Traditional recipes

Milk-and-Cookie Disease

Milk-and-Cookie Disease

Milk and cookies could be causing a new kind of disease, and it’s not obesity

Bad news for kids who love milk and cookies. The classic pair that we all snacked on as kids could be causing a disease, and it’s not obesity, according to Fox News. One doctor calls it “Milk-and-Cookie Disease.” Milk and cookies aren’t the only culprits though. Anything with dairy and sugar can cause kids to develop the disease, which is associated with chronic symptoms like runny and stuffy noses, coughs, sore throats, constipation, and fatigue.

Dr. Julie L. Wei of Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla. spent years treating kids with these symptoms, but they weren’t improving with prescription medications. After studying the cases, Wei found that many patients were eating dairy and sugar frequently throughout the day and before bed. This causes the food to back up into the stomach, the esophagus, and the throat, causing reflux, cold and allergy symptoms, and sleeping problems. Once Wei asked her patients to stop eating dairy and sugar before bed, their symptoms improved significantly.

She estimates that about 50 to 75 percent of kids who are otherwise healthy have Milk-and-Cookie Disease from eating dairy and sugar throughout the day and before bed.

Is your child's runny nose due to the Milk and Cookie Disease?

If your child constantly has a runny nose or a cold that just won't seem to go away, it might be due to the not so commonly known, Milk and Cookie Disease (MCD).

Too much dairy and sugar can cause constant runny noses, which is known as the “Milk and Cookie Disease” (MCD)

Most parents know it is inevitable that their little ones will fall sick quite regularly — either they are down with the dreaded flu or they’ve got a serious case of the sniffles due to a cold.

But if your child seems to always have a stuffy nose, or a persistent cough, or a constant runny nose, it might be something a little more serious than just a common cold and could possibly be the Milk and Cookie Disease.

Dr Julie Wei, M.D., an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center, often found that the young patients she treated for ear, nose and throat (ENT) ailments were on several medications but not showing any signs of improvement.

This caused her to suspect that a majority of these children she was seeing were possibly misdiagnosed and even over-medicated.

“In my practice, I was repeatedly seeing things wrong with kids. How can a human being that’s not physically sick have these symptoms every day?”, says Dr Wei.

Her theory is that her young patients’ diets which contain dairy and sugar, played a significant part in their ear, nose and throat symptoms, thus coining the phrase, “Milk and Cookie Disease” (MCD).

But what exactly is Milk and Cookie Disease and how do you know if your child really suffers from it?

Meet the Experts

Chef Daniel Green

Daniel Green is an internationally recognized chef and TV personality who specializes in healthy eating and weight loss. An award-winning author of 11 cookbooks and the cohost of Everyday Health’s Condition Kitchen, Green helps people create meals that are low in fat but full of flavor.

Joseph Feuerstein, MD

Dr. Feuerstein is an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York City and the director of integrative medicine at Stamford Health in Connecticut. In his practice, he helps people improve their health by incorporating nutrition and other lifestyle changes into their treatment plans. Feuerstein also cohosts Condition Kitchen with Green.

Tina Aswani Omprakash

Tina has been living with Crohn’s disease since she was 22 years old and is the founder of the blog Own Your Crohn’s. Through her writing, public speaking, and other advocacy work, she helps people who have chronic illnesses or disabilities own their conditions and live fuller, happier lives.

Acid in the body

Cold milk itself is not acidic. The pH is seven. But as the temperature goes up, the acidity increases and the pH level drops. Sugar breaks down first into alcohol and carbonic acid gas, and then into acetic acid and water, which is what makes vinegar. So both dairy and sugar become highly acidic in the body.

See also

Dr. Wei explained in her TED Talk on the subject that physicians are not trained to ask what patients eat and drink, only what symptoms they are presenting. So while you may go to the doctor with symptoms of sinus infection or acid reflux, they should be aware that diet could actually be the culprit.

The time it takes for food to break down and digest before entering the intestines is called gastric emptying time. But dairy, sugar and fat cause food to break down more slowly. The more acid sits around, the more likely it is to come back up, especially if you eat close to bedtime.

