Low-sugar Baking Substitutes on a Kidney Diet

By Hanna Kim, Nutrition Student, and Dani Renouf, RD, MSc, CDE

Are you looking for low-sugar baking substitutes on a kidney diet? Well, we have good news for you. There are many ways to bake low-sugar treats on a kidney-friendly diet. It is important to be mindful of the portion size and the amount of added sugars in baked goods as sugar often contains little to no nutritional value. The Canada’s Food Guide recommends limiting the consumption of added sugars in the diet when possible. By baking food in your own kitchen, you can control the ingredients that are added to your food while still satisfying your desire to eat something fresh out of the oven. 

Here are some tips below for tasty sugar substitutions or to reduce added sugars while baking: 

  1. Use fresh or frozen fruits: Take advantage of the fruit’s natural sweetness by adding it to your baking. Examples include frozen berries, apples and cherries.
  1. Try sugar-free jams: This is a great way to reduce your added sugar intake. Try the sugar-free strawberry jam for thumbprint cookies!  
  1. Add dried fruits: Adding dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, or dates instead of sugar will add a natural sweetness to your baked goods. 
  1. Use extracts: Vanilla, almond, and orange, to name a few, are excellent ways to bring out the natural sweetness in a recipe.  
  1. Try Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and/or ginger are a great way to add a warming sensation to your baked goods. 

When you are experimenting with ingredient substitutions on a kidney-friendly diet, it may require additional recipe changes to keep the right balance of acid, fat, liquids and leavening agents. For best results, find kidney-friendly recipes or experiment with the sugar substitutes mentioned above to find the right balance of ingredients! 

Try this Honey and Five-Spiced Roasted Pear! This recipe uses fresh pears and warm spices like 5-spice powder.

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