Kidney Diet Tips

Food Facts Friday: Eggnog

Eggnog is believed to have originated in England and was initially enjoyed as a hot beverage. The mixture typically contained milk, cream, sugar and raw eggs. It may have included alcohol such as rum or brandy. Today, eggnog is more widely known as a cold drink and can be purchased in many retail stores. Varieties such as Pumpkin Eggnog, Sugar Cookie Eggnog, etc. are becoming popular.

Nutrients in Eggnog

Eggnog can be considered a higher potassium and phosphorus food. Due to these nutrients, this drink food may be limited for those with kidney disease who are on a low potassium, low phosphorus diet. In addition, eggnog is also a fluid and when consumed, should be counted as such for those who have a fluid restriction.

If eggnog is something you cannot pass on during the holidays, be sure to account for the higher doses of potassium, phosphorus and fluid. Choose lower potassium entrees and desserts to avoid excessive potassium intake throughout the day. Taking the prescribed phosphorus binders is important when consuming higher phosphorus foods.

The average 8 ounce serving of eggnog contains:

  • 223 calories
  • 12 g protein
  • 20 g carbohydrates
  • 419 mg potassium
  • 277 mg phosphorus
  • 137 mg sodium

Egg Safety

When considering eggnog as part of your holiday festivities, it is important to remember food safety. Many eggnog recipes contain raw eggs. Raw eggs may contain a bacteria called salmonella that can cause illness. Symptoms of salmonella can include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Those who are pregnant, very young or elderly are at a greater risk for this illness. People with weak immune systems or chronic diseases such as kidney disease are also at a greater risk.

To reduce the risk of acquiring salmonella, consider buying and using pasteurized eggs. Pasteurization is the process of exposing eggs to heat in order to destroy the potential bacteria. Using pasteurized eggs is a safer option when a recipe calls for raw or undercooked eggs. Many ready-to-drinks sold in stores will list if the product has used pasteurized eggs for safety.

Recipes

Alternative ingredients can be used to reduce potassium and phosphorus in eggnog. Consider using rice or almond milk rather than regular milk. Using non-dairy whipped topping that does not contain phosphate additives rather than heavy whipping cream can lower the potassium and phosphorus content. Egg whites have lower phosphorus content than egg yolks. Using egg products that contain eggs whites can be a great substitute. If you are concerned with the carbohydrate content, try switching out the sugar with a sugar substitute.

 Spiced Eggnog is a recipe containing less than 150 mg of potassium and less than 100 mg of phosphorus. In addition, check out these other kidney-friendly holiday beverage recipes:  

Resources:

FoodSafety.gov. (2019). Salmonella and Eggs. [online] Available at: https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/salmonella-and-eggs [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Incredible Egg. (2019). Pasteurized Eggs | Incredible Egg. [online] Available at: https://www.incredibleegg.org/eggcyclopedia/p/pasteurized-eggs/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Pennington, J. (2019). Module 9 Nutrition and Fluids. [online] Kidneyschool.org. Available at: https://www.kidneyschool.org/pdfs/mod9/PhosphorusInFoods.pdf [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Pace, R. (2019). Kidney Friendly Holidays. [online] Kidneyfund.org. Available at: https://www.kidneyfund.org/assets/pdf/training/kidney-friendly-holiday-slides.pdf [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Williams, G. (2019). A Brief History Of Eggnog: Its Past, Including The Infamous Eggnog Riot, Is Stranger Than You Think . [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffwilliams/2016/11/29/a-brief-history-of-eggnog-its-past-is-stranger-than-you-think/#5a5e113763ef [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Jessica Fink MS, RD, LDN

Jessica Fink MS, RD, LDN

Jessica Fink has been a Registered Dietitian for two and a half years, recently in the renal specialty. She also works in the acute care setting managing a variety of nutritional needs. Jessica previously worked as a Health Inspector with a focus on food safety. She enjoys Zumba, cooking nutritious meals, and spending time with her daughter.