Six Sensational Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays and Everyday

Doesn&rsquot it seem like everyone and their dog is going gluten-free these days? Though I had never been gluten-free in the past, I&rsquove been experimenting with gluten-free baking for the past five years &hellip ever since several bags of gluten-free baking mixes landed on my desk for review. Since then I&rsquove tested out a variety of flours &hellip in fact, at any given time, I have at least ten different flours and starches on hand.

Honestly, I couldn&rsquot explain my fascination with the art of gluten-free baking &hellip until now. You know how sometimes, you just know something, even though you don&rsquot know it? [If that made absolutely no sense to you, just humor me]. Call it intuition, or maybe your subconscious making subtle observations that your conscious mind overlooks. What is all of this rambling about? Tony, my husband and the IT man behind Go Dairy Free, was told to trial a gluten-free diet by our doctor …

Yes, me allergic to milk, and a month into the gluten-free trial, it really does look like he may be intolerant to gluten. We are quite the pair, really.

Fortunately for him, I was prepared. At the first sign of a carb craving, I scavenged our pantry, and gluten-free, dairy-free pizza was on the table. Oh, and dessert? I&rsquove had that one covered for years. All he had to do was pick from among the ones he liked best, all made (and given the thumbs up from gluten-eating taste buds) long before this gluten-free adventure &hellip

Not a fan of cherries in cookies? You can go all chocolate with these if you prefer!

Thyroid Friendly Recipes

That said, you may be wondering, What can I possibly cook with so many requirements… that tastes good?

While it may seem like there aren’t any dishes that exclude inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy, I can tell you that I have created many recipes that are both delicious and healing for the thyroid! To give you an idea of the meals I like to create, here’s a peek at some of the recipes for a thyroid-friendly dinner I once hosted… (You’ll notice they include lots of coconut products, which are delicious dairy substitutes!)

Yummy Kale Salad

This appetizer is a perfect blend of crunchy, chewy and rich flavors.


  • 1 cup of chopped kale*
  • 6 diced artichokes or hearts of palm
  • 6 chopped radishes*
  • 1/4 cup of coconut flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk

*If you have a question about the use of kale or radishes for people with Hashimoto’s, check out my article on goitrogens and Hashimoto’s, which debunks the myth that all goitrogens are bad for the thyroid.

Baked Salmon

This meal is quick, easy and tasty!


  • 4 salmon filets
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 4 orange slices
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. While the oven is preheating, marinate the salmon in the olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Place a slice of orange on top of each filet, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 30 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.

Mashed Cauliflower

This is a delicious replacement for mashed potatoes!


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk
  • Sea salt (or Truffle Sea Salt if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby)
  • 1/4 cup of minced fresh chives, parsley, or fresh dill
  1. Steam the cauliflower.
  2. Add it to a blender like the Vitamix (or mash with a potato masher).
  3. Stir in coconut milk, sea salt, and herbs.

Strawberry Mousse

A delicious and quick dessert!


  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (thick preferred)
  • 8 mint leaves

All of the guests loved the meal I served, even those who didn’t follow a gluten and dairy free diet! This event confirmed my belief that thyroid-friendly food really can be a tasty crowd-pleaser.

5. Overnight Oats

Kennedy says oatmeal is a great breakfast option because oats are high in soluble fiber, which absorbs water and moves slowly through the digestive tract — unlike insoluble fiber, which is difficult to digest and can irritate the bowel. Here’s a breakfast recipe that requires no cooking.

  • ½ c old-fashioned oats
  • ½ c milk
  • ¼ c yogurt (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

10 Guilt-Free Cookie Recipes

Cookie lovers, you're in for a treat. These cookies and bars contain simple substitutions that taste great and keep your blood sugar levels in check, whether they're low-fat, sweetened with dried fruits, or made with whole wheat flour.

See all 10 bites of bliss now!

These chewy oatmeal cookies get extra flavor from the natural sweetness of dried cherries. Research shows that this tart fruit may help you stay slim, prevent inflammation linked with heart disease, and keep cholesterol under control.

