WALTHAM, Mass.— Restricted diets are a daily challenge to people with kidney failure and cooking healthy and flavorful meals can be a difficult task.
Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., in partnership with Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, wants to help dialysis patients by offering tasty, affordable recipes for the renal diet. FMCNA and Chef McCargo also offer smart shopping and cooking tips so patients can make the most of their time and money in the kitchen.
People on dialysis have to limit many mainstream foods that most of us consider “healthy” — such as broccoli, oranges and tomatoes. They don’t realize that these foods can actually contribute to declining health for dialysis patients. Chef McCargo wants to help people live a better life on dialysis by offering recipes that are easy to make, taste great, and can be assembled on a budget.
“My main goal this year with Fresenius Medical Care is to give dialysis patients some variety and bold flavors in their diet so they can enjoy eating, even with the dietary limits placed on them by kidney failure,” said Chef McCargo. “I also hope to inspire them to stay creative in the kitchen and get excited about food, because it can bring fun and joy to their lives, as well as to the lives of their families.”
In collaboration with FMCNA dietitians, Chef McCargo is creating new recipes throughout the year, including a budget-friendly Spaghetti and Asparagus Carbonara, to demonstrate that nutrient-focused cooking can be easy and delicious.
5 Tips to Shop and Cook on a Budget
During National Kidney Month, FMCNA and Chef McCargo encourage everyone to follow these five tips to make their shopping and cooking experiences more fun and affordable:
- Buy fresh produce in season, when it is least expensive. You can freeze many items for use later in the year. Your local farmer’s market can be a great place to find excellent deals on seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Buy meats in bulk to save money. Divide meat into portions and freeze it — using freezer paper, vacuum-sealed bags, plastic freezer bags or tinfoil to avoid freezer burn — until you are ready to use it in a recipe.
- Consider generic or “store brands,” which are often as good as name brands, but priced lower.
- Utilize leftover vegetables, rice and pasta in soups, stews, casseroles and stir-fries.
- Have a cooking party with friends and make meals to freeze for a week or two. Also, when cooking for yourself, make extra servings and freeze for later use.
About Fresenius Medical Care
Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) is the world’s leading company devoted to patient-centered renal therapy. Through more than 2,890 clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, we provide kidney dialysis treatments to approximately 233,000 patients worldwide. We are also the world’s leading maker of dialysis products, such as dialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Chronic kidney failure is a condition that affects more than 2.1 million individuals worldwide.
For more information about the company’s more than 1,850 U.S. dialysis facilities, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit www.fmc-ag.com or www.fmcna.com.
About Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr.
Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. competed on and won season four of “The Next Food Network Star” in 2008, beating out thousands of culinary hopefuls for the ultimate dream job – his own Food Network show. “Big Daddy’s House” premiered in 2008 and continues to be a success. On “Big Daddy’s House,” Aaron shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking, bringing a down-to-earth vibe and warm smile to the kitchen. He recently published his first cookbook, Simply Done, Well Done. Whether cooking with his children, relatives, friends, or even by himself, big food and big fun reign supreme.