Going for a meal out should be an enjoyable experience and one that you can continue to look forward to despite the need to maintain your renal diet. Here are some tips to help you achieve this challenge.
If you know you will be eating out, cut back on serving sizes early in the day and avoid any salty or high potassium foods. If you are on a fluid restriction you may wish to save your fluids throughout the day to allow more when you are eating out. If you are on phosphate binders remember to bring them with you and take them with your meal. Talk to your Kidney (Renal) Dietitian about eating out and which local restaurants are best for you.
Read the menu carefully
Ask questions about any menu items you are not sure of. If you’re not comfortable asking in front of your dinner companions – call ahead or check out the menu online!
Many restaurants will be only too happy to make substitutions (i.e. rice instead of potatoes) or serve salad dressings, sauces and gravies on the side so you can control the amount you eat. Ask if your meal can be cooked without extra or added salt.
Keep in mind that anything you eat in a restaurant will be saltier than what you have at home – remember moderation is the key.