Thursday, April 12, 2012

Renal Nutrition for BBQ Season

By: Sasha B. Bard, MS, Dietetic Intern

A few posts back one of my fellow UMD dietetic interns, Joyce Hornick, wrote a blog about her experience with renal nutrition.

Unlike Joyce, I had been in a dialysis center prior to my renal rotation. My mother is a social worker in a dialysis center in Richmond, Virginia and during graduate school I would go to work with her when I was in town and spend time shadowing her dietitians. From my experiences in both Virginia and Maryland, I completely agree with Joyce- renal dietitians are impressive! They have to wear many hats. One minute an educator, the next a clinician. And at times a cheerleader, a chef, or a counselor.

One of our projects during the renal rotation was to go to the grocery store and compare the nutrient content of various condiments. With barbecue season right around the corner, we wanted to see how much sodium, phosphorus, and potassium there was in some of the popular condiments. My partner, Erika Wincheski, and I looked through bottles and bottles of ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, worcestershire, and BBQ sauces.
Not surprisingly, we discovered that many of the sauces have a high sodium content. Especially barbecue sauces! It varied from brand to brand, but we found some BBQ sauces with 175 mg of sodium per serving and others with over 500 mg of sodium per serving. And keep in mind that a serving of sauce is only 2 Tb! I bet there are a lot of people who use more than 2 Tb on their chicken.

After the investigation we put together a handout for the dialysis patients that included a dialysis-friendly recipe for homemade pulled pork barbecue. The DaVita recipe had dialysis-friendly ingredient modifications, such as salt-free ketchup and Sunny Delight in place of orange juice. (Did you know that 1 cup of orange juice has 430 mg potassium, whereas 1 cup of Sunny Delight only has 23 mg potassium?!?) And it's always best to convince people to try a new recipe with a taste test, so we passed out samples during the patients' treatment. Luckily, it was a hit!


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  2. I think this is a great idea for renal dialysis clients who must limit intake of sodium and potassium, but still occasionly crave BBQ sauce that they see their friends, families and neighbors eat.

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