Kidney Diet Tips

Thanksgiving: A Time for Giving Thanks

Thursday November 27th is Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate America’s beginning and give thanks for all we have. For kidney patients, following a renal diet is even more challenging when so many favorite foods are on the menu but not on the low potassium, low phosphorus, low sodium diet list.

Here are some ways to stick to your kidney diet, feel your best and be thankful:

  • Limit food intake early in the day to save up for the holiday meal.
  • Take only a few spoonfuls of items you know are high in sodium, potassium or phosphorus. You’re less tempted to eat extra after having the first serving—and you can always go back for seconds.
  • If you are on a low protein diet, pay careful attention to the amount of turkey or meat you eat.
  • If you are on a high protein diet, eat a generous portion of turkey or meat and save some for later.
  • Bring a kidney-friendly dish or two when invited to Thanksgiving at your family or friends home.
  • Checkout the Thanksgiving article with 16 holiday recipes and a shopping list
  • Soak or double boil potatoes, sweet potatoes, fresh pumpkin and winter squash to remove part of the potassium before making vegetable dishes or pies.
  • Focus on visiting with family and friends and helping with the meal instead of making the food your #1 focus.
  • Cranberries are your friend! These Thanksgiving berries are low in potassium, sodium, phosphorus and protein—but high in antioxidants.
  • Save the extra turkey sandwich or plate of Thanksgiving food for Friday. In other words, don’t overdo it and end up feeling bad.
  • Work in some activity if possible—take a walk, play a pre or post-meal game or sport; any chance to move improves your blood circulation and energy level.
  • Take the time to think about what you are thankful for in your life. Having kidney disease is not a blessing, but having access to dialysis, medications and a health care team who cares is truly a blessing.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and feel your best by including kidney-friendly foods and sticking to your kidney diet.

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.