Best Kidney Friendly Pancake Mix & Syrups

If you love pancakes AND have kidney disease, you’re probably wondering if pancakes are good for your kidneys or not? And the answer to that question would be “Usually not”, but if you keep reading, I’ll show you how you can incorporate them into your meal plan in the best possible way. Pancakes and pancake syrup are typically high on phosphorus additives, high in sodium, low in fiber, and high in sugar.

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Are pancakes high in phosphorus?

Yes, your average stack of pancakes are going to be considered a high phosphorus food. Almost all pancake mixes on the market include phosphorus additives, which are not good for people with kidney disease.

Much like other fluffy bakery products, pancakes contain baking powder as the primary leavening agent. Baking powder contains lots of added phosphorus (and in some cases is actually 100% phosphorus), which we want to avoid if we have kidney disease. The top recipe that popped up when I searched for a pancake recipe include 4 teaspoons of baking powder in the recipe for 12 pancakes. This means that ONE pancake contained an extra 152mg of phosphorus – just from the baking powder! And who eats just one pancake?

A kidney friendly pancake will contain no phosphorus additives. Always check the ingredient list to verify that none of the ingredients contain the letters “PHOS”. If you want to make your own pancakes from scratch, be sure to substitute the baking powder for a kidney friendly baking powder. You can make your own low phosphorus baking powder by mixing 1 part baking soda and 2 parts cream of tartar.

In addition to the pancakes themselves, pancake syrups often contain phosphorus additives as well (although we have found several options that don’t!)

Low Phosphorus Frozen Pancakes

There are no low phosphorus frozen pancakes on the market in the US (at least not at this time). If you prefer the convenience of frozen pancakes, I would recommend selecting one of the low phosphorus pancake mixes listed below, or adjusting a pancake recipe to substitute the baking powder. Cook as directed, and then freeze your pancakes for future use. It is a bit more time consuming than buying a box of frozen pancakes, but they will be drastically lower in phosphorus. Just be sure to use a low phosphorus syrup or topping!

Are pancakes low in potassium?

Most pancakes would be considered low potassium foods. However, there are some pancake mixes on the market that are made from different types of flour, such as coconut flour or almond flour. These pancake mixes may be considered higher in potassium. However, it is important to remember that what you pair your pancakes with can impact the overall potassium content of your meal. For example, in our Kidney Friendly Pancakes with Syrup recipe, we used one of the higher potassium mixes and ended up with a fairly low potassium meal in the end.

Check with your doctor or dietitian to understand whether or not you need to monitor the potassium content of the foods you eat. There are many reasons that potassium levels can get out of balance.

Are pancakes high in sodium?

Yes, many pancake mixes can be high in sodium, however they usually are not extremely high in sodium. Choosing some very low sodium foods to pair with your pancakes can help offset the excess sodium from the pancakes and make your overall meal a low sodium meal. Good options include: a piece of fruit, a low sodium kidney friendly yogurt, some low sodium nuts, or even topping with unsalted butter.

In general, we recommend choosing products that contain less sodium than calories. However, you can also combine foods that are high sodium with foods that are low sodium to create meals and snacks that meet this criteria instead.

For example, we used one of the low phosphorus mixes below and topped it with low sodium toppings so that our overall meal ended up with 419 calories and only 320mg of sodium, despite using a pancake mix that was technically high in sodium.

What to look for in a kidney friendly pancake mix

The number one thing to look for first are phosphorus additives. Check the ingredient list to see if any of the ingredients contain the letters ‘PHOS’. If they do, then you need to find an alternative option.

Once you find a pancake mix with no added phosphates (which is easy since we tell you exactly which ones to buy below!), we recommend taking a few more steps to help make your meal kidney friendly:

  • Pancakes will still be a higher sodium food by themselves. Since we can’t really find a low sodium pancake mix, we recommend pairing your pancakes with low sodium foods to help offset that sodium. Good options include: a piece of fruit, a low sodium kidney friendly yogurt, some low sodium nuts, or even topping with unsalted butter. If you are baking pancakes from scratch, you can also consider omitting the salt in the recipe (or using less).
  • Depending on the type of pancakes you buy and what you choose to top them with, they may be high in sugar. While enjoying a sweet treat is something we can (and should!) do from time to time, we don’t recommend making pancakes an every day food.
  • Be sure to include some fats with your meal. Most pancake mixes are high in carbohydrates and low in fat. If you choose to top your pancakes with syrup, then you’ve added more carbohydrates. To make your meal more satisfying and keep your blood sugars more even, we recommend pairing your meal with some sort of fat. Good examples include nuts (be sure to choose low protein nuts if you have CKD but are not on dialysis) or topping your pancakes with butter.
  • Most pancakes are low in fiber. In addition to adding some fats to your meal, we recommend adding some fiber, such as a high fiber piece of fruit. Use our interactive Fruit and Vegetable Guide and sort by fiber to find a fruit that you like that is higher in fiber.

What to look for in a kidney friendly pancake syrup

  1. No Added Phosphates – like pancake mixes, pancake syrups almost always have added phosphates. With syrup, they likely contain phosphate to help maintain their caramel color.

