Dining Out with Your Kidneys in Mind

Kidney function is critical to our overall health. When our kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it impacts our body’s ability to clean and filter out extra water from our blood as well as helping to control our blood pressure.

Damaged kidneys allow waste products and fluid to build up in our bodies causing ankle swelling, weakness, poor sleep, vomiting and shortness of breath. Without treatment, the damage worsens and eventually, the kidneys stop working.

Healthy kidneys keep our blood balanced by maintaining appropriate levels of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, water and other minerals. They also remove waste from our blood after digestion, physical activity, chemical exposure or medications. Our kidneys produce renin, which is what our body uses to manage blood pressure and erythropoietin, which prompts our body to make red blood cells. 

If you have kidney issues, dining out can be a challenge. Read on to learn how to make healthy choices. And if you are looking for answers and better treatment options for your kidney disease, contact Dr. Victor Gura, the best internist in Los Angeles.

Healthy Dining Options

The first tip in dining out with your kidneys in mind is to have a game plan. You should always try to follow your diet as best you can so plan ahead. If you can, choose the restaurant where you know the menu and you know there are healthy options you can enjoy.

Another key is to get creative. Protein control is important so make sure you stay within your limits. Think about possibly requesting a half portion, sharing a dish with someone else or asking for child’s portion. You also might want to order a la carte or even from the appetizer menu. And you will need to learn how to spot those disguised proteins like cheese, cream sauces and dishes prepared with milk, nuts dried beans or eggs.

One option many people assume is safe is a salad bar, but these can be dangerous if you don’t have a handle on what your diet requires. Usually, small tossed side salads are a great option. Make sure you ask for the dressing on the side or bring your own low sodium dressing with you. If you want to get creative, ask for vinegar and oil at the restaurant and make your own dressing and mix in a little lemon and black pepper.

Load up your plate with lettuce, carrots, radishes, cauliflower, green peppers, celery, onions, cucumbers, peas, beets, cheese in moderation and fresh fruits like peaches, grapes or pineapple. You should avoid raw spinach, olives, pickles, bacon bits, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, kidney beans, seeds and nuts, croutons, bean salads, dried fruits, as well as kiwi, melons, bananas and oranges.

And dessert can always be a challenge, but you don’t need to avoid it altogether if you plan. Feel free to order the fresh fruit you are allowed to eat in your diet as well as sherbet, sorbet, plain cookies and cakes, fruit pies (with your allowed fruits), gelatin and strawberry shortcake. You should avoid anything that contains nuts, chocolate, coconut or dried fruit, cheesecake, custard, puddings, cream pies and ice cream.

Chronic Kidney Disease Specialist

Chronic kidney disease can often be difficult to detect in the initial stages because it causes few symptoms. Having routine screenings is important for maintaining optimal health. As a leading kidney specialist, Dr. Victor Gura is skilled in diagnosing and managing patients with chronic kidney disease, helping them to stay as healthy as possible and reducing their risk of complications.

Dr. Gura is a world-renowned and board-certified internist and nephrologist. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis technology. Dr. Gura offers treatment options for diabetes, high blood pressure, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease and proteinuria. Book your consultation with Dr. Gura today.