Family or friends home taco party. Flat-lay of Mexican traditional dishes Tacos with beef meat, corn tortillas , tomato salsa and peoples hands over green background, top view. Mexican cuisine concept

Making Tacos CKD-Friendly

By: Kellsey Reed, RDN, LDN, PatientsLikeMe Contributor

Tacos can be a great option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner because they are so versatile and delicious. But it can be hard to know how to make tacos more kidney-friendly when you have chronic kidney disease. Let’s break it down together so that you can enjoy your fave tacos with CKD!

Taco Filling Options

Tacos are typically filled with animal-based proteins like beef, pork, and chicken. When it comes to managing CKD, following a more plant-based diet can be beneficial. This could look different for everyone. Finding a way to make your tacos more plant-based needs to work for you and your family overall! Here are some of my favorite plant-based taco ideas:

Taco Toppings Options

When it comes to toppings, the more veggies, the better! In order to stick to a lower sodium, more plant-based diet for your CKD, try opting for lower sodium and plant-based toppings like:

  • Avocado slices
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • Red onion/onion 
  • Cilantro 
  • Pineapple salsa

Taco Condiment Options

    Condiments are a must when it comes to tacos! Typical condiments like hot sauce, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole can definitely fit in a kidney-friendly diet. It’s important to be mindful of portion size & sodium content. Here are some of my favorite lower sodium condiment options:

    • Gringo Bandito hot sauce
    • Melinda’s honey mustard pepper sauce
    • Tabasco sauce
    • Siete foods jalapeno hot sauce 
    • Newman’s Own chunky medium salsa
    • Margartiaville pineapple salsa
    • Muir Glen black bean salsa
    • Daisy sour cream 
    • Dash no salt added seasonings
    • Homemade taco seasoning (see below for recipes)

    Kidney-Friendly Taco Recipes

    As a kidney dietitian, here are some of my top taco recipes to recommend. Remember, everyone with CKD has different needs. Please check with your doctor and dietitian before making any changes to your diet. Be mindful that you may need to customize these recipes to better fit your needs. It may be helpful to leave out the salt in many recipes too!

    The Bottom Line

    Tacos can be a great part of a kidney-friendly diet. If you have CKD, try making your tacos more plant-based by adding more veggies and/or plant-based proteins. Be mindful of the sodium in your sauces and seasonings, and try choosing low-sodium versions of your favorite condiments.

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