If you have kidney disease, whether early or advanced stage, you have to be careful what you eat. One of the main functions of your kidneys is to filter out waste and extra material such as salt and phosphorus. If your kidneys do not function properly, you will need to limit foods that are high in sodium and phosphorus.
If you have renal failure, your doctor might recommend a low phosphorus diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy low phosphorus diet typically means consuming between 800 to 1,000mg or less phosphorus per day, which is half the amount that a normal healthy adult would usually consume.
Especially if you are on dialysis, maintaining a low phosphorus diet while getting enough protein is important. Typically, most people depend on their meats as proteins. Most meats, however, contain a high level of phosphorus. In fact, as a general rule, most high protein foods will have more phosphorus. Meats, however, rank highly on the phosphorus chart because they have high absorption rates when compared to plant based phosphorus.
There are, however, options for you. So don’t throw away your backyard grill and apron just yet.
When searching for lower phosphorus meats in your grocery store, you will want to double check ingredient labels for any added phosphorus. Phosphorus is often injected into meats, including chicken and pork, to adjust for more attractive colors and as a preservative.
When choosing your meats, it is always safest to select organic farmed meats. These options typically have fewer additives and no preservatives. Sometimes this information may not be printed on labels clearly, so talk to the butcher to get more information.
Leaner cuts of meat including beef, pork, lamb, and poultry typically contain the least amount of phosphorus. Some types of fish and other seafood are okay to eat as well.
Stay away from salmon, shellfish, organ meats and sardines. Most fish are pretty high in phosphates, but there are a few exceptions.
As with any diet, remember that moderation is key. Stick to whatever restrictions your doctor has given you, and pay attention to serving sizes. A dinner sized portion of meat, for example, is three ounces.
Here are some specific examples of lower phosphorus meats that are okay to eat in moderation:
Beef pot roast: Three ounces, cooked is about 155 mg of phosphorus
Skinless chicken breast: Three ounces cooked =190mg phosphorus
Lean ground beef (90%): Three ounces cooked= 170mg phosphorus
Canned tuna: Three ounces cooked= 130mg phosphorus
Mahi Mahi: Three ounces cooked= 215mg phosphorus
Shrimp: Three ounces cooked= 120mg phosphorus
Maintaining a low phosphorus diet may feel like you are having to eliminate some of your favorite foods. However, in moderation, you have a lot of choices. Stick to three ounce portions of select lean meats along with other low phosphorus options and you are truly missing out on less than you think. So pull out your backyard grill and tie that apron back on, and don’t get discouraged. With a little research and planning, finding lower phosphorus meats for your next meal is possible.
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