Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise are goals for many of us, but for people with chronic illnesses, a healthy lifestyle is critical to their well-being and survival. Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, today launched its Healthy Lifestyle initiative, aimed at helping people with chronic kidney disease live a better life on dialysis by becoming more physically active, eating healthy foods and enjoying more flexible lifestyles. To help FMCNA drive the campaign, Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., star of Food Network’s "Big Daddy’s House," will be developing tasty, satisfying and new dialysis-friendly recipes throughout the year for people on dialysis. Those with kidney failure receive dialysis treatments typically every two to three days and follow a strict renal diet. Chef McCargo has a down-home approach to cooking, which means getting the whole family involved in preparing meals and sharing quality time together. FMCNA and Chef McCargo will kick off the recipe series with a holiday dessert that the whole family can enjoy. "We want all dialysis patients to lead active lives. Staying physically fit and eating well are the best ways to achieve that goal and enjoy a better life on dialysis," said Carolyn Latham, vice president of Clinical Quality and UltraCare ® at FMCNA. "People with chronic kidney disease have to watch what they eat, but that doesn't mean they can't eat delicious foods. That’s why we're working with Chef McCargo to help them improve their quality of life." Throughout 2012, Chef McCargo will also promote the FMCNA initiative with clinic visits and other events, as well as education sessions that inspire patients to maintain healthy diets. "I have a real passion for cooking meals with big, bold flavors, and I'm looking forward to creating new and tasty recipes for people with restricted diets," said Chef McCargo. "I also hope to inspire people with chronic kidney disease to stay creative in the kitchen and excited about food because it can bring fun and joy to their lives, and to the lives of their families."
All dialysis patients at FMCNA facilities work with a dietitian to develop a healthy meal plan that includes plenty of protein, and limits the amount of sodium, sugar, potassium and phosphorus that they eat. In addition, patients are encouraged to eat a wide variety of renal diet foods to keep their meals exciting, while limiting their fluid intake to safe levels each day.To kick off the campaign, Chef McCargo is sharing a new holiday dessert recipe for dialysis patients, or for people entertaining family and friends with restricted diets. Of course, you don’t have to be a dialysis patient to enjoy this tasty dessert. Along with a healthy diet, the Healthy Lifestyles initiative also encourages people with kidney failure to get moving and be physically active because it can help them have a better life on dialysis. Fitness is important for many reasons: it keeps the heart and other muscles strong; increases flexibility; improves circulation, digestion, and sleep; and helps control blood pressure and body weight. Patients can also make choices in their care to help them live more normal lives, such as choosing to receive dialysis treatments at home. Many patients who receive care at home feel more empowered to live a healthy and active lifestyle, and may also feel like they have regained control over their lives. About Fresenius Medical Care Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) is the world’s leading company devoted to patient-oriented renal therapy. Through more than 2,700 clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, we provide kidney dialysis treatments to approximately 215,000 patients worldwide. We are also the world's leading maker of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Chronic kidney failure is a condition that affects about 2 million individuals worldwide.
For more information about the company’s more than 1,800 U.S. dialysis facilities, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit www.fmc-ag.com or www.fmcna.com.About Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. competed on and won season four of “The Next Food Network Star” in 2008, beating out thousands of culinary hopefuls for the ultimate dream job – his own Food Network show. “Big Daddy’s House” premiered in 2008 and continues to be a success. On “Big Daddy’s House,” Aaron shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking. Aaron whips up mouth-watering recipes inspired by many years of culinary experience and his fun-loving family while bringing a down-to-earth vibe and warm smile to the kitchen. Whether cooking with his children, relatives, friends, or even by himself, big food and big fun reign supreme.