Published November 14, 2019
Written by guest contributor Rebecca Banning
The holidays can be a difficult time to maintain a healthy diet for anyone, especially those with PKD. From mashed potatoes to pumpkin pie, there are endless temptations during the holiday season. We’d like to recommend some helpful tips for maintaining a healthy diet while still enjoying the holiday season.
Tip #1: People who keep a food diary maintain better diet control. By recording what you eat, you are more likely to stay on track and make more kidney-friendly food choices.
Tip #2: Maintain healthy portion sizes. During a holiday dinner there can be an overwhelming number of food options. It can be tempting to overindulge with every delicious dish. It’s alright to sample many different foods, but keep your servings small. Everything in moderation.
Tip #3: Don’t fast before a holiday dinner. People tend to overeat when they are extremely hungry. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch during the day so that when dinner arrives you can resist the temptation to overeat. Your overall health is more important than a holiday feast!
Tip #4: Pick your favorite foods. Consider what you can and cannot live without. Focus on the foods that you really love and cut out the ones you can live without. Take small portions of your favorite dishes and enjoy.
Tip #5: Eat your food slowly and savor every bite. Eating slowly can help you take the time to enjoy your favorite foods without indulging on oversized portions.
Tip #6: Make foods from scratch. Canned and premade food items are often high in sodium. Instead, buy fresh and frozen ingredients. Season dishes with herbs and spices instead of salt. Making dishes from scratch gives you more control over the amount of sodium, phosphorus, and potassium in your food.
Tip #7: Serve gravy, dressing, and sauces on the side. These can be high in sodium. It is easier to manage your salt intake if gravy, dressing, and sauces are served on the side, especially when you are not making the meal and cannot be sure how much salt was added during cooking.
Tip #8: Pumpkin and potatoes are popular holiday items that are high in potassium. If you are on a potassium restricted diet, you can reduce the amount of potassium in potatoes by dicing or slicing them into small cubes or slivers and then boiling them for 10 minutes. Cutting them smaller will reduce the potassium.
Tip #9: Bring a kidney-friendly dish. If you aren’t doing the cooking, you can increase your options by bringing a dish that works with your diet.
Tip #10: Read food labels. Check ingredients for sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. Make sure the food you’re eating works with your diet.
For more tips like these, check out our cookbook (it would also make a great gift!)
The PKD Foundation does not offer medical advice. The information shared through our blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We strongly recommend that your care and treatment decisions be made in consultation with your healthcare professional team.