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Oatmeal and Kidney Disease

A big bowl of hot oatmeal is a the perfect comfort food for a cool morning. But, what about if you have CKD?

Oatmeal and kidney disease can still coexist, even if you have diabetic kidney disease. Let's talk about it.

The Deal with Oatmeal and CKD?

Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber(1), (2), (3):
  • Holds water as it moves through the GI tract, which allows for softer, more pleasant bowel movements

  • Feeds good bacteria in the gut, which is good for GI function, inflammation, and blood sugar control

  • Decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol

Insoluble Fiber:
  • Provides bulk to stools and promotes more regular bowel movements

A healthy diet will generally have both types and that's why I like oatmeal. It's a "2 birds with 1 stone" sort of food.

Making Oatmeal Kidney Friendly

A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, walnuts, and cinnamon on top.
My Favorite Kidney Friendly Oatmeal is a great way to start your day!
The trick with oatmeal is:
  1. Being mindful of added sugar - the flavored packets at the store are known for being loaded with extra sugar

  2. Being mindful of serving sizes

  3. Adding delicious toppings that will increase the nutritional content of your breakfast, not decrease it!

I use steel cut oats, because they're a bit chewier and I like that. But, traditional oats are perfectly fine if you prefer them!

What makes my recipe special is that I toast the oats for a few minutes to wake up the nutty flavor of them (You can skip this step if you go with traditional oats). And what makes this recipe works for CKD is that I use half water and half unsweetened almond milk for the liquid.

I do this to keep the oats creamy, but also low in potassium and phosphorus!

Diabetes Note:

While it's important to limit your carbs when you have diabetes and your animal protein when you have kidney disease, there exists a happy medium between a diabetic and kidney diet.

For meals that are a bit more carb heavy (like oatmeal) it's important to make sure that you're balancing fiber and protein. This will slow down the rate at which carbs are broken down into sugar, and the rate at which that sugar is absorbed by the body. This is how we keep blood sugar from spiking.

This recipe has 46g of carbs, 10g of protein, and 8g of fiber per serving, making it a good choice for most people with diabetes and kidney disease!

So, without further ado, here's my favorite kidney-friendly oatmeal! Let me know what you think below!


Brandy Winfree, RDN smiling at the camera.

I'm Brandy Winfree, RDN.

When I was working in dialysis, I saw so many patients who had no idea that diet plays a HUGE role in kidney health.

I decided then that I needed to pass my knowledge onto people with kidney disease BEFORE they went into kidney failure. Not after.

That's why I became a board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition and why I started this blog. 

You deserve to take care of the kidneys that you have now and I want to share my knowledge with you to make that happen.

Are they any topics that you'd like to hear my thoughts on?

Shoot me a message here.

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