By Christina Lund, RDN, LD
The holidays are a time of family, friends, traditions, fun, and of course, food! Just because you have renal diet restrictions does not mean that you have to miss out. It is possible to enjoy holiday eating and still follow your kidney diet. Follow these tips to make kidney-friendly tips.
The holidays are a time of family, friends, traditions, fun, and of course, food! Just because you have renal diet restrictions does not mean that you have to miss out. It is possible to enjoy holiday eating and still follow your kidney diet. Follow these tips to make kidney-friendly tips during the holidays.
Make sure that your friends and family are aware of your diet limitations. They don’t want anything bad to happen to you. They also don’t want to spend the holiday in the hospital with you. Let them support you by telling them what you should be eating.
When you go to someone else’s house, bring a dish that you know is kidney-friendly, like deviled eggs, dialyzed mashed potatoes, or an apple or berry pie.
Avoid processed meats, like ham, corned beef, self-basting turkey, sausage, and smoked or cured meats, since they are high in sodium and phosphorus. Choose FRESH and NATURAL meats and seafood such as turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, pork, shrimp, clams, and fish.
Sweet potatoes and white potatoes are high in potassium. Peel them, cut into chunks, bring to a rolling boil in water, drain the water, bring to a boil in new water, finish cooking, and drain the water. Then use them in mashed potatoes or your choice of other recipes. Remember this decreases, but does not eliminate the potassium. Portion control is still needed.
Stuffing from a box is high in salt. Make homemade stuffing and season with poultry seasoning. Use low sodium broth.
Limit your fluid intake by drinking less in the days leading up to the holiday meal. Choose kidney-friendly beverages such as apple cider, lemon-lime sodas, cranberry juice, homemade iced teas or eggnog made with non-dairy creamer. Avoid colas, cocoa/chocolate drinks, bottled/canned iced teas, beer, and energy drinks.
Choose kidney-friendly desserts such as sugar cookies, fruit pies, spice cake, angel food cake or sorbet. Stay away from desserts made with chocolate, dried fruits, nuts or milk. They are high in potassium and phosphorus. Avoid candy with chocolate or nuts for the same reason. Choose hard candy, candy canes, or gum drops instead.
Practice portion control. Limit your fluid and potassium on the days up to and following the holiday meal. If you just can’t live without a certain food that should be avoided on a renal diet (think pumpkin pie), take a small sliver. Avoid grazing/nibbling all day. A few bites here and there really add up. Be aware of what you are putting in your body.BINDERS!! Bring binders to ALL of your holiday events and if you are eating a larger quantity than usual, take an extra binder or two.
DO NOT SKIP or SHORTEN your dialysis treatment. That can be life threatening! Get all of the dialysis that has been prescribed for you, especially when you are eating more food than usual.