Good nutrition is important after a transplant. Not only can it help you control your weight, but it can also help you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
It’s important that you work with your transplant team to create a healthy diet. Your dietitian will likely give you specific instructions and a meal plan. Some things your dietitian may recommend are listed below.
You may have fewer dietary restrictions than you did before your transplant. However, your transplant team will likely encourage you to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of highly nutritious foods such as:
You may want to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods for meals and snacks, such as:
Saturated fats and trans fats are found in fried foods, and snack foods such as chips, cookies, donuts, and crackers. These foods may increase your cholesterol. Cholesterol can build up in the walls of your heart and cause heart disease.
Your transplant team may also ask you to limit salt as part of a healthy diet. Sodium, the main component in salt, may contribute to high blood pressure.
Consider substituting salt with different spices and staying away from foods that are salty, such as packaged snacks (potato chips, salted nuts, pretzels), canned soups, hot dogs, cured meats (ham and deli meats), and other high-sodium foods and condiments (soy sauce).
When preparing meals, it is important to wash your hands, food, and work surfaces to avoid germs. Be sure to chill food properly. Also, cook food thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria that might make you sick. Some foods may not be safe to eat. Your transplant team may tell you to avoid foods such as:
You know that good nutrition is an important part of staying healthy. Your transplant team may recommend a high-protein, low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium diet. Try some of these delicious recipes for eating right without skimping on flavor.
Click on the recipes below to view.
Protein: 13.8 g
Sodium: 368 mg
Fat: 5.2 g
Carbohydrates: 13 g
Cholesterol: 34 mg
In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Combine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture with a whisk. Add dressing to endive mixture, toss gently, and sprinkle with cheese and pecans.
Protein: 0.8 g
Sodium: 49 mg
Fat: 2.6 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Mix all ingredients together well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Fat: 5.2 g
Protein: 2 g
Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Peel potatoes and cut into slices 4 inches long and 1/4 inch wide; place in a bowl of ice water to crisp. Just before cooking, turn potatoes onto paper towel and pat dry. Spread potatoes in one layer in a shallow baking pan; sprinkle potatoes with the vegetable oil, shaking the pan to spread oil evenly over potatoes.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown. Empty potatoes onto paper towels; sprinkle with salt and paprika.
Fat: 3 g
Protein: 13 g
Sodium: 115 mg
Carbohydrates: 48 g
Cholesterol: 6 mg
Cook pasta and vegetables in separate pots according to package directions. Drain. Pour low-sodium chicken broth in a medium-sized stockpot and place over low heat. Add flour to broth, whisking vigorously to avoid clumps from forming. Add half and half or nondairy creamer.
Simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Stir occasionally while simmering. Add cooked vegetables and pasta. Cook until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Fat: 3.7 g
Protein: 5.4 g
Sodium: 72 mg
Carbohydrates: 23.5 g
Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl; pour hot water over to cover.
Let tomatoes stand until softened, about 15 minutes; drain and slice. Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms, green onions, and garlic until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add chicken broth and sherry to skillet; heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Combine orzo and mushroom mixture in bowl; add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and toss.
Carbohydrates: 0.5 g
Protein: 46.4 g
Fat: 30.4 g
To ensure even cooking, buy salmon cuts from the middle of the fillet, not the narrow tail end. When portions are the same thickness, they cook evenly.
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine syrup, water, mustard, and garlic, and simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Let cool.
Heat broiler. Arrange salmon, skin side down, on oiled rack of broiler pan. Broil salmon 4 inches from heat source for 6 minutes. Brush with sauce and broil until just cooked through, about 4 minutes more.
Fat: 9 g
Protein: 23 g
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Sodium: 210 mg
Preheat the broiler.
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in scallions to coat them with oil. Add ginger, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring until sugar dissolves and scallions are tender but still bright green, 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the zest. Season sauce generously with pepper. Set skillet aside so it keeps warm while the fish cooks.
Arrange fish on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Season fish lightly with salt and ground pepper. Broil until fish is opaque in the center at the thickest point, about 6 minutes. Divide fish among 4 dinner plates. Top each piece with a quarter of the sauce. Serve immediately.
Fat: 1 g
Protein: 35 g
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Sodium: 260 mg
Cholesterol: 90 mg
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Season interior and exterior of turkey breast with salt and pepper. In a 13 in x 9 in x 2 in roasting pan, place turkey breast on a V-shaped rack. Roast uncovered for 1-1/4 to 2 hours, or until meat thermometer registers 165°F in the deepest part of breast.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine honey and mustard. Brush glaze over breast during final 20 minutes of cooking. Remove from oven and allow turkey breast to stand for 10 minutes before carving.
Fat: 6 g
Protein: 19 g
Sodium: 44 mg
In a large skillet, heat oil to medium high, and sauté chicken pieces until brown. Remove chicken, set aside. Sauté garlic and onion in skillet until soft and golden.
