Peanut butter is a delicious food that many people enjoy on bread, crackers, or just on a spoon straight from the jar. Because it is loaded with protein, some see it as a healthy choice for a snack or even part of a meal – for regular adults. However, if you have been given a renal diet, is it still safe to eat peanut butter?
Let’s find out!
Nutritional Information for Peanut Butter
A serving of peanut butter has about 200 calories, depending on the brand. This may seem high, but the fiber and protein content help offset the calories since they keep your full longer. You could even call peanut butter a useful weight loss food!
Peanut butter also has a variety of nutritious ingredients, including Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin B6. Studies have shown that regularly consuming peanut butter can help reduce the chance of heart disease and diabetes.
Dangers of Eating Peanut Butter on a Renal Diet
Your dietary restrictions that come with your chronic kidney disease diagnosis will help you determine whether or not you can enjoy peanut butter. Because it is high in potassium and phosphorus, it isn’t a healthy choice for all patients.
However, if you eat peanut butter in moderation, it should be okay. You can use it as an occasional alternative to meat. Just be careful of the nutrition facts when purchasing your peanut butter as well as portioning it out for your meal.
Also, you want to monitor the sodium content of the peanut butter you choose. Not all are created equal, and you can actually find “low sodium” or “no salt added” varieties in the supermarket to help with that restriction.
Peanut butter may be even more acceptable for a dialysis diet, since those patients will need to increase their protein intake. Again, moderation is still important!
Alternatives to Peanut Butter for a Renal Diet
If you are wary of the potassium and phosphorus content of peanut butter, there are some healthy substitutions you can make for the food. Spread jam, jelly, or honey on your bread as they tend to have less phosphorus. Just make sure the sugar content isn’t too crazy!
If you MUST have peanut butter with your renal diet, you can also take a phosphate binder when eating the food. This will reduce the absorption of phosphorus by the body.
The binders carry the phosphorus through your digestive system where it will come out in your stool – rather than getting into your bloodstream and making your kidneys work overtime to filter all of the excess.
As you can see, peanut butter could be a safe alternative to eating meat. However, it may be too high in phosphorus and potassium for some CKD patients. Speak with your doctor or dietician about eating peanut butter with your renal diet, and always exhibit proper portion control with the food!