The RenalTracker Team
September 26, 2023

When it comes to managing kidney disease, making dietary adjustments plays a crucial role. One ingredient that often takes center stage in our meals is rice. But with various types available, it's important to know which rice is best for kidney disease.

In this blog post, we'll explore the world of kidney-friendly rice, including the benefits of CKD rice cakes, CKD rice milk, and some delicious CKD rice recipes. Let's embark on this journey toward kidney health and discover the joy of nourishing meals.

which rice is best for kidney disease

Understanding Kidney-Friendly Rice:

When it comes to kidney disease, opting for rice varieties with lower phosphorus and potassium levels is essential. Basmati rice, jasmine rice, and Arborio rice are excellent choices as they offer a delicate balance of taste, texture, and kidney-friendly nutrition. 

These rice options provide a versatile foundation for a range of dishes, ensuring you can enjoy your favorite meals without compromising your kidney health.

When comparing brown and white rice for CKD management, understanding their distinctions is crucial. Brown rice, enriched with higher fiber content and boasting a lower glycemic index, presents potential benefits over conventional white rice.

Rice and brown rice in wooden spoon on white background.

The elevated fiber aids in better blood sugar control, while the reduced glycemic index contributes to steadier energy levels. For individuals with CKD, these factors align with kidney health goals, making brown rice a favorable option for supporting overall well-being and maintaining stable metabolic processes. 

Basmati and Jasmine Rice:

White rice in a wooden spoon on a white background.

Basmati and jasmine rice stand out as preferred choices for individuals with CKD due to their reduced phosphorus and potassium content. These aromatic rice varieties offer a flavorful and satisfying option that aligns with kidney-friendly dietary recommendations

By opting for basmati or jasmine rice, individuals can enjoy a pleasant culinary experience while supporting kidney health through mindful selection that helps mitigate mineral imbalances and minimizes strain on the kidneys. 

Low Phosphorus and Potassium Content:

Choosing rice varieties that are naturally low in phosphorus and potassium is essential for individuals with CKD. This dietary approach minimizes the risk of mineral imbalances, which can burden the kidneys and potentially lead to complications.

A pile of white rice on a wooden table.

By opting for rice with reduced phosphorus and potassium content, individuals support kidney function by alleviating strain, promoting overall kidney health, and aiding in the management of CKD-related challenges. 

Cooking Techniques:

When preparing rice for individuals with CKD, employing specific cooking techniques can enhance its suitability. Preparing rice through methods like soaking and rinsing before cooking can effectively reduce its potassium content.

A person pouring water into a bowl in a kitchen sink.

This step assists in tailoring the rice to better align with kidney-friendly dietary guidelines, allowing individuals to enjoy this staple while minimizing the potential impact on potassium levels and supporting overall kidney health. 

Portion Control:

Practicing portion control is pivotal, even when opting for kidney-friendly rice options. Managing portion sizes ensures that individuals maintain a balanced and kidney-supportive diet, preventing the risk of overconsumption. By moderating rice intake, individuals can effectively control nutrient intake, including phosphorus and potassium, and safeguard against unnecessary strain on the kidneys.

A woman is mixing ingredients in a bowl of rice.

This approach aligns with overall kidney health goals and contributes to a well-rounded dietary strategy for individuals with CKD. Check this article and learn How to Portion Your Food on a Renal Diet.

Exploring CKD Rice Cakes: A Guilt-Free Crunch:

Now, you might be wondering about satisfying your snack cravings while sticking to your kidney-friendly diet. CKD rice cakes are here to save the day! Made with low phosphorus and low potassium rice, these delicious snacks offer a satisfying crunch without compromising your health goals.

A stack of white rice krispies with blueberries and raspberries.

Whether enjoyed plain or topped with delectable combinations like hummus, avocado, or low-sodium spreads, CKD rice cakes can add a touch of indulgence to your kidney-friendly snacking routine.

Introducing CKD Rice Milk: A Dairy-Free Delight:

For those who need to steer clear of dairy due to its high phosphorus and potassium content, CKD rice milk provides a fantastic alternative.

A cup of rice milk typically has 115 calories, 2 grams of fat, 66 mg potassium, and 137 mg phosphorus. Rice milk is known to boost the immune system, manage cholesterol, promote bone density and maintain skin health.

A glass of milk next to a glass of rice.

