Oatmeal & Your Renal Diet: What You Need To Know

Oatmeal & Your Renal Diet: What You Need To Know


Copy of Low Sodium and Potassium Substitutions For Your Holiday Favorites 17When you think of breakfast items cereals, both hot and cold, usually come to mind. This is especially true of oatmeal, which is a breakfast and fibrous snack favorite among most people. However, for people with kidney disease who are sticking to a renal diet , you should moderate your intake of this hot cereal option.

Oatmeal can contain high levels of potassium and phosphorus, which can be dangerous to those on a renal diet if they are eaten in excessive amounts. This is because the kidneys do not function properly to get rid of the excess amounts of these minerals and nutrients. So, oatmeal is a healthy choice, but it should be eaten in moderation to promote healthy kidney function!


Can You Have Oatmeal On a Renal Diet?


Is Oatmeal Good For Kidneys & a Renal Diet - Yes or No?


Oatmeal is a healthy hot cereal choice that contains a lot of fiber, but it can also contain high levels of potassium and is a high source of phosphorus, which are not ideal for those with a renal disease. So, if you are asking yourself if you can eat oatmeal on a renal diet, the answer is yes but only in moderation!

This can be a healthy, natural source of fiber for your diet, but the nutritional values should be measured, and the amounts of phosphorus and potassium should be documented, so your intake is not in excess for your kidneys.


Is Oatmeal High In Phosphorus?


Yes, many oatmeals contain a high level of phosphorus, but this may not be a complete deterrent from this healthy breakfast option. This is because much of the phosphorus found in oatmeal is actually bound to the phytates in the oat grains themselves.

Phytates are actually the bound versions of phosphorus that exist in things like unprocessed whole grains. This means that it is actually an anti-nutrient that prevents the absorption of the bound versions of phosphorus in the grains.

So, while there is a high level of phosphorus, not all of that will be absorbed into your body. Though it is still important to eat it in moderation and maintain a check of the phosphorus you are ingesting, you can eat oatmeal on a kidney diet.


Is Oatmeal Low in Potassium?


Oatmeal is generally higher in potassium than other cereal choices. However, most single servings contain low enough amounts of this mineral that they are not considered to be a completely off-limits option for those sticking to kidney friendly or general low potassium diets. A single cup of oatmeal can be anywhere from 120 to 180 milligrams of potassium, so it is important to look into the nutrition facts of different brands and to keep track of your overall potassium intake for each day. With all of these things in mind, oatmeal is okay for those with chronic kidney disease to eat while on a renal diet.


How Much Oatmeal Is Okay To Eat When You Have Kidney Disease?


Copy of Low Potassium Substitutes For Your Holiday Favorites 30Generally, it is recommended to only eat a half cup to one cup of oatmeal per day to keep your phosphorus and potassium intake low depending on your stage of kidney disease. Though, more specifically it can vary between the patients themselves, as the more progressive the CKD, the more watchful you have to be with your mineral intake. According to DaVita Institute, those with stage 3 kidney disease should be limited to 800 to 1000 milligrams of phosphorus a day, which is a great standard for any CKD patient to stick to safely.


Are There Healthier Choices Than Oatmeal for CKD Patients?


Oatmeal is a healthy choice for its fiber and mineral content, but its levels of phosphorus and potassium may leave some CKD patients worried about eating it. The good news is there are plenty of cereal options that can replace oatmeal that may even be more delicious and provide health benefits.


Reasons To Not Eat Oatmeal on a Renal Diet


  • High phosphorus levels
  • High potassium levels
  • Processed oatmeal has added sodium
  • Intake should be closely monitored


What Cereal Can Kidney Patients Eat Besides Oatmeal?


Corn Pops


Corn Pops are a delicious cold cereal alternative to oatmeal that doesn’t contain a lot of added sugars, and only has 30 milligrams of potassium, 160 of sodium, and has no listed phosphorus! It is also affordable and available widely in grocery stores.


Frosted Mini Wheats


If you want an alternative to oatmeal that will still have a ton of flavor and fiber, then Frosted Mini Wheats will be a perfect option for you! While this option does include 10% phosphorus, it has much less sodium at only 10 milligrams per serving, and contains 160 milligrams of potassium. You can decrease the potassium and sugars by purchasing their unfrosted version of this cereal as well.


Cream of Rice


A great hot cereal alternative to oatmeal is Cream of Rice. It is gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and while it does include ferric orthophosphate as an iron added, there are no other phosphates listed. The potassium content is only 30mg, and contains zero sodium!


Can I Eat Oatmeal Cookies on a Renal Diet?


Since oatmeal can still be eaten on a renal diet, in moderation, you can definitely eat oatmeal cookies. Just be sure you are taking into account any additional potassium, phosphorus, and sugars that are being added to make the cookie dough. Here is a great kidney-approved recipe for oatmeal breakfast cookies.


You can eat oatmeal on a renal diet, but you need to be careful how much you eat.


Oatmeal and kidney disease may not be a perfect match, but if you are following a renal diet and keeping track of your intake of phosphorus and potassium, then you can absolutely enjoy oatmeal in all of its forms as long as you do so responsibly and if needed contact health professionals. If you are looking for an alternative to this popular hot cereal, try some of the cold or hot cereal alternatives listed in this post!

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  1. I usually have oatmeal for breakfast. The box says a serving is one half cup raw, but I only use one third. I use rice milk and I also put a hand full of blueberries and one fourth of an apple, with Stevia as the sweetener. I have stage 3 CKD. Is this, ok?