By Christina Lund, RDN
As the holidays draw nearer, many of us find ourselves drawn to the kitchen. Many of our holiday traditions revolve around food. This can be difficult for anyone with dietary restrictions, dialysis patients included. With a little knowledge, you will be well prepared to cook traditional favorites that are tasty and renal diet appropriate.
Here are some ways that many of your favorite recipes can be altered to lower potassium, phosphorus, and sodium content.
- Substitute high sodium ingredients, like salt, soy sauce, and ketchup with herbs, spices, and low sodium sauces and condiments.
- Buy low sodium soups or make your own soup broth using soup bones and herb seasonings.
- Substitute high potassium fruits or veggies for lower potassium ones. For instance, substitute carrots for pumpkin in a pie, or make “mashed potatoes” out of cauliflower instead of potatoes.
- Don’t use salt substitutes like No-Salt®, Nu-Salt®, or Lite Salt® because they are very high in potassium. Each teaspoon contains over 2000mg of potassium – that’s the same as 4 bananas! Herb mixtures like Mrs. Dash are fine.
- Use fresh fruits and vegetables as often as possible. When you use canned or frozen foods, make sure they are lower in salt.
- If you need to limit your potassium, stick to low or medium potassium fruits and veggies like: lettuce, pears, onions, broccoli, peppers, grapes, strawberries, wax green beans, raspberries, kiwi, and watermelon.
- Keep your phosphorus low by choosing low phosphorus foods such as sorbet/sherbet, unsalted popcorn or pretzels, non-dairy creamer, unsalted pasta, Cornflakes®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, Cream of Wheat®, and grits.
Many people enjoy baking during the holidays, and recipes can be tweaked to meet the lower sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and sometimes calcium need of kidney patients.