Best Nutrition App: I eat at restaurants most... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease
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Best Nutrition App

LorrieC
LorrieC
26 Replies

I eat at restaurants most days and I am checking out the sodium content of my favorite meals. Wow! I can't believe the sodium content. One entrée has enough sodium or more for the entire day. What is the best nutrition app where I can monitor sodium and protein? What is the maximum amount of sodium and protein those with CKD can consume? I have not yet met with a nutritionist. Thanks.

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Ladybug_05

I use myfitnesspal, my food coach and a low phosphorus food app. I use the first app to keep track of levels day to day and the other apps have grocery list functions, recipes and numbers for potassium, sodium and phosphorus. According to the FDA, a healthy person shouldn't consume more than around 2300 mg of sodium. I'm personally on dialysis, so my intake was recommended to be around 1500 mg per day as an absolute maximum. I usually strive for 1200 mg. For protein, that heavily depends on your weight and caloric needs. The rule of thumb is 0.36 grams per pound or 0.8 g/kg. For me personally, I need around 75 grams per day (I average 126lbs). Hope this helps!

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to Ladybug_05

Ladybug,

I guess I am asking is there an app for restaurants where I can plug in foods on the menu. I checked out MyFoodDiary, but I'm wondering if there is one for restaurants specifically. After all the information I am googling, I am cooking chicken tonight at home! Thanks.

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mingle
mingle
in reply to LorrieC

You could try ---fastfoodnutrition.org

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to mingle

Thanks. I will check it out!

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Mhusband27
Mhusband27
in reply to LorrieC

I was given this website recently in a Webinar held by a Renal Dietician. It appears to be sponsored by Self Magazine, but I just went to the site and entered "Taco Bell Taco" and it gave me the nutrition info on several of Taco Bell's items (burritos, etc.). I don't eat out much so I didn't try any other restaurant, but I bet they have the most popular ones!

nutritiondata.com. It ends up at the Self Magazine site, and I had to create a login, but I made sure not to opt for a subscription to the magazine. Give it a try!

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Mhusband27
Mhusband27
in reply to LorrieC

Ladybug:

I also remembered that early in my CKD journey, I joined AAKP (American Association of Kidney Patients). I purchased (for $1.25) a handy, purse-size food calculator that I am looking over again. It has separated headings for some fast food places like Wendys, Subway, Taco Bell, Boston Market, etc., and breaks down the nutritional value of menu items. Check it out at aakp.org. Look around for a link indicating items you can purchase or literature available.

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Bassetmommer
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

Hi LorrieC,

I use myfitnesspal.for my tracking which is free. Be careful with that app because the information is often incorrect as to quantities of sodium and potassium. I check with this site: ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ to verify actual content information. Davita.com also has a tracker and food planner but for me it doesn't work well.

People with CKD have varying needs and allotments. That is why you should go see a renal dietician who can look at your lab values and see what is best.

Protein is something that will be based on your needs and stage of CKD. As I have said before, most CKD patients are told to limit animal protein as it is hard on the kidneys. But that is something that your renal dietician can review with you.

Rule of thumb for salt though: prepackaged and frozen meals are loaded with additives and salt. Avoid them. Be aware that restaurants add lots of salt to food because it makes their food taste better. Ask for no added salt when ordering. They understand. But pre-cooked food, you won't have a choice. Asian food often has a very high salt content. AND fast food is ridiculously heavy in salt and fat. Snacks of course are loaded with salt. Try making your own popcorn and don't add salt but a different flavor like cinnamon or black pepper. Canned soups and other canned sauces are loaded with salt. Even canned veggies has added salt. Use frozen vegetables instead or fresh, if you can, is even better.

The best option is to cook as much of your own foods and don't add salt.

You need salt in your diet but most food has some sodium in it. I used to love salty foods but now I do not miss it and actually do not like overly salty foods.

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LorrieC

Bassetmommer,

I agree it depends upon the person. My protein is always on the low side, so perhaps my daily level would not be what someone else's level would be. I am going to the Da Vita class on Tuesday and hope they will hook me up with a dietician. I love Kraft's macaroni and cheese and I can't stop at just one cup! What about Stouffer's lean cuisine meals? They are supposed to be low in sodium, carbs and fat. Thanks,

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Bassetmommer
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador
in reply to LorrieC

LorrieC... My best advice to you is to read labels and understand what a portion or serving size really means. You will be shocked. People think microwave popcorn is so low in calories. They tell you for a serving..... most people eat the whole bag which is 2.5 or three servings.

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LorrieC

I can't find nutritional information on myfitnesspal. All I see is exercise tracking. What am I doing wrong?

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Bet117
Bet117NKF Ambassador
in reply to Bassetmommer

Excellent...will check out the sites...

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LorrieC

I downloaded the myfitnesspal app, but I don't see where it shows nutritional information. The one I have seems to be used to track steps, etc. but I do not see anything about foods.

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steve680

Most fast food places and some restaurants publish the sodium content of their food in a "nutrition menu". Here's a few pointers to lower the sodium content:

1) Replace bread/rolls with a lettuce wraps as bread contains a lot of sodium. Or just eat the meat with a fork and knife and throw away the bun.

2) Get it without the condiments like mayo and ketchup.

3) Get it without sauces and salad dressings. Use oil and vinegar instead.

