Healthy Holiday Choices
December 01, 2021
As we enter the holiday season, we enter a time of celebration with our close family and friends. Whatever holidays you celebrate, this is a time that many enjoy their favorite foods. But we still need to be mindful of the food choices that we make. Here are some helpful reminders for you to enjoy your favorite cultural foods during this time of year!
- Be mindful of food and drink choices
It can be very easy to let loose when celebrating the holidays. Since you are on dialysis, it is important to remember your renal diet fundamentals. Talk to your doctor about alcohol. If consumed, it should be consumed in moderation with regards to your overall fluid intake and the medications you take. If they advise against it, choose sugar free lemon lime soda, ginger ale, sparkling cider, or low potassium juices like apple, grape, or cranberry juice.
It is very important to bring your phosphorus binder to all of your holiday get-togethers if you are having holiday dinner with others. Use small plates to help control your food portions and avoid snacking throughout the day. Make sure to include plenty of lean proteins throughout the day to avoid overeating during the holiday celebrations.
- Choose healthier alternatives
Try to avoid foods such as nuts, chocolate, or hot cocoa, as these foods are high in phosphorus. Pumpkin and sweet potato pie are high in potassium. Instead, try a slice of fruit pie like apple or blueberry. Jell-O, fruit sherbet, or a small slice of fruit cake are also great dessert options! If you plant to serve a potato dish, try double boiled mashed potatoes, as this cooking method will remove a lot of potassium. Try sticking to ½ cup portions for dishes that are higher in potassium or phosphorus.
- Watch out for salt!
It can be very easy to go over your sodium restriction this time of year. Avoid or limit gravies, chips, and prepackaged crackers. When seasoning meats, avoid basting and try to use spices such as chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and paprika along with olive oil to help flavor your food without using a lot of salt. Lemon and herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, and oregano are very complimentary seasonings.
- Avoid stress and make time for yourself
Holidays can get become very hectic with all the social gatherings happening all at once. It is important to take time for your mental health and to plan your days and eating accordingly. Remember your health and happiness are priorities, but also enjoy the time you have to those you are close with. If you need any help, please reach out to your center’s dietitian or social worker. We at DCC wish you a very happy holiday season!
Raag Shanker, RDN, LD
Renal Registered Dietitian