, you will see that there are 6 portions in the can.

Each portion, about 12 chips contains the following:

150 calories, 8 grams of Fat of which 2 grams is saturated Fat. So if you eat half of the can you are consuming 24 grams of Fat and 6 grams of saturated Fat. That is a lot of Fat!

190 mg of Sodium which is 8% of your daily amount in just 12 chips. This is a high risk food for people with CKD.

17 grams of Carbs in just 12 chips and only 1 gram of Fiber. This is a high risk food for anyone wanting to lose weight, or has Diabetes.

2 grams of Protein in 12 chips. So, if you ate half the can you would get 36 grams of Protein. That is not a lot of Protein.

Potassium 180 mg per 12 chips. That means just eating 12 chips is a moderate intake of Potassium for people with CKD.

Plus look at the laundry list of ingredients. Plus potato chips are deep fried in Oxidized Oils. Read about how bad Oxidized Oils are, here. Deep frying at high temperatures causes the release of a possible cancer causing agent called Acrylamides. Read about Acrylamides, here. These alone are very good reasons to cut back on deep fried foods at high temperatures. I will be doing some more research on Acrylamides because it is a naturally occurring chemical reaction that occurs with certain ways of cooking foods.

I am not saying never eat chips. I am never not going to ever eat chips, but I can eat one portion every now and then. If you love chips, like me, here are some other options to consider. Tortilla chips with salsa, popcorn with light butter and salt, bell pepper with ranch dip or celery and cucumbers, or lightly salted pretzels. Now you still have to read labels and portions because some of these may not be good options for you, especially in regards to Potassium intake. I generally try to avoid snacking all together, and just eat my 3 meals a day.

Part of Mindful Eating is being mindful of what you are putting into your body. Knowing correct portion sizes can help with that, as well as reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists.

Tomorrow I will be sharing this week’s 5 dollar dinner idea. Later this week I will roll out my first paid subscription plan called Meals with Melissa. Stay tuned for that. I have updated my Paypal account so it is current and ready to go. Come back and check it out.

What is your favorite snack food? Leave me a comment. If you would like to learn more about my one on one Health Coaching services, please use the contact form below to message me.

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Portion Distortion: Corned Beef and Cabbage and CKD

Updated 3/7/2022: Sign up for my newsletter below, and on March 17, 2022, I will have a special offer for my newsletter subscribers.

Happy St Patrick’s Day.  This is the day that everyone is Irish, and wears green.  But, what about the most popular meal served on St Patty’s Day, Corned Beef and Cabbage?  Can you have it if you have CKD?  Of course, you can!  You just have to calculate how much you can have.  To do that you need to know the nutrients in Corn Beef, or at least the ones concerned with CKD;  Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Protein.  Read on to find out that info.  I will break it down according to how we made it.  I am unsure of the spice package my husband used, so leave a little more room to add some more Sodium.  I used Eat This Much, to figure out the amount of each item.  Don’t forget if you add anything to it when eating it, like Catsup, Mustard, Butter, whatever you have to consider that as well. Also, cooking methods, leaching, etc can change the nutrient values in food.

For 1 oz of Corned Beef, that is not a lot of corned beef folks, so if you eat 3 or 4 ounces be sure to multiply the amount by 3 or 4 depending on how much you eat. The nutrients are as follows and may not be exact so plan wisely.

Protein:  8 grams

Phosphorus:  31.5mg

Potassium:  38.6 mg

Sodium:  254 mg

Carrots, one serving is 1 cup:

Protein:  0.7 grams

Phosphorus:  25.2 mg

Potassium:  230 mg

Sodium:  50 mg

Potatoes, one serving is 1 cup:

Protein:  8 grams

Phosphorus:  210 mg

Potassium:  1553 mg   this is a very large amount

Sodium:  22 mg

Cabbage, a serving size is 1 cup:

Protein:  2 grams

Phosphorus:  50 mg

Potassium:  294 mg

Sodium:  12 mg

Since all kidney patients are different, one item may bother you more than others.  Like, for me Potassium is not an issue, but Protein and Sodium are.  Phosphorus is a complicated nutrient that I think more education should be centered on. So use the info to adjust how much you eat to stay within your limits.  If you do not know your limits,  or how to calculate what you are eating, message me using the contact form below, to set up a free meet and greet to see if I can work with you to help you learn how to track your intake.   Remember I am not a Dietitian, I am a Health Coach with a background in nursing, and a Kidney Patient.   I will assist you to learn how to calculate what you are eating, find resources that will help you to learn how much nutrients are in each food item, keep a food diary, etc.   Or, if you need to learn to communicate with your doctor to advocate for yourself in making health decisions, like requesting a Dietitian referral, requesting easier to understand education tools, etc.

Check out my Meals with Melissa subscription plan. It is not geared towards CKD, but rather a family, but I include tips to make it more CKD friendly, and one on one coaching can further assist.


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