Creamy and versatile, CKD rice milk can be enjoyed on its own, poured over cereal, or used as a base for smoothies. This dairy-free delight allows you to explore various recipes, all while supporting your kidney health and maintaining that desired creaminess in your favorite dishes.

Delicious CKD Rice Recipes: A Feast for Your Taste Buds and Kidneys:

Now, let's treat our taste buds with some kidney-friendly rice recipes. From savory to sweet, these dishes will help you discover the true potential of CKD rice in your kitchen. 


Risotto With Peas And Herbs

Risotto with peas and sprigs of thyme.

Ingredients: 

Makes: 8 servings

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided (2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium (110g) onion, diced
  • 1 ½ ounces (42 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cups (360 g) Arborio rice, (or short-grain white rice, enriched), uncooked
  • 1 ½ fluid ounces white Burgundy or other white wine
  • 10 ounces peas, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons basil, fresh, chopped
  • Kosher salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine the water and chicken broth and heat in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until ready to use.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or stockpot.

  3. Add the onion and cook, reduce heat. Stir occasionally and cook, about 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

  4. Grate the cheese while the onion is cooking. Set aside.

  5. Stir in the rice when onions are softened.

  6. Continue stirring slowly over medium-high heat until the butter and onion mixture coats each grain of rice and the rice is glistening.

  7. Stir in the white wine and continue stirring until it is completely absorbed.

  8. Pour a ladle of water or broth into the rice.

  9. Stir the rice continuously with a long-handled spoon until the broth is absorbed.

  10. Add more broth, one ladle at a time, until the rice is cooked through with a creamy consistency, slightly soupy but not watery. Note: there may be broth mixture left over.

  11. Add the green peas with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the grated cheese to taste, combine well.

  12. Stir in chopped parsley and basil.

  13. Adjust seasoning with salt (if using).

  14. Serve the risotto immediately—risotto does not hold for any length of time.

Vegetable Fried Rice

A bowl of rice with vegetables in it.

Ingredients: 

Makes: 1/2 Cup Per Serving

  • 1 tablespoon raw ginger root, minced
  • 4 medium spring onions or scallions
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 large whole egg
  • ¼ cup peas, frozen
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh
  • ⅓ cup sweet yellow corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 4 cup white rice
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1tablespoon soy sauce, lite

Instructions:

  1. Prepare rice according to package directions to make 4 cups. When cooked, heat oil in a large saute pan or wok.

  2. Add diced carrots, minced garlic, minced ginger, onion, and red pepper flakes. Cook approximately 1 minute.

  3. Add bell pepper, corn, and peas. Cook for approximately 1 minute.

  4. Add rice, pepper, and soy sauce. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.

  5. Add scrambled egg and cook eggs thoroughly.

  6. Toss in sliced scallions and cilantro.

  7. Reserve some scallions and cilantro for garnish.


Conclusion:

Incorporating kidney-friendly rice into your diet doesn't mean compromising on taste or variety. Basmati rice, jasmine rice, and Arborio rice are excellent choices for individuals with kidney disease, thanks to their lower phosphorus and potassium content. With options like CKD rice cakes and CKD rice milk, you can enjoy guilt-free snacking and dairy-free alternatives. Plus, with a range of mouthwatering CKD rice recipes, you'll discover that kidney-friendly meals can be both nourishing and delicious.

Remember, you're not alone on this journey. Our RenalTracker Avoid Dialysis Meal Planning Coaching Program is here to guide and support you in making healthy choices for your kidney health. By focusing on kidney-friendly rice and incorporating it into your meals, you're taking a positive step towards better well-being. Let's savor the joy of nourishing meals together!

Sources:

Low-Protein Diet: History and Use of Processed Low-Protein Rice for the Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8534812/


Dietary therapy with low protein genmai (brown rice) to improve the gut-kidney axis and reduce CKD progression

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36173205/


Top 5 Health Benefits of Arborio Rice

https://www.foodzu.com/blog/top-5-health-benefits-arborio-rice/


4 Ways to Cook Rice: Tips for a Kidney Diet

https://www.davita.com/diet-nutrition/articles/basics/cooking-with-rice-tips-for-a-kidney-diet


CKD Nutrition: White or Brown Rice?

https://kidneyhi.org/ckd-nutrition-white-or-brown-rice/


Vegetable Fried Rice

https://www.kidney.org/content/vegetable-fried-rice


Risotto With Peas And Herbs

https://kitchen.kidneyfund.org/recipe/risotto-with-peas-and-herbs/



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