Kidney Diet Tips

Thanksgiving Holiday Eating Tips

Once again, the holiday season is upon us. For many, the holidays are a magical time of the year. Holidays are typically celebrated with food–lots of food. Holiday meals are challenging for those on a special diet, whether it is kidney-friendly, diabetes-friendly, heart-healthy, weight reduction, gluten-free or other.

Did you know that according to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat during the Thanksgiving meal? The fat contained in this one meal is equal to three sticks of butter! No wonder Thanksgiving marks the beginning of holiday weight gain.

It is possible to avoid or counteract the amount of calories and fat of a huge Thanksgiving meal. You will feel better in the long run, and stave off holiday weight gain by doing some “prep work”. Plus, attention to food selections and portions can help keep your Thanksgiving plate kidney-friendly.

The American Heart Association offers tips for a “Low Fat” (and lower calorie) Holiday.

  • Eat lower-fat and reduced-calorie foods for days in advance of the holiday feast, and for days after.
  • Prepare for handling your worst temptations; if you want both apple and cherry pie, take a tiny slice of each, instead of a full serving.
  • If cooking, provide low-fat foods, or ask if you can bring a low-fat dish if you are a guest.
  • Roast, steam or grill vegetables instead of frying.
  • After the meal, start a healthy tradition — a holiday walk, for instance. A slow paced walk can burn off 125 calories in half an hour.

You can modify your traditional holiday recipes to be renal-friendly and lower in fat, sugar and calories when possible. Practice portion control when filling your plate. For holiday meals and more, take a look at DaVita’s recipe collection. Many of the recipes include tips on how to lower calorie and fat content of foods, and are modified for sodium, potassium and phosphorus.

Make this a healthy and joyous holiday season!

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue Yager, MS, RDN, LDN

Sue works as a dietitian in Carpentersville and Marengo in Illinois She has been a dietitian for the past 15 years. The last eight have been in kidney care. In her spare time, Sue enjoys reading and riding her bike.