Are snacks good or bad for you when you have CKD? What is even considered a snack? There are some common questions. So let’s break down what snacks are and the top 5 snacks for CKD.
A snack is general something eaten between meals. Most people snack at least once per day. And it could be for many reasons.
Maybe you are a grazer, and have snacks throughout the day. This could help to keep you full or control your blood sugar levels.
Others may snack if they are going long periods between meals.
Or maybe you’re snacking because you are at an event or watching TV.
Some benefits of snacking include:
- A boost of energy if going more than 4-6 hours between meals
- Curbs your appetite to prevent overeating at the next meal
- Can help you meet your nutrient needs
- Can help you maintain adequate nutrition if one has a poor appetite or are losing weight
Snacking and CKD
When snacking with CKD, we want it to be purposeful. And having nutritious and delicious snacks available can help. Something to be aware of when snacking of course include: protein, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Everyone’s nutrition needs are different, so it is important that you find snacks that fit your kidney-friendly diet.
Some things to remember with snacking are:
- Unwanted weight gain can occur if you’re snacking too much or on high calorie foods.
- You may be too full to eat at your next meal time.
- Be aware of processed snacks, these are often higher in salt, sugar and fat.
- Choose balanced snack and include fibre like vegetables, fruit or whole grains
Top 5 Snacks for CKD
Sometimes you need something to eat quickly. So here are my top 5 snacks for CKD.
Popcorn is a great snack, not only is it a whole grain with lots of fibre. Some of my favourite brands are:
You can add your own herbs or spices to flavour homemade like these kidney-friendly seasonings:
- Ranch: 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp dried chives, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp pepper
- Cajun: 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder
- Coconut Curry: 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 tsp curry powder
Veggies and Hummus
Hummus is a great plant-based protein made of chickpeas. You can easily change up your veggies and flavour of hummus each day. Some of my favourites are roasted red pepper hummus with celery, cucumber or bell peppers. Aim for 5% daily value or less for sodium in your hummus.
Homemade Trail mix
Trail mix made with nuts and seeds can provide us with some great heart healthy fats but also fibre and protein to keep us full. Try snacking on a homemade trail mix with unsalted sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut, unsalted walnuts, and dried cranberries. This is a great snack for road trips or to take to work.
Sometimes we want something quick that we can throw into our lunchbag or purse when we are out the door. Granola bars can be included in a CKD diet. One benefit is that they are often fortified with iron rich cereals. This can be helpflul for anyone with anemia.
Some of my favourite granola bars are:
Fruit makes a great snack whether it is fresh, frozen or a fruit cup. Not only is fruit portable (like apples or clementines) but it also helps to keep us hydrated and provides us with fibre.
Does today’s article speak to you?
If you’re looking to feel empowered and supported with your nutrition needs, working with a dietitian can help you gain confidence and understand your kidney-friendly diet.
Want to work together? Connect with Emily here.
Want to learn more about Emily? Learn more here.