Now that it’s summer, the sun is up, and the days are longer. Picnics are a wonderful way to celebrate any magical summer, and what better way to enjoy a picnic than to whip up a scrumptiously delicious kidney diet salad recipes to savor under infinite blue skies!
Can kidney patients eat salads?
A kidney-friendly diet often requires low sodium, potassium, and phosphorus food choices. However, most vegetable salad recipes and packed ones available in the market may tend to go above these restrictions. This is mainly because salad dressings are often high in sodium and used in excessive amounts in salad mixes, while green leafy vegetables and other vegetables such as beans, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes contain high potassium. This is why it can be challenging for CKD patients to prepare vegetable salads.
But with the proper guidance and right ingredients used, kidney patients can also enjoy a fresh bowl of salad. In this article, you can learn how to properly prepare a kidney-friendly salad.
Whipping up a Kidney Diet Salad
A salad is composed of different food items and held together by a “dressing” to, not only add flavor and texture but more importantly, help properly absorb nutrients. Salads are one of the creative ways to add vegetables and fruits to your diet. Some may add cheese, nuts, and cooked meat as toppings to their salads. To give you an overview, here are four parts of a salad bowl.
Base or Underliner
This is the leafy base or layer of your salad. It can be Romaine, Boston, or Iceberg lettuce, Spinach, Arugula, or other salad greens in the market.
Garnishes bring appeal to any dish. With the correct garnish choice, it can improve the color and appearance of your salad. This may be nuts, croutons, spices, cheese crumbs, and seeds.
Kidney Diet Salad Dressings
The salad dressings are often semi-liquid to add moisture to a salad mixture. It can help improve the palatability and mouthfeel experience of the consumer. Some salad dressings can also contribute to proper digestion too. Its most important health function, though, is to help in the absorption of nutrients into the body, since most salad greens are rich in Vitamin A, which is a fat-soluble vitamin.
In making a kidney diet friendly salad, some parts of the salad structure may not be included because of the potassium, phosphorus, and sodium restrictions for renal patients. It is also important to be guided on how to choose kidney-friendly ingredients, especially the salad greens or green leafy vegetables of your salad. These ingredients often contain a significant amount of phosphorus or potassium, which can negatively affect your health when elevated.
What leafy vegetables are best for kidney diet salads?
Here are low potassium leafy vegetables that you can consider when preparing your vegetable salad.
1/2 cup (10.3 g)
5 inner leaves (6 g each)
Cleaning And Prepping Kidney Diet Salads
Before eating your salad greens, it is important that they are clean and safe to eat. Wash vegetables prior to consumption, or even cooking. Washing vegetables can be tricky, especially salad greens. Although salad greens may be healthy, If not washed properly might cause foodborne illnesses. Here are tips on how to clean and prepare your vegetables prior to mixing them as a salad:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap before cleaning your fresh and newly bought vegetables.
- Remove the outer leaves or any torn or bruised ones.
- Rinse the leafy greens under running water. Use your hands to gently rub the surface of the leaves. A few reminders when washing leafy greens:
- Do not soak leafy greens in a sink filled with water. The germs in the sink might contaminate the leafy greens.
- Do not soak leafy greens in a bowl filled with water. One contaminated leaf can spread to the other leaves through the water.
- If you do not have access to safe tap water, rinse with other drinkable water (such as filtered, bottled, or distilled water).
- Dry leafy greens with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Kidney Diet Salad Dressing Recipes
Mixed vegetable salads taste bland at times, which is why people commonly use salad dressings to make them more delicious and appetizing. However, for CKD patients, this may be challenging since salad dressings are typically loaded with sodium. Too much sodium in the diet can cause complications such as hypertension, heart problems, and may worsen kidney function.
Nevertheless, salad dressing is still allowed if prepared properly. Here are a few salad dressing ideas that you can try on your salad.
Lime & Mayo Dressing
Makes 5 servings
1 fresh lime, sliced into half
⅓ cup of low-fat mayonnaise (low sodium)
2 tsp. of pepper
- Squeeze the 2 fresh limes in a small bowl.
