do not eat Star fruit if you have kidney issues!

Hello, and Happy Sunday! I don’t think I have ever even seen a Star Fruit in my grocery store. I had read before that Star Fruit was a no go for people with Kidney Disease, but I never really knew why. You could guess that maybe it was too high in Potassium, or Phosphorus. Actually, it is much worse than that. Keep reading to learn more, and where I will be going with this topic this week. You still have time to get in this week’s Social Share event. You can add your info until midnight tonight Eastern Time. I am going to try to do different variations of this each weekend.

In researching the Star Fruit I learned quite a bit about Oxalates. Now I already knew that Oxalates can cause issues for people with Kidney Disease. But, what I failed to recognize is that Oxalates do not just cause kidney stones, but can cause other issues in the kidneys. If you read here a lot, then you know that I switched from a Low Carb Diet to a Plant-Based Diet with very low consumption of animal meats, or dairy, and also that I am stable Stage 3 CKD. It is a lower in fat way of eating and it really makes me feel better. But, I did not take into account that I may be getting too much Vitamin C, yes that is a bad thing, and an abundance of Oxalates. I knew leafy greens were high in Oxalates, but I did not know so many other foods were. But, that is for another day. I have been noticing some strange recurring symptoms since going fully plant-based. I am curious to discover if it is due to the Oxalates in these foods, one of which I eat almost every day.

Today, I am discussing just Star Fruit. Apparently it is quite delicious and has a lot of good nutrition qualities. However, it also has some very bad qualities. In certain parts of the world where this fruit grows, and is very popular governments have put limits on consumption of Star Fruit. Now that says something.

The problem with Star Fruit if you have Kidney Disease, and even if you don’t, is that it is very high in Oxalates. Oxalates can cause kidney stones, but it can also possibly cause Neurological issues. When the kidneys can not remove excess Vitamin C, and or Oxalates, then they build up in the bloodstream and can cause Neurotoxicity and even seizures, or brain damage. You will see a video below, and two studies to read on this topic. The one study showed that even people without kidney disease, or prone to kidney stones, can have kidney damage caused by these Oxalates from Star Fruit. A 1/2 cup of Star Fruit contains 246 mg of Oxalates. People with Kidney Disease are often recommended to have up to only 100 mg per day of Oxalates. I don’t know about you, but my kidney doctor has never offered me any nutritional advice except to limit Sodium intake. He also warned me against consuming dairy of which I hardly ever have anymore. But, if eating foods high in Oxalates you might want to have dairy with it as the calcium binds with the Oxalates. Vitamin C is broken down into Oxalates in the body. If you do decide you can’t live without Star Fruit you may wish to eat it with a source of Calcium and drink plenty of water. What plenty of water means to me may not be the amount of water you need, especially if you are on fluid restrictions. Be wise when interpreting food topics.

Of particular interest to me was the fact that Star Fruit, or it’s plant name Carambola, or Kamaranka are sometimes used in herbal remedies, or dietary supplements. It is very important to read ingredient labels to see if this is in a product you may wish to purchase. Take a few minutes to check ingredient lists when you purchase items. Also, if there are any cautions, or warnings, on a label be sure to note them. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching services, and how I can help you reach your health goals, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me.

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Study 1

Study 2


Compare radishes to tomatoes for ckd and Thanksgiving meal

Below I will share a link to a delicious roasted rosemary radish recipe. I have tried this recipe and it is delicious. It fits perfectly into my Rosemary Challenge for the month of November. But, the main point of this post is for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. While I think it is going to be a much different holiday this year, due to Covid, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a lovely meal with recipes that fit a CKD diet.

I love tomatoes, and while I don’t have a potassium restriction lots of people with CKD do. I find radishes to be somewhat bitter when eaten raw. In small amounts it is ok, like in a salad. But, when I roasted the radishes they were absolutely delicious. You could technically mash them to replace mashed potatoes. I did mine with carrots and onions too, but that is not part of the recipe below.

Nutrition for radishes in relation to CKD:

1 cup of raw radishes has: 19 calories, basically 0 fat, 4 grams of carbs, 45 mg of sodium, 270 mg of potassium, 2 grams of fiber, about 1 gram of protein, 17 mg of vitamin C, 29 mg of calcium, 0.4 mg of Iron, and 23 mg of phosphorus. The amount of potassium in 1 cup of radishes can be considered high, so you could half it.

1 cup of raw tomatoes has: 32 calories, basically 0 fat, 7 grams of carbs, 2.2 grams of fiber, 9 mg of sodium, 427 mg of potassium, 1.6 grams of protein, 25 mg of Vitamin C, 18 mg of calcium, 0.5 mg of Iron, and 43 mg of phosphorus.

I use the website Eat This Much for nutrition info. Radishes would also be a good replacement for mashed potatoes which are also very high in potassium. Check out this recipe for roasted rosemary radishes,

Update 8/13/2021: I love tomatoes. and I do eat them. I do not have issues with Potassium, however. I also really liked the roasted radishes above.