PREP TIME: 15 min / COOK TIME: 10 min / TOTAL TIME: 27 min

1 c whole grain pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ c packed brown sugar
⅓ c granulated sugar
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ c old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ c dried cherries

1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. COMBINE the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
3. COMBINE the brown sugar and granulated sugar, applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the oats and cherries.
4. DROP the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2" apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

NUTRITION (per serving) 72 cal, 1.5 g pro, 13.5 g carb, 1.5 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 1.5 g fat, .1 g sat fat, 77.5 mg sodium

Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and molasses combine with canola oil for a healthier cookie reminiscent of your childhood favorite. Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that help protect your heart&mdasha better alternative to butter, which is a solid, saturated fat.

PREP TIME: 5 min / COOK TIME: 10 min / TOTAL TIME: 17 min

2 c whole grain pastry flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 c sugar
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
¼ c canola oil
¼ c molasses
2 lg egg whites

1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. MIX the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. COMBINE the sugar, applesauce, oil, molasses, and egg whites in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 1 minute, or until well-combined. With the mixer at low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture.
4. DROP the dough by level tablespoons about 1" apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
5. BAKE 1 sheet at a time for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack for 2 minutes. Remove from the sheet and place on the rack to cool completely.

Tip: When trying this recipe for the first time, check the oven after about 8 minutes to see whether the cookies are done. Baked goods with molasses have a tendency to overbrown, so the baking time may be shorter than what's suggested.

NUTRITION (per serving) 54 cal, .8 g pro, 10 g carb, .5 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 1.5 g fat, .1 g sat fat, 61 mg sodium

Pretty, jam-filled cookies are ideal for entertaining guests. Be sure to top them with sliced almonds, which are loaded with heart-healthy polyphenols proven to help lower bad LDL cholesterol (also check out these 15 surprising ways to lower your cholesterol).

PREP TIME: 40 min / COOK TIME: 12 min / TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 2 min

¼ c trans free margarine or butter, softened
1 Tbsp canola oil
¾ c granulated sugar
Grated peel of l lemon (optional)
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⅔ c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ c sliced almonds (optional)
⅓ c raspberry jam
Confectioners' sugar

1. BEAT margarine, oil, granulated sugar, and lemon peel, if using, until light. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl. Add to sugar mixture, and stir by hand just until dough is soft. Divide dough in half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until well chilled.
3. PREHEAT oven to 350°F when ready to bake.
4. ROLL out one disk to ¼" thickness between 2 pieces of wax paper. Cut out cookies using a 1½" to 2" round cookie cutter or glass rim. Using a ½" round or shaped cutter, cut centers out of half the cookies.
5. PLACE cookies 2" to 3" apart on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cookies with centers cut out with almonds, if using, pressing gently to help them adhere.
6. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden around edges. Transfer to rack to cool. Repeat with remaining disk, rerolling scraps once to get as many cookies as possible.
7. SPREAD solid cookies with jam, and sprinkle cut out cookies lightly with confectioners' sugar. Top each solid cookie with a cut out cookie.

Tip: Freezing is a good idea for these cookies, since they're so low in fat that they don't keep as long as traditional high fat cookies. Store in airtight containers, or freeze them if they aren't going to be eaten within a day or two.

NUTRITION (per serving) 70 cal, 1 g pro, 12 g carb, .2 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 2 g fat, .2 g sat fat, 50 mg sodium

Packed with moist pumpkin, plump raisins, and crunchy walnuts, these sweets are wonderful to have on hand when a sugar craving strikes. Walnuts are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) that helps lower blood pressure.

PREP TIME: 15 min / COOK TIME: 30 min / TOTAL TIME: 45 min

1½ c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1½ tsp baking soda
½ c sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
⅔ c molasses
2 egg whites
1 c water
½ c canned pumpkin
½ c raisins
¼ c walnuts

1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13" x 9"baking pan with cooking spray.
2. COMBINE the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the molasses, egg whites, water, and pumpkin and stir until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Spread evenly in the prepared baking pan.
3. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan and cut into 2" squares.

