Satisfaction from food or a meal is something everyone wants. Although many foods may be restricted or limited on a low protein diet, you do not have to compromise taste. Selecting the foods you eat involves a variety of factors. We choose foods based on taste and smell, in addition to texture, sight and culture.
To make the most of your meal, begin by identifying what you crave, like spicy, sweet, crunchy or salty. This will make your meal more satisfying.Here are some tips to help you make the most of your meal.
Spicy: Add seasonings that can add a kick. For example, add cracked pepper, crushed red pepper or hot sauce to steamed vegetables to give a familiar item a new twist.
Sweet & Tangy: Satisfy your sweet and tangy craving with grilled pineapple topped with BBQ sauce on a low protein bun. You can also add mandarin oranges and Italian dressing to a garden salad for added flavor and tang.
Crunchy: With a little creativity you can add a snap to any dish. Make your own salad croutons with low protein bread. Season them in a variety of ways by using garlic powder, cayenne pepper or Italian herbs depending on your personal desire for savory or spice. Another great way to add crunch is to include raw vegetables, like cucumbers or carrots slices to a salad or sandwich.
Salty: Salt is among the most popular taste craving. Although highly desired, salt is an ingredient to be used in moderation. A little bit goes a long way. To satisfy your craving for salt, try slicing fresh potatoes very thin and sprinkling with garlic and a touch of sea salt. Bake them until crisp for a satisfying addition to your meal or snack.
Smooth and Creamy: Create your own creamy low protein dip with your favorite seasonings for a flavorful way to enjoy Low Protein Crackers or fresh cut vegetables. You can also include a sweet treat at the end of your meal to help satisfy your need for something smooth and creamy.
For those following a low protein diet for a medical reason, FRUITS and VEGETABLES are a very important part of the diet. The good news is fruits and veggies are good for you and it is recommended to have a least 5 servings a day. The best of all they are typically naturally low in protein and a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemical compounds (natural) found in food that keep cells within your body strong and work to fight off illness.
Here are some quick tips for eating 5 A Day the Low Protein Way
- Included a tossed green salad as part of your dinner and lunch
- Keep celery and carrot sticks pre-cut so they are available for a quick snack
- Add fresh berries to your low protein cereal (Shop Loprofin Low Protein Cereal Now)
- Roast vegetables in advance for quick eating and reheating during the week
- Don’t leave home without it! It = An apple!
- Enjoy canned fruit cocktal (packed in juice) as an evening snack or when summer fruit is out of season
- Try something tropical like guava, pineapple, mango or papaya diced on a salad
- Add fruit to your formula and blend for a PKU formula (or any other metabolic condition) smoothie
- Freeze grapes for a cold, bite size treat
Posted by: Sandy Simons, MA, RD, CHES
Sandy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Education Specialist. She received her graduate training at Columbia University’s Teacher College in New York. She has been working on the industry side of metabolic nutrition for the past 11 years and is often seen at patient events around the country.
Exploring Exotic Fruits and Vegetables
You can tell summer is approaching by the increased variety of fruit and produce at your local supermarket. Exploring new fruits and vegetables can add excitement and variety to a low protein diet. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in protein and can be included in meal plans that limit phenylalanine or other amino acids.
Many fruits and vegetables we consume today were once considered exotic, but are now readily available. By exploring new items, you can open the door to new low protein foods, recipes and improved nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of fiber and other nutrients needed to maintain a healthy diet. Below are some of our favorite fruits and vegetables that can spark your culinary imagination, increase fiber intake and add a new twist to an ordinary low protein meal.
Star Fruit (Carambola) 1 medium (91g) Protein 0.9g PHE 33.7mg LEU 70mg Fiber 2.5g Kcal 28
Star Fruit, also known as Carambola, is a juicy tropical fruit grown in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia. It is also grown domestically in Hawaii and Florida, so it is readily available at your local grocery store. This exotic fruit is both fun and nutritious. When you slice through the yellow shiny skin, it resembles a 5 pointed star and is packed with fiber and vitamin C. Add it to a fruit salad or enjoy it sliced for a sweet, crisp, and refreshing low protein snack.
Figs. 1 medium (50g) Protein 0.4g PHE 9mg LEU 17mg Fiber 1.4g Kcal 39
Figs are a great way to add flavor and fiber to a meal. Figs are sweet in taste and can be diced and tossed into a salad or made into a spread to add flavor and excitement to low protein bread or scones. Besides the delicious, sweet taste, one medium fig contains 1.4 grams of fiber, an abundance of minerals and only 9mg of PHE. They can be found fresh in season or dried all year round.
Jicama. 1 cup (130g) Protein 0.9g PHE 20mg LEU 33mg Fiber 6g Kcal 49
Jicama is an often forgotten low protein food. It is a root vegetable that is native to Mexico and Central America. It has a crisp texture and when sliced open resembles a raw potato, but with much less PHE. Complete a summer meal with sliced Jicama, chili powder and a splash of lime juice for a crunchy side dish at your next barbeque. Check out Celebrity Chef, Bobby Flay’s recipe for Jicama Slaw that can be found on the food network website at www.foodnetwork.com.
Kiwi Fruit. 1 medium (76g) Protein 0.8g PHE 21mg LEU 43mg Fiber 2.6g Kcal 46
Kiwi Fruit is a good example of an exotic fruit that has become more available in local food markets. Also known as Chinese Gooseberry, once native to China, Kiwi is now grown in New Zealand, Israel, Italy and domestically in California. This little green fruit makes a great addition to fruit salads and can be diced and tossed over greens to add flavor to a salad.
Mango. 1/2 cup (83g) Protein 0.4g PHE 14mg LEU 26 Fiber 1.5g Kcal 54
Some call mango the king of tropical fruits. We call it a great low protein snack. Mango can range in colors but all have a sweet, soft texture when ripe. You can be creative with this fruit and add to low protein rice, splash with spicy seasonings or chop into a salad.
The following recipe was created by Chef Birch DeVault, MEd, Department Chair of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, Denver, CO
JICAMA AND MANGO SALAD
Per Serving: 1/8th recipe Protein: 1.4g PHE: 37mg LEU: 53mg Kcal: 125
- 2 small (730g) jicama, peeled, cut into julienne strips
- 3 cups (495g) mango, peeled, sliced
- 1 each (14g) jalapeno, seeded, diced fine
- 1 each (80g) red onion, peeled, minced
- 1 clove (3g) garlic, minced
- 1.5 fl oz orange juice
- 1 fl oz lemon juice
- 2 each (152g) kiwi, peeled, sliced
- 2 tablespoons (27g) olive oil
- To Taste salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup (8g) cilantro – chopped
Method of Preparation:
- Mix garlic, orange and lemon juice, cilantro and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add remaining ingredients, toss lightly.
- Divide in 8 servings and Enjoy!
Nutrition information obtained from the following sources: USDA nutrient database; Low Protein Food List for PKU by Virginia Schuett; The Food Processor, ESHA Research; MSUD Foodlist, Emory University; Manufacturer’s packaging. Household measurements are approximate, for greater accuracy use a gram scale.