Sometimes you just need to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you’ve been wondering if dessert can be a part of a healthy renal diet, the answer is yes!
Some traditional desserts, however, can be loaded with potassium (and phosphorus). This blog post gives you some fun low potassium dessert ideas so you can enjoy your treat with confidence!
For more information on why controlling your potassium levels are important, read THIS.
Dessert Eating Tips
The following tips can help you make healthier low potassium dessert options:
High Potassium Sources
Watch out for these high potassium foods:
- Ice cream
- Chocolate pudding
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dried Coconut
- Dried Fruit
- High potassium fruit (bananas, pumpkin, mango, avocado, papaya, kiwi)
If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll want to read my blog post all about chocolate HERE.
Desserts That Count As Fluid
Be aware of dessert that also counts as a fluid: gelatin, ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, popsicles, custard, and pudding. These foods melt at room temperature, making them count as an additional fluid source.
If including any one of these desserts, just be mindful of your portion size and count it towards your daily fluid intake.
Limit Added Sugars
Whether you have diabetes or not, it’s important to limit how much sugar you eat to stay healthy. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your total daily sugar to 6 teaspoons for women (25g) and 9 teaspoons for men (36g).
Get in the habit of reading ingredients and looking for added sugar on food labels. Find recipes that are low in added sugar. For a healthier alternative, you can try substituting sugar with unsweetened applesauce. If you do this and there is liquid in the recipe, reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup.
You can also use allulose* or monkfruit* natural sweetener which is a 1:1 substitution for cane sugar and offers the same taste as regular sugar without the same impact to your blood sugar levels (*Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases). For a list of hidden sugar ingredients check out my Sources Of Added Sugar.
Let’s face it, there are going to be days that you go over the recommended amounts of sugar and that’s OK! What matters most about your diet is having a good foundation centered around eating fewer processed and more whole foods.
Sugar is not a bad thing in itself, only eating it in excess on a regular basis is what harms your health.
Be Careful Of “Sugar-Free” Claims
Also, just because something says sugar free does not mean it’s a better option. A lot of cookies and other desserts claim “sugar free”, but they often contain refined flours and little fiber which will still affect your blood sugar levels.
“No Added Sugar” can also be very misleading. 100% fruit juice may not have added sugar, but can contain a lot of naturally occurring sugars. One cup of unsweetened grape juice, for example, contains 36g of sugar!
I also recommend avoiding artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Sucralose, Saccharin, Acesulfame K, and as mentioned above, opting for more natural sugar alternatives such as Stevia, Allulose, or Monkfruit.
Fun Low Potassium Dessert Ideas
Now, on to the fun part! Here are a few ideas of some low potassium dessert options to include in a renal diet.
Sorbet, Fruit Ice/Popsicles, Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts
Sorbet, fruit ice, popsicles, and certain non-dairy frozen desserts can be a great low potassium substitute to traditional ice-cream made from dairy. Make your own blueberry or strawberry ice pops HERE.
Sherbet is a kidney friendly dessert since it doesn’t contain dairy and tends to be lower in potassium. However, I am not a fan of sherbet as the first three ingredients are water, sugar, and corn syrup and it usually contains 25g of added sugar per 2/3 cup. There are better options!
One of my favorite non-dairy frozen dessert options is made from Arctic Zero. I love this company and their products. They are the first to make a faba bean based dessert which is low in calories and sugar, is dairy-free, and low in potassium and phosphorus. Best of all, it tastes great!
So Delicious is another non-dairy frozen dessert option which is a little higher in calories and sugar, but still offers low potassium options such as: very vanilla made from cashew milk, and creamy vanilla made from soy milk.
Remember, these frozen desserts melt at room temperature so make sure to count them towards your fluid intake.
There are a few different types of cake that are dialysis friendly. For example, angel, lemon, pound, spice, white, and yellow cake are acceptable options. I like strawberry shortcake because you get to enjoy a lower potassium fruit along with the biscuit and topping.
I like this particular recipe (click HERE) as it’s not loaded with sugar and uses whole wheat pastry flour for the biscuits. The recipe has you add yogurt as a topping, but you can also use a non-dairy whipped topping.
Avoid Cool Whip! It’s made from hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup and phosphate additives. A good non-dairy topping to try is So Delicious CocoWhip Light or Original.
Apple Or Berry Crisp
I love apple crisp! Another fun lower potassium fruit dessert option. Here is an easy healthy apple crisp recipe (Click HERE). I would admit the nuts in the topping and you can always use unsalted butter instead of the virgin unrefined coconut oil or plant based butter.
If berries are more your thing, you can also opt for a Baked Berry Crisp. Top it off with your non-dairy whipped topping and enjoy!
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Muffins anyone? For a fun breakfast addition or snack try these low potassium lemon blueberry muffins. Muffins are great for batch baking as you can make extra, store them in the freezer and take them out when you want one.
Low Potassium Cookies
How about a low sodium, low fat, low sugar, low potassium cookie? Doesn’t sound like that much fun, does it? But, I ran across this recipe (Click HERE) and thought it would be a great way to enjoy a chocolate chip cookie guilt free. Let me know what you think!
Other low potassium cookie options are ginger snaps (made without molasses), shortbread, sugar cookies, and vanilla wafers.
Low Potassium Dessert Lowdown
As you can see, there are many low potassium dessert options that are dialysis friendly. Paying attention to the ingredients and making them from scratch at home, can make your indulgence a healthier guiltless treat.