Dairy products are high in phosphorus. That’s what you’ve heard, right? But did you know, a select few items like brie, feta, and cream cheese are considered low phosphorus choices? In America, we really do love our dairy products and I can’t tell you how many times patients have been excited to find out that, yes, you CAN HAVE certain dairy products without your phosphorus shooting through the roof.
(Note about chart: The amounts listed above are one serving. One serving of cheese is the amount equivalent to an 8-ounce glass of milk. More info on dairy serving size here.)
Creamy, delectable cheesecake is something you can enjoy with your significant other, family, or just yourself. It actually freezes well, so you could freeze it and pull it out later too. It is low in phosphorus, moderate in sodium (if you can stop at 1/8 of the pie instead of the whole pie) and can be stopped with your favorite berry or cherry cheesecake topping (Yep, all those best cheesecake toppings are low in potassium too!) Don’t forget a small dollop of whipped cream! If you really want to get crazy, you could sprinkle 1-2 tsps of chocolate shavings on the top. It’ll put you back 35-40 mg of phosphorus for the day, so take that into consideration if you’re watching your phos levels (and, of course, take a binder with it…even without the chocolate). When we made cheesecake we topped ours with blackberries and a berry sauce. Here is the link to the cheesecake we made KidneyGrub Creamy Cheesecake
A word to the wise on sodium for cheesecake:.
- Crusts: I went to our local Walmart and looked at the sodium content of premade graham cracker crust, regular grahams cracker (if I were to make my own crust), and cookies (if I were to make my own crust). Turns out that there isn’t a huge difference between making your own crust from crushed cookies/graham crackers and a premade crust. In fact, there may be a little bit less sodium in a premade crust because they can be made so much thinner than a homemade crust. The crust lowest in sodium, by almost 50% was a granola crust versus the graham cracker or cookie crusts available. Some fancier stores like Wegman’s or Whole Foods might have some low sodium graham crackers or vanilla wafers you could use for a homemade crust, but there weren’t any at my local store. The point? You can cut out some sodium just by being conscious of the brand you buy, whether in a premade crust or in cookies/grahams for your crust. If the crust isn’t important to you with your cheesecake, then consider a crustless cheesecake. You’ll save yourself 100-200mg sodium per slice.
- Cream Cheese: Cream cheese varies widely in sodium content. When I looked through the cream cheese varieties it appeared that the lower the fat content, often the higher the salt content. Do yourself a favor and enjoy a regular cream cheese for this dessert instead of fat-free or 1/3 less fat. You’ll save yourself several hundred milligrams of sodium. If you’re worried about calories because of the higher fat content then just have a smaller piece.