This hearty salad features many of our favorite fall superfoods that help support kidney health. It’s perfect for a satisfying plant-based, low protein meal for CKD. We think it would also make a great holiday starter salad or side dish!
Are sweet potatoes a kidney friendly food?
Think sweet potato is off limits for those with kidney disease? Not necessarily! The reason sweet potato always ends up on the “Avoid List” is because it is a high potassium food.
We often hear that potassium can harm your kidneys. This is a myth. Some studies actually show that potassium may help preserve kidney function. Especially for those with high blood pressure.
How much Potassium is right for people with CKD?
The recommended amount of Potassium for individuals without kidney disease is 3500 mg to 4500 mg per day. The kidney’s help keep potassium at a healthy level. When your kidney’s are not working well, you may need to reduce the amount of potassium in your diet to avoid complications.
Potassium may need to be decreased to as low as 2000 mg per day for some people with CKD. However, this depends on each persons unique needs.
Certain medical conditions, like: metabolic acidosis or high blood sugar, as well as certain blood pressure medications can increase potassium levels. On the other hand, some medications or medical conditions can cause your kidneys to get rid of a lot of potassium.
It’s important to monitor your potassium level at each blood-test and talk with your physician about any medications that can impact potassium. An expert Renal Dietitian can also help you understand how much potassium you should aim for each day.
Spaghetti Squash- a low potassium swap for sweet potato
We keep the portion size of this dish small so one serving has only 450 mg of potassium. Remember, you can include at least 2000 mg of Potassium per day (and possibly more!). Therefore, it’s reasonable for a meal to include 500-700 mg of Potassium depending on how often you eat.
If you are limiting potassium in your diet, no problem! Try swapping the sweet potato for spaghetti squash!
Check out how spaghetti squash compares to sweet potato:
- Spaghetti Squash- 4 oz. cooked= 130 mg Potassium
- Sweet potato- 4 oz. cooked= 500 mg Potassium
Big difference, right?
If you are using spaghetti squash, we recommend roasting it first. Then, instead of shredding it as noodles- chop it into chunks. This will decrease the potassium content of the dish significantly!
If you have chronic kidney disease, you may need to limit potassium in your diet. Monitoring your blood work, talking with your physician, and consulting with a dietitian can help you understand how much potassium is right for you.
This recipe is full of fall flavor and superfood ingredients that is a perfect addition to a plant-based, low protein diet for CKD!
We loved this dish served immediately while the quinoa and sweet potato was still warm, but it was equally as delicious served cold the next day for leftovers. You can make this dish a day or two ahead of time. We will be adding this as a first course for our Thanksgiving feast, let us know in the comments below if you do too!Print
This recipe was developed and tested by Jessica Prohn, MS, RD, CSR, LDN.
- 2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup avocado oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, divided, to taste
- 3/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 6 cups kale leaves, stem removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1. Preheat oved to 400℉
2. Place your cubed sweet potato on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of Avocado oil and season with half the salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender, tossing and adding the cranberries midway
3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in 2 Cups of water or per package instructions.
4. In a small bowl, add the rest of the avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, the rest of the salt and pepper to taste. Whisk well to combine.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add your chopped kale leaves and massage with your hands until the kale just starts to wilt. This will help to break down the fibers and make it more tender to eat raw.
6. Add sliced almonds, sweet potato and cranberries, and quinoa. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well. Serve immediately.
You may have heard that nuts, beans, and whole grains are not a great choice for a kidney-friendly diet because they are high in phosphorus. Wondering why we include them in many of our recipes? We include beans, nuts, and whole grains because only about 40% of phosphorus found in these plant foods are absorbed by humans. This makes them a good fit for most people’s diets! If you have questions about adding these foods to your diet, please reach out to your dietitian.
ALL information you read on KidneyRD.com is purely for informational and educational purposes. Information is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.