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Almond Meal, Flax Meal and Coconut Flour and the kidney diet

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  • Almond Meal, Flax Meal and Coconut Flour and the kidney diet

    I have diabetes, and am using almond meal, flax meal, and coconut flour. Are any of those OK for kidney diet?

    Very good question but one that is a little difficult to answer because of the limited nutritional information on some of these foods. In the research that I have been able to do, I have found the following:
    Almond flour has the same nutrient profile of whole almonds. It is made up of ground-up almonds and is often used as a gluten-free substitute for white flour or wheat flour. It is an excellent source of fatty acids and protein and is low in carbohydrates. There was not sufficient data on the nutrient profile of almond flour so I had to extrapolate the data from whole almonds to ground almond meal. One quarter cup of almonds contains 162 mg of potassium and 111 mg of phosphorus. Considering that the daily recommendation for potassium is 2000-3000 mg and for phosphorus is 1000-1100 mg, this may add up rather quickly, depending on the serving size and the frequency that you include these foods. If you add this flour to occasional baked goods or breads or on cereal in the morning, you probably can safely include almond flour to your diet. Also, bear in mind that one quarter cup of whole almonds does not necessarily equal one quarter of a cup of almond flour so the proportions may not be completely accurate.
    One tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal contains 57 mg of potassium and 45 mg of phosphorus which is fairly reasonable if consumed in moderate amounts. Given the daily limits above, this can safely be included in your diet as long as your blood levels remain in the normal range.
    Coconut flour is dried, defatted and ground coconut meat. It has the consistency of wheat flour, is high in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrates. I was not able to find sufficient information on the nutrient profile of coconut flour so again, I had to extrapolate the data from dried, defatted coconut meat. One ounce contains 154 mg of potassium and 58 mg of phosphorus.
    In summary, the answer as to whether you can include these foods depends on a couple of factors. It will depend on how much you plan to consume them, the frequency of which you consume them and your lab values. If you generally have well controlled potassium and phosphorus levels, you can likely include small amounts of these foods in your diet.

    Posted by Jaime Austin, RDN, CSG, LD. DaVita Dietitian, Janesville WI