Imagine curling up by the Christmas tree with a mug of hot chocolate while feeling completely confident that you are still caring for your kidney health. I know between the sugar, phosphorus and potassium in some store brand hot chocolate mixes, it can be confusing knowing if or what you can have. However, you can drink hot chocolate when you have CKD. Today, I’m sharing what to look for when choosing hot chocolate from the store as well as my favorite homemade recipe you can try and enjoy it knowing that it’s kidney friendly!Jump to Recipe
Those with CKD are at risk for hyperkalemia, which means the potassium level in your blood is higher than normal. This happens when your kidneys are not able to excrete potassium as quickly.
Symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, and nausea or vomiting. However, having chocolate with potassium will not ruin your progress with your kidney disease. Why? Because not everyone with CKD needs to restrict potassium in their diet. Actually, a lot of people with CKD need more potassium to lower their blood pressure and overall kidney health.
If you do in fact need a potassium restriction and you still want to enjoy chocolate, look for chocolate with lower potassium.
Phosphate additives are 100% absorbed in the body and if you have CKD, this can lead to high phosphorus levels.
Similarly to potassium, phosphorus is excreted through the kidneys. If phosphorus levels remain high, it causes calcium to be pulled from bones, making them weak.
Symptoms include muscle cramps, bone and joint pain, itchy skin and weak bones. However, this doesn’t mean that all foods with phosphorus need to be eliminated. It just means that paying attention to your labs and food labels can ensure you’re making food choices that honor your body’s needs.
High levels of blood sugar over a long period of time can damage blood vessels and nephrons in the kidneys making it more difficult for them to filter.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include, increased urination, increased thirst or dry mouth, fatigue, recurrent infections or sickness. Again, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sugar, it just means that you want to be mindful of blood sugar balance when enjoying foods with sugar. One way to do this is by pairing sugar with protein and fat to slow down absorption to reduce blood sugar spikes.
If you’ve given up every food you love and feel so stressed thinking that you’ll never be able to enjoy these foods in a healthy way again. I want to assure you that there is a way to enjoy the foods you love.
Working with a kidney dietitian is key to knowing if you really need a potassium restriction or not. We review your labs, medications and medical history to make sure it’s the right fit for your body.
I also give my clients unlimited support by providing customized meal plans and reviewing their food logs to ensure what they’re eating is working for their kidney health.
This Christmas hot chocolate is one I share with clients and they love it! Check it out.
185 calories, 2.5 gm protein, 31 gm carbohydrates, 5.5 gm fat, 15 mg phosphorus, 400 mg potassium, 250 mg sodium and 2.5 gm fiber
I know how overwhelming it can be to hear all of the foods you “can’t” eat when diagnosed with CKD. Knowing what you CAN eat can be so confusing. My goal is to show you that enjoying your favorite foods doesn’t have to be off-limits. So I hope you enjoy a mug of this Kidney-Friendly Christmas Hot Chocolate with the confidence of knowing you are still caring for your kidney health. Remember, everyone has different nutrient needs so be sure to work with a kidney dietitian to know your nutrient goals per day. If you want this year to be the year you finally feel confident in your eating habits to live healthfully and happily with CKD – join me inside the CKD with Confidence Coaching Program.