There are a few syrups on the market that have no added phosphates. If you don’t want to order these online and can’t find them in your local grocery store, then consider some alternative toppings for your pancakes to use instead of traditional syrup such as:

  • Maple syrup
  • Fruit Compote
  • Whipped Cream (if you buy pre-made, be sure there are not phosphorus additives!)
  • Butter

Can I eat pancakes if I have CKD and Diabetes?

Pancakes and pancake syrup are typically very high in carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy pancakes if you have diabetes. The key to enjoying pancakes is portion control.

The more pancakes you eat (and the bigger the pancake), the more you will raise your blood sugars. Limit the portion to a single serving and choose a topping that is more diabetes-friendly such as butter, low sugar whipped cream, or a kidney friendly sugar free syrup.

Be sure that you also include a high fat item with your pancakes to help slow down the digestion of the sugars and help you maintain more even blood sugars.

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Kidney Friendly Pancake Mix

Log Cabin All Natural Pancake Mix

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrate: 32g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 7g
This kidney friendly mix is made with whole grains, so it does have a bit more fiber than your typical pancake. This is a high sodium food, so be sure that you are offsetting the sodium with some lower sodium foods. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake & Waffle Mix

  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 20g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Sodium: 260mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 320mg
  • Calcium: 50mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
This kidney friendly pancake mix includes almond and coconut flour, which makes it a bit higher in potassium than a typical pancake mix. This mix is also considered a high sodium food, so be sure to pair it with some low sodium foods to offset the extra sodium. This brand also makes a no sugar added version as well as a Pumpkin flavored pancake mix that contain no added phosphates. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Namaste Gluten Free Waffle & Pancake Mix

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrate: 35g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 290mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 125mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g
This kidney friendly pancake mix is gluten free, which means it is a bit lower in protein (which is great for people with CKD non on dialysis). This mix also contains no added sugar, so if you are watching your sugar intake, this might be a good choice for you. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Swerve Sweets Pancake & Waffle Mix

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 139mg
  • Calcium: 32mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
This kidney friendly pancake mix also contains almond and coconut flour, although it is a bit lower in potassium. This brand is known for their low calorie sweetener, so the sugar content of this mix is quite low. As prepared, these pancakes will be a bit high in protein due to the added eggs. If you need to watch your protein intake, be sure to pair this with some very low protein foods to ensure your meal is filling, but not too high in protein. Note that this mix is also high in sodium, so be sure to offset the higher sodium with some low sodium foods. If you have diabetes, this pancake mix may be a good option. You may have higher protein needs, so the additional egg used to prepare these pancakes may not be a problem, and the lower carbohydrate content will allow you to include some high fiber fruits with your meal without adding too many carbs. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Pancake Mix

  • Calories: 190
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbohydrate: 20g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 321mg
  • Calcium: 60mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 3g
These higher protein pancakes are a great choice for people with CKD on dialysis. As prepared, they are only a little bit high in sodium. Like the rest of these kidney friendly pancake mixes, they use cream of tartar instead of baking powder, so they contain no added phosphates. If you have CKD and Diabetes, your protein needs may be higher, so these pancakes may be a good option since they are lower in sugar and carbohydrates than traditional pancakes. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Kidney Friendly Pancake Syrup

Birch Benders Keto Syrup

  • Calories: 15
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 7g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 10mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 2mg
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 0g
This kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives and is low in calories and sodium. It contains monk fruit as it’s sweetener, so this syrup may be a good choice for someone who is trying to watch their sugar or carbohydrate intake. It also (surprisingly) contains quite a bite of fiber in each serving. Birch Benders makes two additional flavors of syrup that are kidney friendly: Maple Bourbon and Maple Vanilla. Note: they also make several pancake mixes, but these are NOT kidney friendly. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Blackburn’s Pancake and Waffle Syrup

  • Calories: 260
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 66g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 50mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 38g
This kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives and is a low sodium food. It is high in sugar, so if you have diabetes or are watching your sugar intake, keep that in mind. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Griffin’s Pancake Syrup

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 30g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 10mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 21g
This kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives and is a low sodium food. It is high in sugar, so if you have diabetes or are watching your sugar intake, keep that in mind. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Karo Pancake Syrup

  • Calories: 240
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 63g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 85mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g
This kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives and is a low sodium food. It is high in sugar, so if you have diabetes or are watching your sugar intake, keep that in mind. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Sinfit Blueberry Syrup

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 95mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g
This zero calorie, zero sugar kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives, but is high in sodium compared to other syrups. If you choose this syrup, be sure to offset the extra sodium with some lower sodium foods throughout your day. This also comes in Maple and Blueberry flavors. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Wholesome Pancake Syrup

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 32g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 32g
This kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives and is a low sodium food. It is high in sugar, so if you have diabetes or are watching your sugar intake, keep that in mind. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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Walden Farms Pancake Syrup

  • Calories: 0
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 75mg
  • Phosphorus
    Additives:
    None
  • Potassium: 0mg
  • Calcium: 0mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g
This zero calorie, zero sugar kidney friendly pancake syrup contains no phosphorus additives, but is high in sodium compared to other syrups. If you choose this syrup, be sure to offset the extra sodium with some lower sodium foods throughout your day. Click the icon below to check prices and reviews for this product.

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