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national pumpkin month

It would make sense that October would be National Pumpkin Month. I honestly have never tried to eat pumpkin, not even pumpkin pie. I know, I am weird. But, in researching this post I decided I will most definitely be trying pumpkin. It is actually quite healthy, and with a hint of sweetness it could make a healthy snack option. I have had pumpkin seeds, but I don’t much care for them. I don’t care for seeds in general, though they are wonderfully good for you. Make sure you go for unsalted or lightly salted varieties if you have High Blood Pressure, or CKD. I would probably go for canned pumpkin, as it is quite a job if you just buy a pumpkin and do all that.

Here is some nutrition facts about pumpkin per 1 cup:

Calories: 30

Sodium: 1 mg

Potassium: 394 mg If you are on potassium restricted diet reduce amount to 1/2 cup serving size.

Carbs: 8 g this makes it a great low carb option but be careful how you prepare it.

Fiber: less than 1 g this is kind of disappointing , but another website said it had 3 g, go figure that one out.

Protein: 1.2 g another great snack option if you have CKD

Vitamin A: 197% DV Vitamin A is great for healthy eyes.

Vitamin C: 17% Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant

Iron: 4% this is great for Anemia

Vitamin B-6: 5%

Magnesium: 3%

Pumpkin is also great to add to dog food if your dog needs a little fiber or Vitamin C for skin.

So, what to do with pumpkin once you have some? Well, for me I will probably just throw it in a smoothie. That is how I eat a lot of fruits and veggies. But, with cooler weather coming I don’t enjoy smoothies as much. I might try it in soup, or make a cookie or bar treat.

Below there is a video showing 5 different recipes using pumpkin. The pumpkin mac n cheese looks fabulous, but that is a lot of cheese, and cheese means a lot of phosphorus. If you have CKD you may wish to cut back on the cheese in that recipe.

If you would like to learn more about Health Buddy Melissa and my Health Coaching Services, please use the contact form after the video to message me. I am offering all new clients one month of coaching for 25 dollars.

Is squash a fruit or vegetable? Tell me in the comments.


Foodie Friday: Vitamin C

So, this will be a new feature on this blog.  Every Friday I will focus on something to do with food.  This week, because we are right smack in the middle of Cold and Flu Season, I picked Vitamin C.  Don’t forget for the month of February, all new clients get 10% off my monthly health coaching plan.  The discount is for the monthly plan only.  Yesterday, I introduced my Walking Buddy Plan.  If you are interested in any of that, use the contact button to message me, and set up a free meet and greet.

Another tidbit of info.  As I stated previously I have started a Carb Cycling meal plan.  This is not a Keto meal plan.  Keto is very dangerous for any with Cardiac or Kidney disease.  It is not a diet I would ever follow.  Carb Cycling is alternating between high, or normal Carb intake days, and lower carb days.  I do not ever go below 50 grams of carbs per day, and average 50-75/day, on those days.  With that in mind,  my other nutrition goal is to move to a whole plant based meal plan.  Why?  Because, on my low Carb days, I find myself eating more meat, and cheese options, as they are low Carb.  This is not good for my renal meal plan.  So, I have to learn to eat low Carb options that are plant based.  Completely changing your eating style is very hard, especially when I know the rest of my family is not going to go along with it for themselves.  But, I am determined, and so should you be, whatever your goals are.

Now, about Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, and more important to kidney patients, any excess not absorbed in the body is excreted in the kidneys.  High doses of Vitamin C, above 1 gram, or 1000 mg, can cause kidney stones in some people.  It can also cause crystal formations under the skin, and in some organs, in very high doses.  Because, Vitamin C does have some antihistamine effects, it is taken quite regularly during Cold and Flu season.  Vitamin C, in pill form, above 250 mg makes me sick to my stomach.  So, it is very easy for me not to take it in supplement form.  However, because used as a prophylaxis it can build the Immune System, avoiding the Cold or Flu, slightly, and possibly shorten the length you have it, I do take 250mg every other day this time of year.  It is debatable whether it is helping my seasonal allergy issues.  Avoiding dairy helps much more.  All doses mentioned in this article are for adults, not children.

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant making it important to wound healing, and possibly cancer and cardiac disease prevention.  If you are trying to stop eating meat, and meat products, then any time you eat high iron plant based foods, you should be taking Vitamin C with it.  For example, when I eat beans, I drink 4 oz of Orange Juice with it.  The Vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron in the plant based foods.

Foods that are naturally high in Vitamin C.  These are the top 10, and in order from highest to lowest, according to My Food Data.  There are cereals that are fortified with Vitamin C.  Please note, when you buy fresh fruits and veggies, they lose a lot of their nutritional value from pick time to purchase time.  Upick farms are great for this, and buying frozen because they are frozen immediately after being picked, sealing in the nutrients.  I do not particularly like frozen fruit, unless I put it in a smoothie, which is a great option.  Frozen veggies often taste fresher, and better than raw.


2. Bell Peppers not the green ones.  They do have Vitamin C, but not as high as the colored variety.

3.  Kiwi

4.  Strawberries

5.  Oranges.  Surprised they aren’t at the top?

6.  Papayas

7.  Broccoli

8.  Tomato

9.  Kale

10.  Snow Peas

Also of note, if you are Diabetic, or on a Renal Diet, you need to monitor the sugar, and Potassium levels in each of these.