- Mix the low-fat mayonnaise into the lime juice. Then add pepper.
Easy Dijon Salad Dressing
Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoon low salt Dijon Mustard
¼ cup olive oil
⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash Herb Seasoning
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl then mix.
- You may also combine all ingredients on a jar then cover it and shake to mix.
Don’t have time to prepare the kidney friendly salad dressing recipes above? Here are low-sodium salad dressing options that you can buy from the market:
Annie’s Natural Lite Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Fat: 3 g
Sodium: 125 mg
Bolthouse Farms Organic Three Herb Vinaigrette
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Fat: 4.5 g
Sodium: 120 mg
Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Calories: 90 calories
Fat: 10 g
Sodium: 95 mg
Ready to make your own salad? Here are three kidney diet salad recipes you can enjoy this summer.
Kidney Diet Salad Recipes
We included the portion sizes and nutrition facts to help you track your calories, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus intake.
Zucchini & Squash Salad
Makes 2 servings
1 yellow squash, shaved into strips
½ zucchini, shaved into strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 ½ teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
A pinch of black pepper
- Combine yellow squash and zucchini in a large bowl.
- Mix mint, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and black pepper in a small bowl then whisk.
- Afterward, pour dressing over the squash mixture. Toss to coat.
- Divide squash salad over 2 plates.
Asian Style Cucumber & Bell Pepper Salad
Makes 2 serving
½ English cucumber, cut into lengthwise & scraped out of seeds about 2-inch size per slice
2 stalks green onions, white and tender green parts only
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, cut into thin uniform strips
1 medium-sized red pepper, cut into thin uniform strips
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves (4 g)
½ oz chopped walnuts for toppings
- Toss cucumber into a bowl together with bell peppers.
- Whisk together vinegar, sesame oil, crushed red pepper.
- Add salad dressing to cucumber and bell pepper mix then toss well.
- Serve into two servings and top with crushed or chopped walnuts ¼ oz or 1 ½ teaspoon
Strawberry Garden Salad
1 ½ cups Romaine Lettuce chopped
1 medium-sized carrot (10 g) - cut into thin medium-sized strips approx. 2-inches each
½ cucumber, sliced
1.76 oz. strawberry, sliced
½ red onion
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar mixed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- Toss all vegetables in a bowl.
- Season with balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- Top with chilled strawberries.
- Serve for two plates.
The Bottom line
In summary, CKD patients can also enjoy a fresh bowl of vegetable salad with proper guidance. Remember to:
- Wash your leafy vegetables properly under free-flowing water, and make sure that there is no soil left before using it as a salad ingredient.
- Prepare low sodium salad dressings but if you do not have time, there are low-sodium salad dressings available in the market such as Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette, Bolthouse Farms Organic Three Herb Vinaigrette & Annie’s Naturals Lite Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.
- Choose low potassium vegetables when preparing a homemade vegetable salad. You can also tweak the kidney diet salad recipes above to make it your own.
Yellow Squash Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170487/nutrients
Zucchini Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169291/nutrients
Lemon Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167746/nutrients
Fresh Peppermint Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173474/nutrients
Walnuts Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170187/nutrients
English Cucumber Nutrition Facts USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168409/nutrients
Green Onion Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170006/nutrients
Bellpepper Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170427/nutrients
Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173469/nutrients
Sesame Oil Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171016/nutrients
Cilantro Leaves Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169997/nutrients
Romaine Lettuce Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169247/nutrients
Strawberries Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/747448/nutrients
Onions Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103364/nutrients
Kale Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/323505/nutrients
Green Cabbage Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169975/nutrients
Lime Nutrition Facts; USDA - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168155/nutrients
Lettuce, Other Leafy Greens & Food Safety; CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/leafy-greens.html
Four Parts of Salad as the Structure in Salad Creation - https://chefqtrainer.blogspot.com/2019/10/4-parts-of-salad-as-structure-in-salad.html