Best Low Phosphorus Meats for Kidney Disease
When you have chronic kidney disease, it’s important to make sure you’re monitoring your nutritional intake. There are minerals and nutrients that can cause your kidneys to have to work harder. That can increase the progression of your kidney disease. However, if you monitor your nutrient intake, you can protect your kidneys from progression of kidney disease and kidney failure.
One of the nutrients that your doctor will tell you to monitor is phosphorus. Studies have shown that in the early stages of kidney disease, if you reduce your intake of phosphorus to below 1200 mg/day, you can positively impact your kidney function.
Can I Eat Meat if I Have Kidney Disease?
There’s a common myth that if you have kidney disease, you can’t have meat as a source of protein. This isn’t true. You can have meat. You simply have to monitor and create portion sizes for the type and quantity of your meat intake. For example, eating a lot of red meat has been shown to cause kidney damage. However, if you eat less red meat and increase your intake of chicken and fatty fish, you’re improving your health.
What Properties Make a Meat Good for Kidney Disease?
For a meat to be part of a healthy renal diet, it needs to be low in amounts of phosphorus. Your daily intake of phosphorus should be less than 1200 mg. It’s also a good idea to talk with your doctor about these dietary sources. They may want you to reduce that intake. Healthy meats are also low in sodium, so marinades and breading are usually not a good choice. Cold water fish tend to be good for kidney health and a healthy diet because they are high in omega fatty acids which reduce inflammation.
What Are the Best Low Phosphorus Meats that are Good for Kidney Disease?
Skinless Chicken Thigh
How Much Lean Meat Should a Kidney Patient Eat?
Protein is one of the additional challenges for people with kidney disease. In the early stages, stage 1 and 2, you’ll likely be directed to increase fruit and vegetable intake as well as reduce salt intake. Around stage 3 kidney disease, you would start to lower your protein intake. The generally recommended amount is to have no more than .8 grams of protein per kg of weight. Here’s an easy way for renal patients to figure out the amounts of protein this means for you. Your meat intake should change as your kidney disease progresses.
Your weight in pounds divided by 2.2 will give you your weight in kilograms. Now you multiply this by 0.8. Here’s the example: 220 pounds is 100 pounds. 100 pounds x 0.8 is 80 grams of protein.
More math…in an ounce of meat there is about 7 grams of protein. This means if you’re supposed to eat 80 grams or less of protein a day, that’s going to be 80 divided by 7 or 11.4 ounces.
For this 220-pound person, that’s about 3.5 ounces of meat per meal. You can weight it on a scale or know that 4 ounces is usually about the size of the palm of your hand.
If you have higher stages of kidney disease, your doctor may reduce your protein intake to .6 times your weight in kilograms. And if you’re on dialysis, then they may increase your intake.
Which Protein is the Easiest on Kidneys?
The protein that is easiest on your kidneys is poultry and fatty fish. Red meat is harder on your kidneys but is okay occasionally in small amounts. So, chicken and turkey are good choices. You might be surprised to know that the dark meat of a chicken or turkey has less phosphorus than the white meat, so it is a little healthier.
Are Red Meat & Pork Bad for Kidneys?
Generally speaking, animal protein such as red meat isn’t recommended. However, different cuts have different levels of phosphorus. A steak is going to have higher levels than a roast. And pork often comes prepared or cured which increases the phosphorus and sodium content, not good for people with kidney disease. However, a lean pork chop is a safe option with around 200 mg of phosphorus in a 3-ounce serving.
The Best Ways to Prepare Low Phosphorus Meat When You Have Kidney Disease
If you can cook your meat at home, that is the best option and can have beneficial results. Then you have complete control over what is in the meat. For example, if you go out to a restaurant and order a chicken leg, it may be marinated. This can mean added sodium and extra phosphorus.
Keep Sodium Use to a Minimum
At home, if you choose to marinate your chicken, you can make sure to keep the sodium and phosphorus levels low. The best ways to prepare your meat at home are to bake, roast, or grill the meat. Use low or no sodium spice blends to add flavor or as a salt substitute.
Skip the Breading and Frying Oil.
Skip the breading or frying. You might, however, try an air fryer if you enjoy fried food but don’t want the added fat from unhealthy cooking oils.
Read Labels Like Your Life Depends on It
If you do choose to use a marinade or sauce with your meat, make it yourself or learn to read the food labels carefully. Phosphorus doesn’t have to be on the label, so you have to look at the ingredients. Any ingredient that has “phos” in it is a source of phosphorus. Examples include, dicalcium phosphate, disodium phosphate, monosodium phosphate, and phosphoric acid
Thank you. This has been so helpful. Us sisters have different stages of ckd. Im stage 2,middle is stage 3,older sisters is end stage. I don’t want to end up on dialysis, so I must eat and do better so I can so it down a little.
betty key says
I learn a lot from you with controlling my kidney disease, I am a stage 4 patient on peritineal dialysis. Thank you.
Patti Drago says
Thank you for this wealth of info.
I am Stage 4 CKD and also suffer from Peripheral Neuropathy. I am constantly researching these topics to make sure I can do well to keep them from progressing.