DaVita Launches Diet Helper, Meal Planning Tool
This all-purpose online meal planning tool helps dialysis patients, their caregivers and renal dietitians and physicians plan proper nutrition based on 24 unique kidney-diet prescriptions. The tool also provides tasty, easy-to- prepare recipes, complete weekly meal plans, online grocery lists, and nutrition trackers that can be printed and shared with doctors and dietitians, making management of the renal diet more effective and improving patients' nutritional intake and quality of care.
"The main goal of DaVita Diet Helper is to help patients stay healthy as evidenced by their lab results, fluid balance and good nutritional intake," said Sara Colman RD, CDE, DaVita Nutrition Project Specialist. "DaVita Diet Helper is an easy way for patients to know what they can and can't eat and in what portions to keep their protein, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and fluids in check. Sticking to any diet is a challenge, but with DaVita Diet Helper it's a lot easier for our dialysis patients to stay on track."
Diet is an integral part of the treatment for managing chronic kidney disease and ensuring patients' overall health and quality of life. Because the kidneys can no longer filter and eliminate waste products and excess fluid, kidney diets are focused on maintaining adequate nutrition and keeping minerals and electrolytes in balance. Renal dietitians work closely with individual patients to create customized diet plans based on treatment type, disease stage and related conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
The renal diet can be difficult for patients who are accustomed to traditional beliefs about a healthy diet. Rather than focusing on fat and calorie intake, kidney patients need to focus on phosphorus, potassium and sodium intake, while getting adequate calories and protein, as well as limiting overall fluid intake.
Patients are finding the tool both easy and helpful. A patient and user of the tool, Bobbi, noted on the DaVita website that, "I've been on dialysis for four years, and food has always been an issue. This system has breathed new life in me! The recipes are not only fabulous, but there is such a variety! This makes it easy to stay on target!"
DaVita Diet Helper was developed in partnership with eDiets and took more than a year to complete. eDiets provided the customized nutrition analysis and tracking tools. DaVita dietitians helped eDiets dietitians create corresponding meal planning for the 24 unique renal diet prescriptions relating to differing amounts of phosphorus, potassium and sodium allowed in dialysis patients' diets. DaVita recommends that any patients interested in using this tool should consult with their healthcare team before changing their diet.