Renal Diet? Ideas for the Thanksgiving Meal

home-page-thanksgivingIf you’re on a renal diet, you might wonder how to choose the right foods for the big Thanksgiving meal that won’t compromise your health. And if you’re cooking dinner and expect to host a guest with renal disease, you might be wondering what kind of food you should make. Planning ahead and knowing what to eat and what to prepare can make the celebration enjoyable for everyone.

When you have renal disease, it’s important to limit foods high in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. So what kind of food can you enjoy on Thanksgiving Day? Fortunately, more than you might think. If you’re a dinner guest, these tips will help you make smart food choices. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Limit salt. Limiting salt and high-sodium foods reduces hypertension, assists blood pressure medications to work more effectively and treats fluid retention. For Thanksgiving, there are lower-sodium turkeys for sale, and pick side dishes from Davita for kidney-friendly recipes.
  1. Keep track of fluids. It’s important to control the amount of fluids you drink. But there’s more to it than just limiting the amount of water you have. Even gravy and gelatin count as fluids. Pay attention to the amount of fluids you’re drinking and eating at the Thanksgiving meal.
  1. apple-pieChoose low-potassium desserts. The Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert. You can still enjoy a treat after the big meal, but be selective. Choose a low-potassium dessert like carrot cake, apple pie, or cherry pie, instead of desserts higher in potassium like rich, chocolate desserts, pumpkin or pecan pie, or fruitcake.
  1. Eat healthier potatoes. Most Thanksgiving meals include mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or both. But they’re high in potassium. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to make them healthier for those following a renal diet. Peel and cut the potatoes, then leach them in water for at least four hours, before baking or boiling. Sweet Potatoes have about half the potassium of white potatoes, so they are the wiser choice.

If you’re cooking for a crowd on Thanksgiving Day, you don’t have to cater the entire meal to meet the needs of someone on the guest list who needs to follow a renal diet. Simply preparing a few dishes with them in mind, or picking from healthier options available at will make the meal more enjoyable for you and your guests.

Keeping a close eye on your diet and food choices is important when you have renal disease. On Thanksgiving Day, enjoy a small sample of foods that look good and fit your plan to follow a renal-friendly diet. But don’t overdo it. Controlling portion sizes is another important part of following a renal friendly diet.