Assortment of different granola cereal bars on pink background. Healthy snacks with fruits

Let’s Get Snacking! How to Make a Balanced Snack for the CKD Diet

By: Kellsey Reed RDN, LDN, PatientsLikeMe Contributor

Snacks can come in all different shapes and sizes. Chips, crackers, popcorn, pretzels, and more! When it comes to choosing snacks for your chronic kidney disease, the key is to make them balanced. What exactly does balanced mean? It means that you are combining different nutrients to optimize blood sugar balance. As we talked about previously, blood sugar balance is so important for CKD management. 

How to balance your snacks for blood sugar control with CKD

One way to balance your snacks for better blood sugar control for your CKD is to pair your carbohydrate-rich foods with protein, fat, and fiber. Studies show this helps to slow blood sugar rise and fall, leading to fewer episodes of high blood sugar. So, instead of having your favorite crackers or potato chips by themselves, try combining them with other foods. 

A more plant-based diet that contains whole grains, healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and fiber has been shown to be beneficial for those with chronic kidney disease.

When choosing your snack foods, it can be helpful to choose from these options. You will notice that some of these food items have other nutrients in them, which can be a win-win for blood sugar balance! 

Carbohydrate foods:

  • Crackers
  • Bread
  • Popcorn 
  • Oats (including most granolas) 
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, peas, turnips

Protein foods:

  • Yogurt (non-dairy yogurt and plain yogurt will have less protein than greek yogurt; this is important to keep in mind if you are on a lower protein diet for your CKD) 
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Low sodium cheese like swiss, fresh mozzarella, and ricotta cheeses
  • Low sodium nut butters
  • Legumes like lentils, edamame and chickpeas
  • Seeds like pumpkin seeds 
  • Nutritional yeast

Healthy fat foods (please note some of these foods also have protein in them):

  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Other nuts and seeds
  • Avocado
  • Heart healthy oils like avocado oil or olive oil 
  • Hummus

Fiber foods (please note some of these foods also have protein and fats in them):

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Psyllium husk
  • Beans, nuts, and seeds

Balanced snack options for CKD

  • Whole grain crackers + peanut butter + celery 
  • Whole grain toast + avocado + pumpkin seeds
  • Granola + yogurt + berries 
  • Energy bites with oats, nut butter, and chia seeds
  • Popcorn + swiss cheese + cucumber slices 
  • Carrots + hummus + hard boiled egg
  • Smoothie with oats, blueberries, flaxseeds and yogurt
  • Chia pudding with almond milk, chia seeds, and peanut butter
  • Crispy chickpeas + radish slices

Packaged snacks for CKD

When looking for quick grab and go snacks at the grocery store, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Fiber – More fiber is always better! 
  • Sodium – Be sure to choose lower sodium options (anything <140 mg per serving is considered a low sodium option) 
  • Phosphate additives – Check the ingredient list for phosphate additives and avoid them as best as you can (these can increase your risk of high phosphorus levels)
  • Potassium – Be sure to check the potassium content on the label if you need to be on a low potassium diet for your CKD 
  • Protein – If you need to follow a low protein diet, be mindful of the protein content of your snacks

Some more kidney-friendly packaged snack options could be:

  • Kind bars 
  • Lara bars
  • Skinny pop or boom chicka pop
  • That’s it bars 
  • Sabra hummus
  • Triscuits

The bottom line

Balancing your snacks can help you to manage your chronic kidney disease in a healthy way. When choosing snacks, be sure to combine carbohydrate rich foods with protein, fat, and fiber rich foods. This will help to better control your blood sugars for your CKD. If you are trying to manage all the restrictions of the CKD diet, check out to join our discussion. You can share what you are going through, ask for advice, and plan a path forward from people who understand. ⁠

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