Okay, first of all, let’s get this confusion out of the way. This is the mental deficiency many may face as to why kidney patients may need to modify protein intake
The more amino acids that need removing, the harder the kidneys have to work. And for people with kidney disease, this can mean an acceleration of their kidney disease. However, a diet too low in protein may cause malnutrition and other serious ailments. So the solution is to eat enough protein to maintain health, but to minimize the excess amino acids and spare the kidneys. The way to do this is to eat foods with proteins that cause the least waste, that is, foods that have the right amounts (ratios) of different amino acids that the body will use most efficiently. Since we are animals, foods that come from animals (dairy foods, eggs, meat, poultry, fish) have the best combination of amino acids and produce the least waste- the “high biological value” or HBV foods. It is important to understand that grains, legumes (beans), fruits and vegetables all have varying amounts of protein made of the same amino acids in animal foods. They are not “bad foods”- its just that the amino acids they have are not in the same amounts that the human body can use most efficiently- that is, they produce more waste. This is not universally true, there are good quality vegetable sources such as soy beans that can also be used. People with kidney disease need to pay attention to both the amount and type of protein they eat. The amount of protein recommended for a renal patient is 60g/day (0.75g/kg ideal body weight).
Red bell peppers:
1/2 cup serving red bell pepper = 1 mg sodium,
88 mg potassium, 10 mg phosphorus
Red bell peppers are low in potassium and spicy. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as vitamin B6, folic acid and fiber.
1/2 cup serving green cabbage = 6 mg sodium,
60 mg potassium, 9 mg phosphorus
Cabbages are full of phytochemicals that support health and disease prevention. Many phytochemicals are known to protect against and fight cancer, as well as foster cardiovascular health. They are high in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber. Cabbages are also a good source of vitamin B6 and folic acid.
1 clove garlic = 1 mg sodium, 12 mg potassium,
4 mg phosphorus
Garlic helps prevent plaque from forming on the teeth,
lowers cholesterol and reduces inflammation.
Buy it fresh, bottled, minced or powdered, and add it to
meat, vegetable or pasta dishes. You can also roast a
head of garlic and spread on bread. Garlic provides a
delicious flavor and garlic powder is a great substitute for
garlic salt in the dialysis diet. Garlic is good for reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol. It also has antioxidant and anti-clotting properties. (Cooking garlic will not affect its antioxidant properties, but it will reduce its anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects.)
If you’re following the dialysis diet, use garlic powder
instead of garlic salt to add extra flavor to your meals
without adding extra sodium
1/2 cup serving onion = 3 mg sodium, 116 mg
potassium, 3 mg phosphorus
Onion, a member of the Allium family and a basic
flavoring in many cooked dishes, contains sulphur
compounds which give it its pungent smell. Onions also rich in flavonoids, especially quercetin, a powerful antioxidant
that works to reduce heart disease and protects against
many cancers. Onions are low in potassium and a good
source of chromium, a mineral that helps with carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help reduce heart disease and protect against many forms of cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Low in potassium, onions are not only kidney-friendly; they also contain chromium, a mineral that assists your body with the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Onions can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a variety dishes.
1 medium apple with skin = 0 sodium, 158 mg
potassium, 10 mg phosphorus
Apples have been known to reduce cholesterol, prevent
constipation, protect against heart disease and reduce the
risk of cancer. Apples are high in fiber and anti-inflammatory
compounds and keep the body and organs healthy.
The color in red grapes comes from several flavonoids.
These are good for your heart, because they prevent
oxidation and reduce the chance of blood clots. The flavonoid in grapes, resveratrol, may boost production of
nitric oxide, which increases muscle relaxation in blood
vessels for better blood flow. Flavonoids also help protect you from cancer and prevent inflammation.
2 egg whites = 7 grams protein, 110 mg sodium,
108 mg potassium, 10 mg phosphorus
Egg whites are pure protein and provide the highest
quality of protein with all the essential amino acids. For
the kidney diet, egg whites provide protein with less
phosphorus than other protein sources such as egg yolk
or meats. If you’re on a renal diet, it’s good to note that egg whites have less phosphorus than other protein sources, such as egg yolks or meats.
Three ounces wild salmon = 50 mg sodium, 368 mg
potassium, 274 mg phosphorus
Fish provides high-quality protein and contains anti-
inflammatory fats called omega-3s. The healthy fats in
fish can help fight diseases such as heart disease and
cancer. Omega-3s also help lower low-density
lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, which is bad cholesterol,
and raise high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol,
which is good cholesterol. The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association recommend eating fish at least two times a week. Fish highest in omega-3s include albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, rainbow trout and salmon .
Other Points for Consideration include
Sodium (salt) is a mineral found in almost all foods. Too
much sodium can make one thirsty, retain fluid (causing oedema) and raises blood pressure. This can cause kidney damage and heart failure. Practical steps to reduce sodium intake include:
*Do not add salt to your food when cooking or eating. Try
cooking with fresh herbs, lemon juice or other salt-free
*Choose fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned
vegetables. If you do use canned vegetables, drain and
rinse them to remove extra salt before cooking or eating
*Avoid processed meats like ham, bacon, sausage and lunch
*Indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables rather than crackers
or other salty snacks.
*Avoid canned soups and frozen dinners that are high in
*Avoid pickled foods, like olives and pickles.
*Limit high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, BBQ sauce
Staying hydrated is necessary for prevention and
treatment of kidney disease . Keeping your urine diluted is important for keeping your kidneys healthy. If
your urine is light colored after you go to the
bathroom, you are getting enough fluid. Also try to
limit caffeinated beverages to one to two cups a day
because it can actually make you dehydrated.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables improve kidney function.
Such fruits include grapes, cranberries and blueberries;
vegetables include fennel, onions, celery, beets,
spinach, string beans and asparagus. If you are
suffering from kidney disease, make sure the fruits and
vegetables you eat are low in potassium and you avoid high potassium foods such as bananas, plantains and yams.
Since kidneys regulate potassium, it’s important that
you monitor potassium intake. If potassium
level gets too high, you may develop a greater risk of
suffering a stroke or heart attack. Some examples of
low-potassium foods include apples, beans, corn, rice,
noodles, pasta, eggplant, cookies without nuts or
chocolate, pears, peas and peppers.
If you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your
body may be low in iron. The kidneys play a role in
the production of red blood cells, but without a
properly functioning kidney, your red blood cell count
may be too low, and your energy levels might suffer as
a result. Eating iron-rich foods such as leafy green
vegetables and eggs can help you increase your iron