WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This March, in recognition of National Kidney Month, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading dialysis provider, will host a series of “Healthy Lifestyle Days” in select clinics nationwide. The company is helping people with kidney failure live better lives on dialysis by encouraging them to eat well and stay physically active. Open to the public at no cost, the events are geared towards patients, their families and anyone who wants to assess their risk for developing chronic kidney disease. FMCNA will provide kidney screenings and wellness experts, tools, recipes and tips.
FMCNA will also bring celebrity chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. to its Healthy Lifestyle Days in Atlanta, Detroit and Houston to demonstrate recipes for delicious dialysis-friendly dishes that patients can enjoy, while staying within their dietary guidelines. Chef McCargo from Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House” will visit FMCNA clinics in these cities with high rates of kidney disease to share cooking tips, recipes, and food samples with event attendees. McCargo’s Healthy Lifestyle tour will start in Houston, Tex., on March 3, move to Atlanta, Ga., on March 12 for World Kidney Day, and conclude in Detroit, Mich., on March 18.
More than 450,000 Americans whose kidneys have failed depend on dialysis treatments, typically three times a week, to remove waste products and extra fluids from their blood. The dialysis diet has strict limitations on foods such as bread, cheese, milk, nuts, tomatoes, sweets and salty snacks that contain high levels of potassium, phosphorus, and salt, which can be harmful to dialysis patients. But that doesn’t mean their meals have to be boring or bland. In fact, McCargo has applied his signature “flavor of bold” cooking style featuring fresh, flavorful ingredients and seasonings, with the help of FMCNA dietitians, to develop dozens of recipes that can be enjoyed by dialysis patients and their families alike.
“Dialysis patients are used to hearing all about what they can’t eat,” says McCargo. “During National Kidney Month, Fresenius Medical Care and I are going to be telling them about some of the great things they can eat. We’re taking several of our favorite recipes out on the road, to share the message that eating well can help patients live longer and enjoy life more.”
Also during Healthy Lifestyle Days, FMCNA will remind dialysis patients that regular activity is one of the best ways for them to improve their overall health and quality of life. Patients who walk, bike, dance, garden, swim or engage in other physical activities can strengthen their heart and other muscles, increase joint flexibility, improve circulation, digestion and sleep, and help to control their blood pressure and body weight. Increased activity has also been shown to reduce inflammation and depression, and to decrease the risk of hospitalization.
Dialysis patients should talk with their physician before starting a new fitness program. Once they are cleared to do so, FMCNA nurses, social workers and dietitians can help patients of all fitness levels create customized programs for increasing their physical activity.
For more information on FMCNA’s Healthy Lifestyle Days, please visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com/HealthyLifestyles/. Chef McCargo’s recipes and online cooking demonstration videos are also available there, along with fitness tips, videos, and other information about staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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 www.fmcna.com; for information about patient services, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com.
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.