WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For most of us, holidays are occasions for bountiful food and celebration. Yet holiday meals can be difficult for the nearly 400,000 Americans with kidney failure who are on dialysis – a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products and removes extra fluids from the blood, and which also requires them to limit their intake of salt, potassium, phosphorus and saturated fats. That means they must restrict their consumption of many sweets, salty snacks and favorite holiday dishes.
But dialysis patients don’t have to settle for food that’s boring or bland. Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, understands patients’ challenges in maintaining healthy diets. So, just in time for the holidays, FMCNA asked Celebrity Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., to work with its dietitians to develop two flavorful, yet kidney-friendly holiday recipes and party eating tips for patients on dialysis.
Chef McCargo, star of Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House,” has developed a New Orleans-inspired “Shrimp Stuffing from the Bayou” recipe in collaboration with FMCNA dietitians. Featuring shrimp, Italian bread, celery, onion, cayenne pepper and other zesty herbs and spices, this low-sodium, low-fat recipe contains no trans fats and only 126 calories per three-ounce serving. It is available on FMCNA’s website at http://www.ultracare-dialysis.com.
Another recipe in Chef McCargo’s holiday collection is his “Crunchy Picking Pumpkin Strudel.” This easy-to-prepare recipe combines canned pumpkin and layers of crispy phyllo dough in a delicious dessert treat that also contains no trans fats and a modest 187 calories per serving.
“For dialysis patients, some traditional holiday favorites like sweet potatoes, egg nog, chocolate and nuts can be harmful,” said Carolyn Latham, vice president of clinical quality and UltraCare at FMCNA. “But with a bit of planning, they can still enjoy delicious foods and social events, while making smart eating decisions.”
To help dialysis patients enjoy healthy eating during the holidays, FMCNA offers the following tips:
Holiday Eating Tips for Dialysis Patients
Before the party:
- Ask your host what’s on the menu. Offer to bring something you can eat.
- Make family and friends aware of your diet restrictions.
- Snack before the party so that you aren’t too hungry when you arrive.
At the party:
- Avoid temptation – keep away from the buffet table.
- Know your diet so that you can make wise food choices.
- Put sauces and gravies, which are often salty and fat-laden, “on the side.”
Above all, remember that time spent with family and friends is what makes the holidays important, not the food.
For a complete list of Chef McCargo’s dialysis-friendly recipes, as well as fitness tips, videos and other information about staying active and maintaining a healthy diet on dialysis, visit FMCNA’s Healthy Lifestyles website. To find a dialysis facility near you, call toll free at 1-888-325-5175.
About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Through our leading network of more than 2,100 dialysis facilities in North America and our vascular access centers, laboratory, pharmacy and affiliated hospitals and nephrology practices, Fresenius Medical Care provides renal services to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. We are also the continent's top producer of dialysis equipment, dialyzers and related disposable products and a major supplier of renal pharmaceuticals.
About Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr.
Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. competed on and won season four of “The Next Food Network Star” in 2008, beating out thousands of culinary hopefuls for the ultimate dream job – his own Food Network show. “Big Daddy’s House” premiered in 2008 and continues to be a success. On “Big Daddy’s House,” Aaron shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking, bringing a down-to-earth vibe and warm smile to the kitchen. He recently published his first cookbook, “Simply Done, Well Done.” Whether cooking with his children, relatives, friends, or even by himself, big food and big fun reign supreme.