Chocolate is nature’s greatest gift. You probably thought it was water, but..no, it’s chocolate.
Thankfully, the cocoa bean does have some benefits (other than solving all of your problems and making life worth living).
The cocoa bean is full of flavonoids, antioxidants and even vitamins and minerals! (Take that vegetables!) Chocolate, and its compounds do not have any known negative effect on the function of your kidneys. But, if you have already been diagnosed with kidney disease, you may have to limit the love.
Chocolate has significant amounts of potassium and phosphorus. And when chocolate is accompanied by its little friend, the nut, potassium and phosphorus levels are even higher. According to the National Kidney Foundation, if potassium levels get too high, it may cause and irregular heartbeat, or even heart attack. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your doctor may be nixing chocolate intake altogether, based on your potassium laboratory value. (Normal levels are between 3.5 and 5.0 milligrams per deciliter.)
Will life ever be the same?
Absolutely! Your renal health is far more important than that candy bar. If you find your sweet tooth is still yearning, you’ve got options! Caramel and caramel apples, Werther’s Original hard candy, caramel-coated popcorn, chocolate covered peppermints, and chocolate wafer candy bars, are usually deemed OK, in moderation.
And! There is a whole list of other kidney-healthy candy!
- Jolly Ranchers
- Lemonheads candies
- Candy Canes
- Mike and Ike candy
- Gum drops
- Gummy Bears
- Hot Tamales
- Peeps marshmallows
- Now and Later
- Air Heads
- Laffy Taffy
- Shortbread cookies
- Sour Patch kids
Life can still be sweet. Talk with your healthcare provider on the best way to care for your kidneys as well as your sweet tooth.