4) Get "grilled" rather than "crispy" (breaded).

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to steve680

Thanks, Steve. I guess I have been eating all the wrong things. This is a wake up call.

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DeeLo

The nutritional info of the food served at many restaurants can be a huge eye opener, can't it? When my husband parachuted into dialysis and we made the dietary changes, he had to cut down to about 2, 000 mg per day (or less?), if I remember correctly. I kept it lower even than that, but we really never ate out during those years. My husband was transplanted two and a half years ago, and we both still cannot tolerate the high sodium content at most chain restaurants and greasy spoons! I can taste the high sodium in store bought baked goods like cakes and cookies! 😃

My husband's renal dietitian gave me this website to use, and I still just it today. ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search...

My husband is also T2 insulin resistant, and I am very concerned about maintaining my own health, so I find it valuable. There is an app called Nutrition Lookup that his diabetic dietitian recommended to me, too.

As far as what you're dietary needs/restrictions will be, I believe it's best to discuss that with your healthcare team. I hope this helps. Good luck!

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to DeeLo

I never really paid attention to the sodium content of foods, for I never add salt to anything and thought I was fine. Even my internist told me to avoid salt but I can eat anything I want. Scratching my head . . .

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Dunsouth

healthydiningfinder.com

I use this regularly. Shows restaurants near by and has sodium savvy options. I check the restaurant listings on nutrition as well.

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to Dunsouth

hmmm - I checked out the site I don't see the sodium savvy options. I was hoping I could find a site where I could enter a name of a restaurant and see the nutritional values of the entire menu. I guess there is no site like this. Thanks.

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mstv01
mstv01
in reply to LorrieC

Hi Lorrie,

You can go to the restaurant's site on your PC or smart phone - having it on the smart phone obviously has the more convenience. The benefit of this is they'll almost always have a page with the nutrition info for all foods on the menu, some even have extra info, such as which items are gluten free, many will also have coupons or discounts for joining the site and all are free to check out or join. However, not many list the potassium or phosphorous, not even on the in-house nutrition pages.

The best way to get that to change is for enough people to write the restaurant's corporate headquarters and ask that they be added to their nutrition lists. This goes for writing your Fed reps & FDA to ask that it be something mandated on all labeling to protect consumers.

Surprisingly, since I've been label reading some of the items I know to have higher potassium don't list it at all! You'd think it would be a higher priority/marketing item because of the athletes who want the potassium levels.

There are more and more people with Kidney issues who need this information and as with transfats & sodium. this is another necessary bit of info that should be on all labels.

Writing in does work for change if enough people will do it.

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to mstv01

Hello, I have been checking out nutrition information for chain restaurants and I highlight the few entrees or sandwiches I can order. It's usually one or two per restaurant! I keep a list on index cards of what I can order from each one. I have a beef with a chocolate company in Cleveland, Ohio. All of their chocolate bars list a sodium content of 230+ of sodium. I have been buying their dark chocolate pretzel bar where sodium is listed at 18 mg. I trusted their nutritional information on the bar until I looked it up online. Big mistake! It has more than 12 times the sodium! I contacted the store and was told they are going over all their nutritional information labels. I bought a ton of these bars believing their label.

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orangecity41
orangecity41NKF Ambassador

I looked at some of these web sites but they did not list potassium and phosphorus.

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Dunsouth

Usually to get accurate info for an entire menu you have to use the restaurant site. Most chains have it if you Google the restaurant name and nutrition info. You can also request it in the restaurant. Many times it is in the form of a PDF. The sodium savvy shows up as an ss. This only appears if there is something on the menu that is sodium savvy.

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to Dunsouth

It should be mandated that all restaurants add nutritional information (at least fat, sodium, calories, carbs) below each item on the menu. I am going to contact each restaurant and keep a list at home and decide my menu choice before I go. Thanks!

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LorrieC
LorrieC
in reply to Dunsouth

I'm going to check each restaurant before we go as I did last night. I used Carraba's pdf nutrition list and found an entrée with the least amount of sodium and it was lobster ravioli. I called the manager to see if it was an updated list and he agreed the lobster ravioli was a good choice. 960 sodium (which was low compared to everything else) Protein was 20. I had a salad with vinegar and oil instead of my usual parmesan ranch. We went to a food court in a mall today and we love teriyaki chicken. I ate a couple of bites of the chicken and ate the white rice and veggies. The one bad thing I had was the maki roll. These were my main meals for both yesterday and today and I believe I am still keeping my sodium under 2,000 - or so I hope!

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Jonquiljo

You’re never going to get the truth from a restaurant about sodium (or even protein) in their meals. They tend to add lots of salt and fat to make you feel satisfied about what you are eating. Just assume that it is outrageously high - easily 4 times normal for what you are ordering. Restaurant meals tend to be larger than regular portions. I’m afraid some app or sodium and protein tracker is pretty useless - especially when it comes to restaurant food.

And water isn’t the best way to get rid of excess sodium. Exercise is. You can literally sweat it out of your pores. Sounds a bit gross, but it really helps. What I wish they made is a serum sodium meter just like they have blood glucose meters. A little finger prick onto a test strip. Well, eventually that will catch on. Good luck.

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LorrieC

Great idea on the sodium meter. One of us should invent one!

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