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Kidney Transplant Nutrition
Kidney Transplant Nutrition Nutrition for Transplant Patients


What is sodium?

Sodium is a mineral that occurs naturally in food. Your body uses sodium for several functions including:

  • Maintaining fluid balance
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nerve activity

How do sodium and salt differ?

The words sodium and salt do not mean the same thing. Sodium is a part of salt. Table salt is a common name for "sodium chloride", which is made up 40% sodium and 60% chloride. You can decrease your sodium intake by not using salt and by watching the kinds of foods you eat.

Why is sodium restricted in the diet?

When your kidneys aren't functioning properly, they lose the ability to get rid of excess dietary sodium. Elevated levels of sodium in the blood can cause:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure
  • Enlarged heart
  • Edema (swelling of the feet, legs, fingers)

How do you avoid getting too much sodium?

  • Avoid foods high in sodium.
  • Avoid the salt shaker while cooking or at the table.
  • Limit processed and commercially prepared foods such as:
    • American Cheese
    • Canned Soups
    • T.V. Dinners
    • Deli Foods
  • Read food labels for sodium content. Look for the words salt, soda or sodium on the list of ingredients. If these words are among the first five listed, the food is high in sodium.
  • Limit seasonings and condiments that are high in sodium such as:
    • Garlic Salt
    • Hot Sauce
    • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
    • Morton's Lite Salt 1tsp = 1110 mg of sodium
    • Nature's Seasons 1tsp = 1300mg of sodium
    • Onion Salt
    • Salt 1 tsp = 2325 mg of sodium
    • Soy Sauce
    • Steak Sauce
    • Worcestershire Sauce

For further information on sodium, Contact Us.
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Low Fat/Low Cholesterol

Why is fat/cholesterol restricted?

High blood cholesterol is one of the three modifiable risk factors of coronary artery disease. Because high blood cholesterol is a risk to your health, you need to take steps to lower your blood cholesterol level. The best way to do this is to make sure you eat foods that are low in fat and cholesterol.

What are the types of fat?

Saturated Fat: Contained primarily in animal foods like meat and dairy products, it encourages your body to produce more cholesterol. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature.

Unsaturated Fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated): May lower blood cholesterol. They are usually of vegetable origin, and they are liquid at room temperature.

Dietary Cholesterol: Is found in the food you eat. It is found only in foods of animal origin, not plant origin.

Hydrogenation: A chemical process that changes liquid vegetable oils (unsaturated fats) into a more solid saturated fat.

What are some simple steps to cut back on fat/cholesterol?

For further information on fat/cholesterol, Contact Us.
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Why is exercise important?

To minimize weight gain due to transplant medications and diet changes.

How much should I exercise and how often?

A minimum of three times a week for thirty minutes is recommended. This can be divided up into 3-10 minute increments or 2-15 minute increments.

How do I get started?

  • Start out slowly
  • Increase your time gradually
  • Don't forget to warm up
  • Don't forget to cool down

What types of exercise can I do?

Here are some examples:

  • Walk
  • Jog
  • Exercise equipment
  • Bike
  • Swim
  • Yard work
  • Dance
  • Recreational sports
  • Aerobics

Always check with your Physician before starting an exercise program/routine.

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