NUTRITION (per serving) 109 cal, 2 g pro, 24 g carb, 1.5 g fiber, 11 g sugars, 1 g fat, .1 g sat fat, 100 mg sodium

With their rich flavor, you would never guess that these sandies are low-fat. Thanks to a hearty helping of chunky peanut butter, these cookies also garner extra protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

PREP TIME: 17 min / COOK TIME: 16 min / TOTAL TIME: 33 min

1¾ c whole grain pastry flour
½ c confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c packed light brown sugar
⅓ c chunky peanut butter
¼ c canola oil
1 lg egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. MIX the flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. COMBINE the brown sugar, peanut butter, and oil in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until well-combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture (the dough will be crumbly).
4. FORM the dough into 1" balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between balls. Flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass.
5. BAKE 1 sheet at a time for 7 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack for 2 minutes. Remove from the sheet and place on the rack to cool completely.

NUTRITION (per serving) 65 cal, 1.2 g pro, 9 g carb, .3 g fiber, 4.5 g sugars, 2.5 g fat, .3 g sat fat, 61.5 mg sodium

Not only are these lightweight cookies ultra-low in calories, but the lemon zest in the dough delivers health benefits, too. Research has shown that a compound found in the peel of lemons could help decrease cancer risk.

PREP TIME: 12 min / COOK TIME: 15 min / TOTAL TIME: 32 min

2 separated eggs, separated
½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt
¼ c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp grated lemon zest
⅓ c all-purpose flour
Confectioners' sugar

1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. BEAT the egg whites until foamy in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Slowly add the baking powder, salt, and sugar and continue beating on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
3. COMBINE the egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest in another bowl, and beat with a fork until thoroughly mixed. Fold into the beaten egg whites just until combined. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold in until the batter is smooth and light. Drop 2 teaspoons of batter per cookie about 2" apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
4. BAKE for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. The cookies will crisp upon cooling. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. For best results, store covered.

NUTRITION (per serving) 26 cal, .7 g pro, 5 g carb, .1 g fiber, 3.5 g sugars, .4 g fat, .1 g sat fat, 28 mg sodium

Chocolate chip cookies that are diabetes-friendly? You bet. Omega-3-enriched peanut butter and whole wheat flour are the secret ingredients that keep this treat healthy&mdashbut your taste buds will never know the difference!

PREP TIME: 10 min / COOK TIME: 15 min / TOTAL TIME: 35 min

¾ c white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
¾ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 c omega-3-enriched peanut butter
⅓ c splenda brown sugar blend
1 egg, beaten
½ c fat-free milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c bittersweet chocolate chips

1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8" x 8" baking dish with cooking spray.
2. COMBINE the flour, baking soda, and salt on a large sheet of waxed paper. Stir with a fork.
3. COMBINE the peanut butter, sugar, and egg in a mixing bowl. Stir vigorously until creamy. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Add the flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. DOLLUP the dough into the baking dish and pat the top to smooth. Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly puffy and very lightly browned at the edges. Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Store at room temperature, tightly covered with foil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 173 cal, 5 g pro, 15 g carb, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 10 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 132 mg sodium

Keep chocolate on the menu! This recipe swaps butter with canola oil to slash fat and uses whole wheat flour and rolled oats to double the fiber. Plus, research shows that the ground cinnamon may help control blood sugar.

PREP TIME: 25 min / COOK TIME: 48 min / TOTAL TIME: 1hr 13 min

½ c whole-wheat flour
½ c all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
¼ c canola oil
½ c packed brown sugar
¾ c confectioners' sugar
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ c rolled oats
½ c raisins or chopped dates

1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Coat no-stick baking sheets with no-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
2. COMBINE the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. COMBINE the applesauce, oil, brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix until well-blended. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats and raisins or dates. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Do not overbake. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Or, if using parchment paper, slide the cookies and parchment paper onto a countertop to cool.

NUTRITION (per serving) 61.5 cal, 1 g pro, 11 g carb, 1 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 2 g fat, .2 g sat fat, 61 mg sodium

No flour, no baking powder, no coconut&mdashthese macaroons are the real deal. Replacing whole eggs with egg whites knocks the cholesterol down to zero, making these bite-sized goodies perfect for a sweet snack or special occasion.

