It’s no mystery that our bodies must have protein to function properly. Without this nutrient, you would have a very hard time healing from an injury or fighting infections. While the average person needs 40-65 grams of protein each day, many renal diets given to chronic kidney disease patients limit protein to much lower amounts.
Is Protein Harmful for CKD?
When you consume protein, your body creates wastes that must be removed from the body. This is typically done through your urine. Kidneys of a CKD patient begin losing the ability to properly filter out the protein wastes from the blood. This build up of waste can lead to further kidney deterioration as well as increase your risk for heart disease or cancer.
How Much Protein Should I Eat on my Renal Diet?
Your recommended protein intake will vary based on the stage of CKD you are in. Your body size and the status of your current nutrition may also be considered when determining how much protein is safe for your to consume every day.
Patients in stages 1-3 of chronic kidney disease are often limited to your protein intake being 15 percent of your daily calorie intake. Once you make it to stage 4, this percentage may be further reduced to 10.
Those in stage 5 of CKD, also known as End-Stage Renal Disease, depend on a dialysis machine to filter wastes from the blood. When dialysis occurs, some essential amino acids may also be removed from the bloodstream. Therefore, your renal diet at this point may call for more protein to make up for what has been lost.
Limiting your Protein Intake on a Renal Diet
To stay healthy and meet your dietary needs, you will want to speak to your doctor or a registered dietician at length about your renal diet. You must make sure you are staying safe with your food choices while still eating nutritious meals.
Your renal diet may differ from another CKD patient’s, since other factors are considered. Diabetics with CKD will have a different diet plan than those without diabetes, for example.
Since your protein intake is limited on a renal diet, be sure to eat the right sources of high-quality protein that won’t cause problems for other areas of your health.
Good sources of protein that are also heart-healthy include fish, chicken breast and soy products. Consuming these rather than eggs and other types of meat can help you stick to your renal diet.
Even when you are limited on your protein intake, you must reach your recommended calorie level each day to prevent losing muscle or weight. Thankfully, being on a low-protein renal diet still gives you the freedom to consume fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and grains.
As you can see, protein can be a harmful compound for CKD if you don’t follow your renal diet and limit your intake. Your renal diet will be customized for your current health status. Get the protein you can have through high-quality sources that don’t pose other health risks.