How to Have A Healthy Kidney During Your Happy Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving draws near, you may be at a loss for what to prepare for any kidney disease suffering family members, or maybe you yourself are struggling with what’s safe to eat during the holidays while still maintaining your kidney health. Well, wonder no more! We’ve put together a brief, yet informative, list of all the Thanksgiving menu do’s and don’ts if you’re dealing with kidney issues this holiday season.

Making sure you’re preparing (or opting to eat) only low-potassium, low-phosphorus, low-protein and low-salt food items. Try opting for foods which contain higher amounts of vitamins and fiber.

Here are some more specific tips:

  • If turkey is the star of the show for your family, be sure to buy frozen or fresh. Avoid pre-basted turkeys as these are very high in sodium. If you’re doing a tofu or grain-based loaf, be sure to check the Nutrition Facts regardless.


  • Using commercial rubs is similarly not such a good idea. You should try salt-free rubs or low-salt broths. Of course, our mainstay is Mrs. Dash sodium-free seasoning which can quickly be utilized as a rub and as a seasoning substitute for table salt.


  • Keep portion size under control especially if you’re on a low to very low protein diet.


  • Avoid salty condiments like gravy, salad dressings, mustard, pickles, etc.


  • Watch intake of potatoes or sweet potatoes, since these can be high in potassium.


  • Opt for a kidney-friendly stuffing (sodium-free broth, herbs, celery and onions)


  • Opt for white rice, green beans, corn, cauliflower, carrots and dinner rolls when choosing sides.


  • For dessert, consider fruit pie, ambrosia/fruit salad, Jell-o, applesauce and/or sherbet. Avoid pumpkin pie or, if you must have a taste, be sure to share with someone!


  • Try to avoid alcohol, although depending on your stage, lab levels and doctor’s input one to two drinks may be alright. Either way, opt for water, apple juice, sparkling apple cider or cranberry juice if possible.


Utilizing these tips can ensure that you and your loved ones are ALL able to enjoy a happy, healthy Thanksgiving this holiday season. 

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