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Food Network Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. and Fresenius Medical Care Bring Bold Flavors to Restricted Diets

Celebrity Chef "Big Daddy" Creates Healthy and Delicious Recipes for People with Kidney Failure

WALTHAM, Mass. – February 28, 2011 -Maintaining a healthy diet is a goal for many people, but for those with chronic illnesses it can be a matter of life and death. During National Kidney Month this March, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, is partnering with celebrity Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., star of Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House,” to promote healthy diets that include tasty, satisfying meals for people with kidney failure.

When chronically ill patients are able to restore food as a pleasurable part of their daily lives, it helps raise their quality of life, encourages them to spend time with their family and can motivate them to be more active and healthy.

Visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com/nationalkidneymonth for Chef McCargo’s renal diet recipes and to view his cooking demonstration video. Chef McCargo revamped classic dishes for the renal diet includes Crunchy Lemon Herbed Chicken, Sautéed Beef with Creamy Mushroom and Shallot Sauce, and Chicken Tacos.

With the help of one of FMCNA’s dietitians, Diana Croxton, RD, LDN, Chef McCargo developed several new recipes with bold flavors for people with kidney failure who receive dialysis treatments and follow a strict renal diet. For these patients, finding meals that fit their restricted diets and also taste good can be a real challenge.

"The passion for food and eating is an integral part of our culture, and it truly is a key ingredient to our quality of life," said Chef McCargo. "When I meet people who have strict dietary restrictions – such as dialysis patients – it sparks my passion to help give them a great experience with food every day by providing simple and affordable recipes that the whole family can enjoy."

On his Food Network show, “Big Daddy’s House,” Chef McCargo shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking. FMCNA and Chef McCargo aim to show that people can follow their dietary guidelines, and still enjoy delicious health-oriented meals with big flavor!

"Fresenius Medical Care is thrilled to bring Chef McCargo’s passion for food to dialysis patients to help improve their quality of life," said Barbara Zebrowski, MS, RD, CSR, LDN, Corporate Dietitian at FMCNA. "It is easy to become discouraged about food when you have limitations on what you can eat. Chef McCargo will certainly inspire patients to be more creative, resourceful and excited about eating."

Many foods that we commonly eat and consider healthy can be dangerous for dialysis patients, such as nuts and beans (high levels of phosphorus) and salt. Tomatoes and oranges (rich in potassium) can also be dangerous for those on hemodialysis. Without healthy kidneys at work, these nutrients can build up in the body and cause problems including weakness, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeats and heart disease. Because of these risks, dialysis patients must eat plenty of lean protein and closely monitor their diets to ensure stronger muscles and bones and a healthier heart.

Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products from the blood, removes extra fluids and controls the body’s chemistry when a person’s kidneys fail. Dialysis patients typically require treatment on an ongoing basis (typically every two to three days) unless they receive a kidney transplant.

View Chef McCargo’s full renal diet recipes and cooking demonstration video at www.ultracare-dialysis.com/nationalkidneymonth.

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 210,000 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 1.9 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,” McCargo shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking. From comfort foods to barbeque favorites to breakfast delights, McCargo 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. McCargo’s first book, “Simply Done, Well Done” will be on shelves in April 2011 along with his bold new signature spice line, which is available for purchase now at www.aaronmccargo.com.