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Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. Created This Easy And Delicious "Crunchy Picking Pumpkin Strudel" Desert For Dialysis Patients And Their Families To Enjoy Over The Holidays. (Photo: Business Wire)

For most of us, holidays are occasions for bountiful food and celebration. Yet holiday meals can be difficult for the nearly 400,000 Americans with kidney failure who are on dialysis – a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products and removes extra fluids from the blood, and which also requires them to limit their intake of salt, potassium, phosphorus and saturated fats. That means they must restrict their consumption of many sweets, salty snacks and favorite holiday dishes.
Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. created this easy and delicious "Crunchy Picking Pumpkin Strudel" desert for ...

Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. created this easy and delicious "Crunchy Picking Pumpkin Strudel" desert for dialysis patients and their families to enjoy over the holidays. (Photo: Business Wire)

But dialysis patients don’t have to settle for food that’s boring or bland. Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, understands patients’ challenges in maintaining healthy diets. So, just in time for the holidays, FMCNA asked Celebrity Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., to work with its dietitians to develop two flavorful, yet kidney-friendly holiday recipes and party eating tips for patients on dialysis.

Chef McCargo, star of Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House,” has developed a New Orleans-inspired “ Shrimp Stuffing from the Bayou” recipe in collaboration with FMCNA dietitians. Featuring shrimp, Italian bread, celery, onion, cayenne pepper and other zesty herbs and spices, this low-sodium, low-fat recipe contains no trans fats and only 126 calories per three-ounce serving. It is available on FMCNA’s website at

Another recipe in Chef McCargo’s holiday collection is his “ Crunchy Picking Pumpkin Strudel.” This easy-to-prepare recipe combines canned pumpkin and layers of crispy phyllo dough in a delicious dessert treat that also contains no trans fats and a modest 187 calories per serving.

“For dialysis patients, some traditional holiday favorites like sweet potatoes, egg nog, chocolate and nuts can be harmful,” said Carolyn Latham, vice president of clinical quality and UltraCare at FMCNA. “But with a bit of planning, they can still enjoy delicious foods and social events, while making smart eating decisions.”

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