Jan 25, 2023
Desserts can be enjoyed by those with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but it is important to consider the portion size and content to control the intake of nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, protein and sugar. High intake of added sugar can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and heart disease. The recommended sugar intake is 5% or less per serving.
There are ways to make desserts more kidney-friendly, such as using fruit as a natural sweetener and adding fiber to the recipe. Unsweetened applesauce can be used in place of sugar, and other fruits such as berries or bananas can be used depending on the desired flavor profile. Artificial sweeteners can also be used for those with diabetes to control blood sugar levels.
When baking, it is also important to consider the type of fat used. Unsaturated fats like low sodium olive oil margarine can be used in place of butter to provide heart-healthy fats and reduce calories. Egg whites can also be used as a substitution for whole eggs as they are lower in protein, cholesterol, and phosphorus.
Reducing the sodium in recipes and using herbs and spices to add flavor is also a good idea. Cinnamon is a great replacement for salt and can add a sweet and peppery undertone. Club soda can also be used as a low sodium substitution for baking soda to help with leavening.
In terms of phosphorus, instead of using baking powder which has 1400mg per tablespoon, the recipe can be adjusted to use ½ tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. To reduce the intake of potassium and protein, using almond milk or water instead of cow or soy milk is recommended, and it is important to read food labels for no added phosphorus choices.
When preparing kidney-friendly baked goods, it is important to be prepared in the kitchen. Preheating the oven, getting all ingredients out before starting, using proper measuring cups and spoons, and using a baking thermometer or toothpick to check for doneness are all important steps.
Overall, there are many ways to make desserts more kidney-friendly and still enjoy them. Shortbread cookies, lemon cake, apple or blueberry pie, cake donuts, and pound cake are some examples of kidney-friendly desserts.
Emily Campbell is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a Master of Science in Food and Nutrition who lives in Toronto, ON. Over the years, she has experience working with individuals with a variety of kidney conditions to help them improve their eating; and preserve their kidney function through her career in hospitals as well as her private practice Kidney Nutrition. Not only does she have experience as a renal dietitian with patients, but she also has family members living with kidney disease so she understand the stress and complexities mealtime and celebrations can present. She has been practicing as a renal dietitian for over six years and am also is a two-time cookbook author of The Complete Renal Diet Cookbook and Renal Diet Cookbook for Caregivers.
This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.