Chef Aaron McCargo Jr. and Fresenius Medical Care Suggest Five Diabetes And Dialysis-Friendly Holiday Dishes the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Try These Recipes and Tips to Meet the Dietary Needs of People with Diabetes or Kidney Failure

For a delicious diabetes and dialysis-friendly holiday appetizer the whole family will love, try these Buffalo Chicken Salad Stuffed Cucumber Cups from Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. and Fresenius Medical Care. (Photo: Business Wire)

WALTHAM, Mass.--()--Planning a holiday meal that everyone can enjoy takes special effort when guests or family members are among the 430,000 Americans with kidney failure who depend on dialysis. Their diets require lots of high-protein foods, while limiting their consumption of foods containing sodium, potassium and phosphorus. In addition, many people with kidney failure also have diabetes, and their need to additionally control carbohydrate intake can make meal planning even more complicated.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, which eventually requires some type of renal replacement therapy. So in recognition of National Diabetes Month this November, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, asked celebrity Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., along with its own staff dietitians, to select an assortment of healthy recipes to consider as part of the holiday menu.

“Dialysis patients do need to pay attention to their diets, and steer clear of dried fruit, pumpkin, potatoes, and some of the other traditional holiday treats,” says Chef McCargo, star of Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House.” “But if they follow these recipes, they can enjoy amazing holiday meals without compromising their health.”

The dishes described below are kidney and diabetes friendly, and should be safe for both groups of patients when consumed individually and in the suggested portions.

Five Diabetes & Dialysis-Friendly Holiday Recipes

1) Appetizer: “Buffalo Chicken Salad Stuffed Cucumber Cups.” This recipe mixes shredded chicken breast with a tangy dressing of mayonnaise, blue cheese, lemon juice, garlic, chives and hot sauce. A two-cucumber-cup serving contains 23 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 270 mg sodium.

2) Main dish: “Spicy Honey Glazed Pork Chops.” This holiday favorite contains 28 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and only 69 mg sodium per serving.

3) Side dish:Carrot and Ginger Mash.” A perfect complement for the spicy pork chops, this dish is a great substitute for mashed potatoes, but with just 6 grams of carbohydrates, 36 mg sodium and 166 mg of potassium per serving.

4) Dessert: “Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding.” This rich blend of baked eggs, cream, unsweetened peaches and angel food cake contains just 11 grams of carbohydrates, 78 mg of phosphorous and 110 mg sodium.

5) Brunch: “Mini Frittatas.” These savory muffin-tin egg frittatas contain onions, asparagus and Gruyere cheese topped with cream cheese and chives. Each serving contains 10 grams of protein, and only 3 grams of carbohydrate and 130 mg sodium.

“We are committed to giving patients delicious dishes with bold flavors,” says Robin Russell, lead dietitian for FMCNA’s North Texas region. “But it’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can be as harmful as eating the wrong things.” She suggests that dialysis and diabetes patients consider balance – both visually and nutritionally – when filling their plates. Here are a few tips:

  • Balance colors: Greens, oranges and browns look beautiful together on a holiday plate. A blend of colors can also help you to balance nutrients like protein, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and carbohydrates.
  • Balance textures: Mix crisp and crunchy with smooth and creamy items to avoid too much fried food, mashed potatoes, rice casseroles or dairy.
  • Balance flavors: Choose an assortment of foods that are sweet, savory and tart. A variety of flavors can complement each other, as well as balance nutrients.
  • Balance portions: Leave space between foods. Over-filled plates usually lead to an over-stuffed body. Too much food also can lead to dangerous blood levels of sugar, potassium and phosphorus, sodium and excess thirst.

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 1-866-4-DIALYSIS (1-866-434-2597).

About Fresenius Medical Care North America

Through its leading network of more than 2,150 dialysis facilities in North America and 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. It is also the continent’s top producer of dialysis equipment, dialyzers and related disposable products and a major supplier of renal pharmaceuticals. For more information about the company, visit; for information about patient services, visit

FMCNA has launched a company-wide program to provide flu shots to its 230,000 patients and staff this season, at no cost to the recipients. FMCNA will also donate $1 for every patient and employee vaccinated through this program to be allocated among charities supporting renal patients, and to the FMCNA CARES employee emergency relief fund. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness carried by airborne viruses and spread by sneezing and coughing. For vulnerable segments of the population, such as people with CKD and kidney failure, their condition and the demands of their life-sustaining treatment, leave them at greater risk for complications related to influenza. For more information on flu prevention, visit

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 for his children, relatives, friends, or even himself, big food and big fun reign supreme. FMCNA and Aaron have been working together since 2011 to encourage dialysis patients to get back in the kitchen by developing dishes with big, bold flavors that they can enjoy, while still adhering to the restrictions of their dialysis diets.


Fresenius Medical Care North America
Upward Agency
Heather Smith, 1-857-453-6701

Release Summary

Celebrity Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. and Fresenius Medical Care offer 5 diabetes and dialysis-friendly holiday dishes your whole family will love. Plus, learn tips for a nutritionally balanced plate.


Fresenius Medical Care North America
Upward Agency
Heather Smith, 1-857-453-6701