Potatoes are probably one of the most versatile foods. But also one that many with chronic kidney disease (CKD) feel that they cannot eat anymore. So this blog post is all about how to safely enjoy renal diet potatoes.
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. And it is typically this potassium that those with CKD get concerned about. But remember that not everyone needs to restrict potassium. And even if that is the case, this blog post has lots of great tips and tricks or how to safely include potatoes with CKD.
Potassium and CKD
Potassium is one of the most abundant electrolytes in our bodies. Potassium is in every single cell in our body and helps our cells maintain proper fluid balance and blood pressure management. But potassium is a mineral we must get from our diet. And this is typically from good ole vegetables and fruit. How much potassium you need depends on your bloodwork. And speaking with a renal dietitian can help. Check out this blog post on Five Reasons To See A Renal Dietitian.
Renal Diet Potatoes and Potassium
Some high potassium foods, like potatoes or other root vegetables, can be be prepared in ways to reduce the potassium content. This helps us include them in a kidney-friendly diet.
One small potato (1-3/4 inches to 2-1/4 inches in diameter) contains more than 700 milligrams of potassium. And one average-sized, whole, baked potato (2-1/3″x 4-3/4″ or about 1-1/3 cups, if measured) contains 926 milligrams of potassium with the skin or 610 milligrams of potassium without the skin. If you are on a low-potassium diet (which is typically around 2000 mg per day), this is a lot of potassium in one serving.
But, newer research shows that soaking potatoes does not leach as much as we thought. So, here are some ways to reduce potassium for renal diet potatoes by leeching instead.
- Peel the potatoes
- Cut into dice (2 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm)
- Boil in water (1.5 L) for 8 minutes
- Drain potatoes
- Add clean water (1.5 litres) and soak for 12 hours
- Use as required, e.g. mash, potato salad, home fries, baked
In fact 100 g potato has 454 mg potassium. But when diced, cut and boiled for 8 min then soaked in water for 12 hours this is reduced to 122 mg. However without soaking they are reduced to 295 mg. So, if you don’t have time to soak for 12 hours. There is still a significant decrease in potassium.
Frozen French Fries
- Soak frozen fries in water (1.5 L) for 12 hours
- Drain and dry fries
- Prepare in the usual way
So 100g frozen fries has about 600-700 mg potassium because when fried the amount of potassium increases. But if soaked in water for 12 hours then fried the potassium is reduced to 70-90 mg.
What Is The Best Way To Reduce Potassium in Potatoes?
For the most effective potassium removal, potatoes must be cut into small pieces, sliced thin or grated. If boiled at least 10 minutes in a large pot of water, potassium is reduced by at least half the original amount. These potatoes will still contain 100 to 200 milligrams of potassium in a 1/2-cup serving so people on a low-potassium diet are encouraged to pay attention to portion control.
Why Include Potatoes With CKD?
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are a great carbohydrate. And are a good source of fibre in our diet. In fact 1 small potato boiled with no skin has 1.8 g fibre. And ½ cup sweet potato boiled and mashed has 4.4 g fibre and is also considered a lower in glycemic index than white potato. This means that sweet potato does not spike our blood sugars as quickly as other types of potatoes.
When preparing potatoes, it is important to avoid adding high-sodium ingredients such as salt or processed cheese. Instead, opt for low-sodium seasonings such as herbs and spices. And remember that boiling potatoes can also help to reduce the potassium content if you follow a low potassium diet.
You Also Can Add Potatoes Back! How To Include Renal Diet Potatoes.
Incorporating potatoes into your kidney-friendly diet can be a healthy and nutritious choice. Potatoes are a good source of potassium and dietary fiber, both of which are important for kidney function and overall health. By preparing potatoes in a healthy way, that includes lowering potassium if needed and low in salt should be considered.
If you’re looking to make changes to your nutrition or learn about what you should be eating for CKD, Kidney Nutrition Fast Track course is here to help get you started. Learn about it here.
Want to work together? Connect with Kidney Nutrition here.
Want to learn more about Emily? Learn more here.