PREP TIME: 10 min / COOK TIME: 14 min / TOTAL TIME: 27 min

1½ c ground toasted almonds
¼ c flour
¼ tsp salt
3 egg whites
½ tsp almond extract
1 c sugar

1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. COMBINE the almonds, flour, and salt in a small bowl.
3. BEAT the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the almond extract. Gradually beat in the sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until stiff peaks form.
4. FOLD the almond mixture into the egg whites. Drop the batter by heaping teaspoons 2" apart onto the prepared sheet.
5. BAKE for 14 minutes, or until light brown. Cool on a rack for 3 minutes.
6. SLIDE the parchment paper off the pan onto the rack to cool completely. Peel off the paper.

NUTRITION (per serving) 49 cal, 1.2 g pro, 7 g carb, .5 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 2 g fat, .2 g sat fat, 20.1 mg sodium

Treat yourself to these bars for better health. Beneath the sweet peanut butter and chocolate chips are rolled oats, which can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

PREP TIME: 5 min / COOK TIME: 2 min / TOTAL TIME: 7 min

½ c packed brown sugar
½ c creamy peanut butter
½ c light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¾ c rice cereal
1½ c old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ raisins or chocolate chips

1. COAT generously a 9" x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.
2. COMBINE the sugar, peanut butter, and corn syrup in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes, or until boiling, stirring once. Remove from the microwave oven and stir in the vanilla extract, cereal, oats, and raisins or chocolate chips. Mix well, then press firmly and evenly into the prepared baking pan.
3. COOL in the pan and cut into bars.

NUTRITION (per serving) 134 cal, 3 g pro, 23 g carb, 1.3 g fiber, 9 g sugars, 4 g fat, .8 g sat fat, 62 mg sodium

With all meal plans, including the kidney-friendly diet, you need to track how much of certain nutrients you take in, such as:

To make sure you are getting the right amounts of these nutrients, you need to eat and drink the right portion sizes. All of the information you need to keep track of your intake is on the &ldquoNutrition Facts&rdquo label.

Use the nutrition facts section on food labels to learn more about what is in the foods you eat. The nutrition facts will tell you how much protein, carbohydrates, fat and sodium are in each serving of a food. This can help you pick foods that are high in the nutrients you need and low in the nutrients you should limit.

When you look at the nutrition facts, there are a few key areas that will give you the information you need:


Your body gets energy from the calories you eat and drink. Calories come from the protein, carbohydrates and fat in your diet. How many calories you need depends on your age, gender, body size and activity level.

You may also need to adjust how many calories you eat based on your weight goals. Some people will need to limit the calories they eat. Others may need to have more calories. Your doctor or dietitian can help you figure out how many calories you should have each day. Work with your dietitian to make a meal plan that helps you get the right amount of calories, and keep in touch for support.


Protein is one of the building blocks of your body. Your body needs protein to grow, heal and stay healthy. Having too little protein can cause your skin, hair and nails to be weak. But having too much protein can also be a problem. To stay healthy and help you feel your best, you may need to adjust how much protein you eat.

The amount of protein you should have depends on your body size, activity level and health concerns. Some doctors recommend that people with kidney disease limit protein or change their source of protein. This is because a diet very high in protein can make the kidneys work harder and may cause more damage. Ask your doctor or dietitian how much protein you should have and what the best sources of protein are for you.

Use the table below to learn which foods are low or high in protein. Keep in mind that just because a food is low in protein, it is not healthy to eat unlimited amounts.

Lower-protein foods:

Higher-protein foods:


Carbohydrates (&ldquocarbs&rdquo) are the easiest kind of energy for your body to use. Healthy sources of carbohydrates include fruits and vegetables. Unhealthy sources of carbohydrates include sugar, honey, hard candies, soft drinks and other sugary drinks.

Some carbohydrates are high in potassium and phosphorus, which you may need to limit depending on your stage of kidney disease. We'll talk about this in more detail a little later. You may also need to watch your carbohydrates carefully if you have diabetes. Your dietitian can help you learn more about the carbohydrates in your meal plan and how they affect your blood sugar.

