12 nutrition tricks to get your phosphate under control
Your doctors and your dialysis team have a reason for getting on your nerves about phosphate all the time. Too much phosphate in your body has dangerous consequences for your health. It leads to calcium deposits in your blood vessels, which in the long run causes problems with your cardiovascular system. But at the same time, let's make one thing very clear: it's not easy to eat a diet that is low in phosphate. If your dialysis team disagrees on that, why don't they try themselves to pay attention to the amount of phosphate in every second bite they eat…
To help you master excactly this challenge, here are 12 nutrition tips to get your phosphate under control. If you can incorporate these into your daily life, you'll see that keeping your phosphate levels in the green is a cinch:
1. Favor plant-based products
Did you know that phosphate isn't always absorbed by your body right away? Your body has a much harder time absorbing phosphate from plant products than it does from animal products. So when you look up foods in the Miku app, you can turn a blind eye to plant foods in terms of phosphate because they contain less available phosphorus.
2. Choose the right cheeses
There can be big differences in the amount of phosphate in cheeses. Cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, parmesan, brie, camembert…these are the cheeses that tend to be low in phosphate and who you should therefore prefer. Emmental, raclette, mozzarella or sheep cheeses, on the other hand, are very high in phosphates.
3. Keep your fingers away from sliced toast cheese
Unfortunately, the sliced cheeses wrapped in plastic foils that you can buy for putting into toasts are true phosphate bombs across the board. You should really try to avoid them, because 25 grams of processed cheese can contain up to 600 mg of phosphate. For many dialysis patients, this is more or less half of the recommended daily value.
4. Choose the right meats
Just as with cheeses, there are big differences in different meats and sausages. For example, salami, bologna, pancetta, corned beef, boiled ham or beer ham contain very little phosphate, while a portion of liver sausage, white sausage or rabbit meat can quickly fill half of your daily guideline value of phosphate.
5. Fish fingers instead of salmon
There are also clear differences in fish. Interestingly, fish fingers, for example, contain only about half the phosphate compared to a portion of atlantic salmon.
6. Beware of additives
Many industrially processed foods are preserved or made tastier with additives. In the EU, these are whole E-numbers on the ingredients (e.g. E450). Some of these additives contain a lot of phosphate. You should pay particular attention, because this type of phosphate is particularly well absorbed by the body (almost 99%) and the amount is rarely specified.
7. Look carefully at ready-made products
Ready-made products and processed foods often contain phosphate additives to extend shelf life or enhance flavour. Instead, go for fresh products without added phosphates.
8. Take your phosphate binders properly
Phosphate binders bind phosphate in your body and excrete it directly. But to work well, you have to take the right dose at the right time. Otherwise, it doesn't really help to take them. Most phosphate binders need to be taken just before or during a meal. You may also want to take phosphate binders with your snacks or with certain drinks.
9. Take phosphate binders with your beer
Beer and wine also contain phosphate. So watch the amount you drink and take the right dose of phosphate binders with it.
10. Tartar baking powder instead of normal baking powder
Tartar baking powder is usually phosphate-free. For 500g of flour you can alternatively use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a drop of vinegar or lemon juice. Be careful though if your potassium is high, as tartar baking powder is quite high in potassium.
11. Instead of milk, try a water and cream mixture
1/3 cream and 2/3 water tastes delicious and works great for most sauces or soups. You can also change the mixing ratio depending on your needs. You can actually use water-cream mixtures the same way you use milk - for example for pudding, pancakes or mashed potatoes.
12. Combine cleverly
The total amount is what is relevant. Therefore, you can always think about how to best combine foods that are high in phosphate with those lower in phosphate. A very simple example: if you would like to eat a cheese sandwich, then eat it with a white bread rather than a wholewheat bread, because the former usually contains less phosphate.
You can find out exactly how much phosphate is in thousands of foods & recipes in the Miku app. This way, you always have your nutrition companion with you in your pocket!
- Kidney.org. Phosphorus and Your Diet Abgerufen am 6. Mai 2022