Thanksgiving Feasting without Compromising Kidney Health

Thanksgiving Feasting without Compromising Kidney Health

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Kidney Care, Patient Education

Elevate Your Thanksgiving Feasting with Kidney-Friendly Choices! Did you know that what you eat can impact not only your taste buds but also your blood pressure? This season, opt for a heart-healthy diet by selecting foods low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Your kidneys will thank you for the extra care!

Wondering what some of your favorite holiday foods can be low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol?  Here are a few to consider!  (Be sure to check with your dietician and/or physician for your dietary needs.)

It’s the best option among the traditional centerpieces. There are 168 calories and 2 grams of fat in a 4-ounce serving of breast meat without skin. (The skin adds about 50 calories and 6 grams of fat.)  However, in order to comply with a renal diet, turkey should be prepared with low-salt broth and salt-free rub. Basted turkey which typically contains too much salt must be avoided.  Some turkeys are injected with a saline solution to make them juicier, so check labels; they can have as much as 300 mg of sodium in 4 ounces.

Pumpkin spice has been a long-standing holiday flavor trend in foods and beverages. That would be fine except that “spice” often means added sugars, not just nutmeg and cinnamon. But pumpkin itself is a nutrition powerhouse high in fiber, vitamins A and C (important for vision and fighting infection), and antioxidants, and it has just 30 calories per cup.


Check the label on canned cranberry sauce and you’ll find more than 20 grams (5 teaspoons) of sugars in each quarter-cup serving. You could skip them, but these tart berries are high in fiber and rich in healthy plant compounds called polyphenols, some of which may improve your body’s ability to process glucose. You can also sweeten cranberries by making a cranberry sauce with apples or oranges.

Shrimp Cocktail
Skip the cheese and crackers, and choose shrimp as an appetizer. Five large shrimp have only 33 calories and 6 grams of protein. Shrimp do have cholesterol, but dietary cholesterol doesn’t have a significant impact on your blood lipids, though experts once thought it did. And unlike many cholesterol-rich foods, shrimp is low in saturated fat, a type of fat that’s linked to heart disease risk. Shrimp also contain antioxidants, including selenium and astaxanthin. Note that cocktail sauce may contain high amounts of sodium.

Find additional information about a Kidney Friendly Thanksgiving by reading our previous post!

Source: Consumer Reports

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