You need some fat in your meal plan to stay healthy. Fat gives you energy and helps you use some of the vitamins in your food. But too much fat can lead to weight gain and heart disease. Try to limit fat in your meal plan, and choose healthier fats when you can.

Healthier fat or &ldquogood&rdquo fat is called unsaturated fat. Examples of unsaturated fat include:

Unsaturated fat can help reduce cholesterol. If you need to gain weight, try to eat more unsaturated fat. If you need to lose weight, limit the unsaturated fat in your meal plan. As always, moderation is the key. Too much &ldquogood&rdquo fat can also cause problems.

Saturated fat, also known as &ldquobad&rdquo fat, can raise your cholesterol level and raise your risk for heart disease. Examples of saturated fats include:

Limit these in your meal plan. Choose healthier, unsaturated fat instead. Trimming the fat from meat and removing the skin from chicken or turkey can also help limit saturated fat. You should also avoid trans fat. This kind of fat makes your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol higher and your "good" (HDL) cholesterol lower. When this happens, you are more likely to get heart disease, which can cause kidney damage.


Sodium (salt) is a mineral found in almost all foods. Too much sodium can make you thirsty, which can lead to swelling and raise your blood pressure. This can damage your kidneys more and make your heart work harder.

One of the best things that you can do to stay healthy is to limit how much sodium you eat. To limit sodium in your meal plan:

  • Do not add salt to your food when cooking or eating. Try cooking with fresh herbs, lemon juice or other salt-free spices.
  • Choose fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables. If you do use canned vegetables, drain and rinse them to remove extra salt before cooking or eating them.
  • Avoid processed meats like ham, bacon, sausage and lunch meats.
  • Munch on fresh fruits and vegetables rather than crackers or other salty snacks.
  • Avoid canned soups and frozen dinners that are high in sodium. &bull Avoid pickled foods, like olives and pickles. &bull Limit high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, BBQ sauce and ketchup.

Important! Be careful with salt substitutes and &ldquoreduced sodium&rdquo foods. Many salt substitutes are high in potassium. Too much potassium can be dangerous if you have kidney disease. Work with your dietitian to find foods that are low in sodium and potassium.


Choosing healthy foods is a great start, but eating too much of anything, even healthy foods, can be a problem. The other part of a healthy diet is portion control, or watching how much you eat.

To help control your portions:

  • Check the nutrition facts label on a food to learn the serving size and how much of each nutrient is in one serving. Many packages have more than one serving. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda is really two-and-a-half servings. Many fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, do not come with nutrition facts labels. Ask your dietitian for a list of nutrition facts for fresh foods and tips for how to measure the right portions.
  • Eat slowly, and stop eating when you are not hungry any more. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. If you eat too quickly, you may eat more than you need.
  • Avoid eating while doing something else, such as watching TV or driving. When you are distracted you may not realize how much you have eaten.
  • Do not eat directly from the package the food came in. Instead, take out one serving of food and put the bag or box away.

Good portion control is an important part of any meal plan. It is even more important in a kidney-friendly meal plan, because you may need to limit how much of certain things you eat and drink.

Guidelines on Forming a Diet Plan

However, many patients report that advice about diet is difficult to come by, especially when IBD is in remission. Is it OK to eat anything, or should there still be restrictions? That's ultimately a conversation to have with your medical team, but in many cases, diet is going to be a result of trial and error. It's going to be up to you to determine what works best, though your medical team can help you to figure out how to get the vitamins and minerals you need.  

There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when planning your diet:

  • High fiber foods may be difficult to digest.
  • Fried foods or foods high in fat may contribute to diarrhea.
  • Dairy products may cause gas and bloating if lactose intolerance is a problem.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables—while a part of a healthful diet—may cause discomfort during a flare-up.
  • Carbonated beverages may contribute to gas and bloating.

There are many recipes developed for people with IBD that may be helpful. Be sure to read the ingredient list carefully—we're all different, and what works for some may not work for all.

Watch the video: Milk and cookie disease (December 2021).