Stir in chutney and spices and cook 1 minute. Add broth and wine, and heat through, stirring constantly. Return chicken to sauce, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in coconut flavoring.
Serve over hot rice.
Fat: 5 g
Protein: 27 g
Sodium: 525 mg
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Cholesterol: 66 mg
In blender or in food processor with knife blade attached, process green onions, jalapeño, ginger, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, allspice, thyme, 2 teaspoons of the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt until paste forms.
Place chicken in small bowl or in a resealable plastic bag and add green onion mixture, turning to coat chicken. Cover bowl or seal bag and refrigerate chicken 1 hour to marinate.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, toss red and green peppers with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Assemble kabobs and place on rack in broiling pan. Brush kabobs with any remaining marinade.
Place pan in broiler at closest position to heat source. Broil kabobs 5 minutes; turn and broil until chicken loses its pink color throughout, about 5 minutes longer.
Fat: 5 g
Protein: 27 g
Sodium: 390 mg
Carbohydrates: 4 g
Heat grill to medium-high heat. If using a ridged grill pan indoors, set over high heat until very hot.
In a large mixing bowl, combine arugula and spinach. Cover and refrigerate. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and salt until salt dissolves. Add ground pepper and whisk in oil until combined. Set dressing aside.
One at a time, place each piece of chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper. Using the flat side of a meat mallet (or the bottom of a small, heavy skillet), pound chicken until evenly 1/8-inch thick. If the chicken pieces are thick, it may be necessary to turn them over and repeat pounding several times. Coat chicken lightly on both sides with cooking spray. If desired, season lightly with salt and pepper.
Grill chicken until white in center, turning it once, about 3 minutes each side. While chicken grills, pour dressing over greens. Using tongs, turn the greens until well coated. To serve, place one piece of chicken on each of 4 dinner plates. Mound a quarter of the salad on top of each.
Fat: 15 g
Protein: 24 g
Sodium: 351 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a 12-inch x 8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish or shallow pan with cooking spray. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and sage. Mix well.
In another shallow bowl, combine mayonnaise and egg white and beat until smooth. Pour the flour into a third shallow bowl and dip each pork chop into it, tapping off any excess. Dip each pork chop into breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides. Place pork chops in the baking dish in a single layer. Spray each chop lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until pork is no longer pink in the center.
Fat: 3 g
Protein: 17 g
Sodium: 200 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 g
Trim fat from beef; cut beef into 3/4-inch cubes. Place beef in glass or plastic bowl. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over beef. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour.
Thread 6 beef cubes on each of 5 skewers; brush with marinade. Set oven control to broil. Broil kabobs with tops about 4 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes; turn. Brush with marinade; broil until done, 5 to 6 minutes longer. Brush with marinade.
Fat: 7.4 g
Protein: 4.1 g
Sodium: 241 mg
Carbohydrates: 35.3 g
Cholesterol: 32 mg
Place oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 425°.
Filling: In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Add pumpkin and continue to stir until smooth.
Crust: Roll dough to form an 11-inch circle and fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under and pinch edge of crust. Pour the prepared pumpkin mixture into the crust and place pie plate on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet on lowest oven rack and bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove pie from oven) and bake for an additional 50 minutes or until almost set. Let pie cool completely on wire rack.
Topping: With a mixer, beat cream at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add amaretto and powdered sugar. Beat until blended and serve with pie.
Carbohydrates: 13 g
Sodium: 50 mg
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease bottom only of 8-inch square pan. Combine all brownie ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Spread in greased pan.
Bake at 350°F for 13 to 18 minutes, or until top is dry and springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all frosting ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Spread over top of slightly cooled brownies. Cool completely.
Fat: 4 g
Protein: 11 g
Sodium: 140 mg
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Part 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Fill a 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch pan halfway with hot water. Place in oven on shelf below where chocolate cheesecake will be placed. This will prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking.
In a small bowl, combine all crust ingredients. Press onto bottom and partway up sides of springform pan. Set aside.
Part 2: In food processor or blender, combine egg whites, sugar, ricotta, cocoa, yogurt cheese, and vanilla; process, scraping sides occasionally, until smooth and thick (about 1 minute). Pour into crust.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until filling is just set (center will jiggle slightly). Turn off oven and leave cake in closed oven 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool about an hour on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
Fat: 9 g
Protein: 3 g
Sodium: 166 mg
Cholesterol: 58 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Press the prepared pie crust into a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the crust against the fluted edge and trim off any pastry that extends over top. Discard any extra dough and trimmings (about 1 ounce). Bake the crust only 5 minutes, until it is set but not brown. Cool on a rack.
Arrange the plum slices in overlapping circles to cover the bottom of the tart shell.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, fat-free sour cream, and flour until smooth. Pour the custard over the plums; it should fill the spaces between the plums.
Bake at 350°F for 18 to 20 minutes until the custard is set and the edges are slightly browned. Cool and cut into 8 equal slices.