Can I Have Pumpkin if I Have Kidney Disease?

Fall- I mean- Pumpkin season is here!

Is pumpkin safe for chronic kidney disease?

Is pumpkin safe for chronic kidney disease?

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, I’m sure you’ve found pumpkin-flavored items in every aisle, corner, and crevice of the store.

But is it safe to eat if you have chronic kidney disease?

Pumpkin is a type of squash. It provides vitamin A and potassium. A cup of fresh pumpkin provides 394 mg potassium but canned pumpkin provides 505 mg potassium per cup!

Free Meal Plan

While many people need more potassium (the dietary reference intake is 4,700 mg per day), a majority of those with late-stages 4-5 chronic kidney disease need to restrict potassium.

Restriction is generally needed for those on hemodialysis, but is encouraged for those on peritoneal dialysis.

Generally speaking, the recommendation for potassium limitation with CKD is between 2,000-3,000 mg per day. It all depends on your lab values and doctor’s order.

If your doctor has told you to limit potassium, fresh, cooked, and canned pumpkin is something you’ll likely be encouraged to limit.

But you can still enjoy pumpkin-flavored items!

  • Making pancakes, muffins, or cake? Add a couple tablespoons of canned pumpkin into the mix for the pumpkin flavor. And don’t forget the pumpkin pie spice blend!

  • Try pumpkin-spice flavored coffee and creamers (check for added phosphorus on the label)

  • Sign up for a meal plan to include pumpkin recipes in your customized diet

Here’s some free recipes taken straight from my meal plan membership service for you to try!

And of course, always discuss with your doctor and dietitian about any changes you should make in your diet to manage your kidney disease.

Do you need a dietitian? Book your free discovery session so we can chat!