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Limiting Salt & Animal Protein


Mel Z
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A friend of mine was just diagnosed with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), which is a kidney disease without a known treatment. She needs to cut way down on animal protein and salt to keep things under control, and is a bit at a loss for how to do this. She's a college student, so unfortunately she's used to depending on a lot of packaged ingredients that aren't really feasible anymore. Can anyone recommend some basic recipes (she does have a kitchen) that could help her get some tofu/bean/other non-animal protein into her diet without requiring salt? Or any recommended packaged products that are low-sodium?

Many thanks!

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She should first see a nutritionist recommended by her kidney doc. This isn't the place for amateur advice. If she gets a list of acceptable proteins and quantities then we might be able to help without doing harm.

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I agree with gfweb. For starters, she can look / modify vegan dishes. It should remove animal protein, but she will need to adjust the flavors in order to do without salt.

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She definitely needs some real guidelines in terms of actual maximum quantities of various nutrients permitted. The Merk Manual just says that protein in general, and sodium, should be restricted. So, I'd be super-cautious about loading up on tofu and beans, etc. since I suspect that protein overload from any source is dangerous to her.

Getting enough protein is very easy on a vegetarian/vegan diet. Lots of foods contain protein -most American doctors only see protein deficiency diseases like Kwashiorkor in textbooks. I'd start with recommended amounts by weight and start cooking based on the numbers -with a kitchen scale. There are websites with nutritional info, as well as cookbook software like MasterCook, which allow you to analyze your recipes for a number of nutrients.

Reducing sodium is easy, just start with basic ingredients like whole vegetables and grains, check their naturally occurring amounts of sodium and adjust recipes accordingly. Once again, a kitchen scale will be useful. Check ebay for one that measures to 0.01g.

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I second a doctor recommended specialist in this area. However, I cut salt and meat for health reasons and it is not that hard once you get used to it. Lemon juice works wonders in the place of salt in some dishes. Sticking with your non processed foods is paramount, that will rack up the salt fast!

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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oh yeah, sometimes when you put wine in sauces and deglazing pans, can make the difference in a recipe where there is no salt.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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