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Caribbean: Kidney Diet Basics


Making healthy food choices is important to us all, but it is even more important if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Good nutrition gives you energy to do your daily tasks, prevent infection, build muscle, help maintain a healthy weight— and it may keep your kidney disease from getting worse.

Your kidneys help keep the right balance of nutrients and minerals in your body. But if you have kidney disease, your kidneys may not do this job very well. There are five key nutrients you may need to control: Protein, Sodium, Fluid, Potassium, and Phosphorus. Additional handouts will give you more information about each of the key nutrients. Eating the right amount of each of these can help control the buildup of waste and fluid in your blood.

Why are my food choices important?

  • When excessive nutrients, such as those mentioned above build up in your body, they can cause symptoms like swelling (or edema) , high blood pressure, bone disease, and heart problems.
  • Everyone may have a different eating plan based on your kidney function, symptoms, and laboratory results.
  • Balancing these nutrients can make you feel better.
  • Your food choices will depend on your kidney function or dialysis treatment.

How do I keep my weight the same with the new food choices?

It can be hard to get enough calories if you are limiting some foods. Calories are like fuel - they provide your body with the energy you need to live. They help you stay at a healthy body weight, give you energy to do your daily task and help your body use the protein in food to build muscles and tissues. Eating the right amount of calories is important. Talk with your kidney dietitians about ways to add or take away extra calories.

Ways to add calories

  • Coconut cream/milk*
  • Oils (avocado, coconut, canola, olive)
  • Avocado*
  • Butter or margarine
  • Shortening
  • Ghee
  • Meat fat
  • Nuts*
  • Jamaican ackee*

*High in potassium, consult your registered dietitian for adequate portion size.

Nutrition Facts for Select Caribbean Foods

*Values approximate based on recipe*

Golden apple (1 small)

  • 73.5 Calories
  • 0.361g Protein
  • 2.58mg Sodium
  • 129mg Potassium
  • 12.9mg Phosphorus

Pineapple (½ cup)

  • 41 Calories
  • 0.44g Protein
  • 0.82mg Sodium
  • 90mg Potassium
  • 6.5mg Phosphorus

Tangerine (1 small)

  • 40.3 Calories
  • 0.616g Protein
  • 1.52mg Sodium
  • 126mg Potassium
  • 15.2mg Phosphorus

Chayote/cho-cho/christophene (½ cup)

  • 12.5 Calories
  • 0.5g Protein
  • 1.32mg Sodium
  • 82.5mg Potassium
  • 11.9mg Phosphorus

Jicama (½ cup)

  • 24.7 Calories
  • 0.36g Protein
  • 2.6mg Sodium
  • 97.5mg Potassium
  • 11.7mg Phosphorus

Okra/ochro (½ cup)

  • 33 Calories
  • 1.93g Protein
  • 7mg Sodium
  • 150mg Potassium
  • 30.5mg Phosphorus

Nopale (cactus) (½ cup)

  • 6.9 Calories
  • 0.57g Protein
  • 9mg Sodium
  • 110mg Potassium
  • 6.9mg Phosphorus

Cornmeal porridge (½ cup)

  • 221 Calories
  • 4.5g Protein
  • 21mg Sodium
  • 175mg Potassium
  • 147mg Phosphorus

Curried goat (100g)

  • 109 Calories
  • 20.6g Protein
  • 82mg Sodium
  • 385mg Potassium
  • 180mg Phosphorus

Ceviche (½ cup)

  • 62 Calories
  • 10.3g Protein
  • 158mg Sodium
  • 286mg Potassium
  • 106mg Phosphorus

Paella (1.5 cup)

  • 289 Calories
  • 3g Protein
  • 150mg Sodium
  • 407mg Potassium
  • 183mg Phosphorus

Picadillo (¾ cup)

  • 162 Calories
  • 18g Protein
  • 133mg Sodium
  • 380mg Potassium
  • 152mg Phosphorus

Rice with pigeon peas (½ cup)

  • 216 Calories
  • 5g Protein
  • 162mg Sodium
  • 239mg Potassium
  • 173mg Phosphorus

Jerk chicken (½ breast)

  • 113 Calories
  • 16g Protein
  • 161mg Sodium
  • 192mg Potassium
  • 217mg Phosphorus

Roti (1 piece)

  • 129 Calories
  • 3.38g Protein
  • 128mg Sodium
  • 84.3mg Potassium
  • 67.9mg Phosphorus

Plantains (1 piece)

  • 329 Calories
  • 3.51g Protein
  • 10.8mg Sodium
  • 1310mg Potassium
  • 86.4mg Phosphorus

Beans (kidney beans, black beans) (½ cup)

  • 113.5 Calories
  • 7.6g Protein
  • 0.86mg Sodium
  • 305mg Potassium
  • 120.5mg Phosphorus

Cou-Cou (Caribbean polenta) (½ cup)

  • 221 Calories
  • 4.9g Protein
  • 21.3mg Sodium
  • 175mg Potassium
  • 147mg Phosphorus

Rice with red beans (1 cup)

  • 259 Calories
  • 6.88g Protein
  • 872mg Sodium
  • 252mg Potassium
  • 94mg Phosphorus

Squash soup (100g)

  • 69 Calories
  • 1.22g Protein
  • 253mg Sodium
  • 143mg Potassium
  • 33mg Phosphorus

Vegetable soup (1 cup)

  • 88.9 Calories
  • 4.16g Protein
  • 559mg Sodium
  • 421mg Potassium
  • 79.6mg Phosphorus

What if I have diabetes?

Following a low carbohydrate meal plan and adding these new food choices can be challenging.

Recipe: Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

Try this Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas that is tailored for patients living with kidney disease, focusing on a balanced potassium intake. Marinated in a citrus seasoning blend and lime juice, the chicken pairs perfectly with flavorful rice and green peas cooked in low-sodium chicken broth. Enjoy this hearty, nutrient-conscious meal.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas Recipe

Extra calories with seasoned chicken, buttery rice, and green peas. Perfect for CKD patients needing a flavorful, nutritious boost.

This content is provided for informational use only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for the medical advice of a healthcare professional.

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