If you or someone you care for suffers from chronic kidney disease or end stage renal failure, then you might already know about KidneyDiet – the iPhone app that aims to help identify and simplify the dietary restrictions unique to kidney diets. If you have a need for monitoring a kidney diet, then it’s well worth checking out. Though the app has been around for a while, a recent update has provided enhancements to the original design and now includes the ability to enter and save physician guidelines, keep a diary and compare intake to the recommendations of a physician or nutritionist.
If you’re unfamiliar with KidneyDiet, it’s a simple to use app that features a searchable database of foods with nutritional information specific to the restrictions of a kidney diet. The amounts of phosphorus, potassium, protein, sodium, cholesterol and carbohydrates are displayed based on type of food and designated quantity. With the update, the app also now allows users to add each food to their diary with a single tap and compares the day’s total with their physician guidelines. A calorie counter and fluid intake tracker are also included.
To enter your specific dietary guidelines for daily recommended intake of each nutritional value, simply navigate to the “diary” screen and enter the amounts for each. Carbs, cholesterol and fat totals are tracked for each day, but no limits can be added to these categories. The diary screen then compares the totals from entered amounts to those recommended by the physician or nutritionist to give users an at-a-glance view of how well they are managing their diet. The option to email the recorded diary is also available.
As always, KidneyDiet has a comprehensive database of food items to help identify those foods that may or may not be appropriate for the special dietary needs of kidney patients. The foods are alphabetized by food name, type or in some cases, brand names, but there is a search function as well. Many popular brand name food items as well as restaurants are included. The “guidelines” section of KidneyDiet provides basic guidelines, portion size tips, nutrient information and unit conversions.
As far as food tracking apps go, KidneyDiet is well designed and efficient to use. Obviously it was created for the unique dietary needs of kidney patients, but its design and interface is universally user-friendly and takes some of the confusion out of an often confusing restrictive diet. The latest addition of daily comparisons to personal physician guidelines is an added bonus, as sometimes the guidelines change based on kidney function change. Anyone following or caring for someone following a restrictive diet for kidney health will find KidneyDiet an excellent tool for identifying, and now tracking, daily dietary intake.