U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

What’s Cooking?

Getting together with family is a great time to take a look at classic recipes to see if there are small changes that can be made to help make the dishes a little bit healthier. Making these small changes can be especially important if you are cooking for family members who have diabetes or high blood pressure—two of the leading risk factors for kidney disease.


As you plan your meals, keep the following in mind:

  • Cook with a mix of spices instead of salt.
  • Consider preparing foods made from grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats, and whole grain corn.
  • Read food labels. Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
  • Encourage people to drink a glass of water 10 minutes before the meal to take the edge off of hunger.
An image of a mother and adult daughter chopping greens for a healthy meal.
​​ An image of a group of men and women chopping vegetables for a salad.  

You also can experiment with different recipes. Try the cornbread-crusted turkey, switch out your high-fat version of macaroni and cheese for a lower fat version and add the asparagus with lemon sauce for a healthier meal. All three recipes are featured in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Keep the Beat™ Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners cookbook.

The Deliciously Healthy Dinners cookbook shows how to quickly and easily prepare recipes that are good for your heart and your health. Recipes include dishes that were created for the NHLBI that have an American, Latino, Mediterranean, or Asian flair.


Visit the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP)​ for additional tips and healthy eating ideas.

March 5, 2014

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