Ring in a healthier new year’s diet

Ring in a healthier new year’s diet

(BPT) – Maintaining a healthy diet is a popular new year’s resolution for many of us, but for the nearly 400,000 Americans with kidney failure, eating right is actually critical to well-being and survival.

Without healthy kidneys, dialysis patients depend on regular treatments to remove waste products from their blood. And for those treatments to be effective, these patients must limit their intake of foods containing salt, potassium, phosphorus and saturated fats, including many foods generally considered healthy, such as oranges, tomatoes, beans and dairy products.

But kidney failure doesn’t mean people can’t continue to enjoy delicious meals with their families and friends. Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) and Chef Aaron McCargo Jr., star of Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House,” are helping people with kidney failure learn to use flavorful spices and fresh ingredients to create meals for dialysis patients that are healthy, flavorful and affordable. FMCNA, the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, has partnered with McCargo to develop a variety of dialysis-friendly recipes, which are available at FMCNA’s online recipe center.

To ring in 2013, Chef McCargo and FMCNA are sharing a recipe for “New You” Jumbo Shrimp Scampi, as well as tips for healthy, enjoyable eating. So whether you’re on dialysis or just looking to add some nutritious new recipes to your diet, the new year is the perfect time to get started.

Here are five tips to help dialysis patients – and anyone else interested in improving their diet – make healthy, great tasting meals part of their daily routine:

* Be creative and save a buck. Look for recipes that you can turn into a whole new leftover meal (e.g., use leftover beef tacos to make a quesadilla, stew or a lettuce wrap).

* Mix it up. Eat a wide variety of healthy foods to keep your diet exciting.

* Use spices, not salt. Leave out salty ingredients, and add fresh or dried herbs and spices to create more bold flavors.

* Skip the gadgets. Embrace one-pot cooking and limit your utensils to save time on cleaning dishes.

* Ask an expert. If you have kidney disease or another chronic disease, work with a dietitian to develop a meal plan.

For all 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 www.ultracare-dialysis.com. To find dialysis services near you, call toll free at 1-888-325-5175.

Chef Aaron McCargo Jr.’s “New You” Jumbo Shrimp Scampi


1 pound (16-20 count) peeled and deveined shrimp

2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons white wine (low-sodium chicken stock may be substituted)

2 tablespoons unsalted cold butter (cubed small)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup canola oil


1. Heat half of the canola oil in large nonstick saute pan on medium high heat.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss shrimp in flour mixture and coat evenly.

3. Saute shrimp for approximately 3 to 5 minutes on each side in batches (use leftover oil as needed).

4. Remove from pan and place on a plate or sheet tray to rest.

5. Add to the same pan the garlic, wine, and lemon juice; stir and cook until hot. It will start to boil in about 4 to 6 minutes.

6. Turn off heat, stir in cold butter in small amounts until incorporated. Add shrimp back to pan with any drippings, along with parsley and toss or stir until coated.

7. Serve and eat.

Yield:Serves four

Each serving provides:328 calories, 24 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 21 grams total fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 188 milligrams cholesterol, 259 milligrams potassium, 249 milligrams phosphorus, 172 milligrams sodium