Protein diet in kidney diseases


When you have kidney illness, knowing what to eat is crucial. Kidneys assist in preserving the proper mix of nutrients and minerals in your blood and body by filtering wastes produced by the meals you eat.


Every day, we all require protein in our diets. Protein is necessary for muscular growth, healing, infection resistance, and overall health. Its requirements differ depending on your age, gender, and overall health. 


Our bodies would be unable to recover from damage, stop bleeding or fight infection without protein. That is why it is essential to consume protein to maintain good health. Each day, the average individual needs 40 to 65 grams of protein. It originates from both animal and plant sources in the diet.


On the other hand, protein might be complex for those with chronic renal disease (CKD). Patients are frequently faced with needing to reduce protein consumption, even though protein is a required nutrient.


Protein waste products are produced when protein is consumed. Millions of nephrons filter this waste in healthy kidneys. It excretes from the body through urine.


When the kidneys are unhealthy, they lose their capacity to eliminate protein waste, which causes it to build up in the blood. The amount of dietary protein consumed by individuals with CKD is determined by the stage of their disease, nutritional condition, and body size. Planning and monitoring a low- or high-protein diet should be done with the help of a trained dietitian.


Why Is an Eating Plan Important Related to protein?


Increased intraglomerular pressure and glomerular hyperfiltration may result from a high protein diet. It can damage the glomerular structure, leading to or worsening chronic kidney disease (CKD). As a result, a low protein diet (LPD) of 0.6–0.8 g/kg/day is frequently advised for CKD treatment.


Protein is required by the body to create muscle, repair tissue, and fight infection. If you have a renal illness, you should limit your protein intake. When you overeat protein, your blood might get clogged with garbage. It’s possible that your kidneys will not be able to eliminate all of the additional waste.


Which pulses can I take related to protein content?

Beans, lentils, and peas are examples of pulses. They’re a low-cost, low-fat source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they count toward your 5-a-day fruit and vegetable intake.

A pulse is a seed that develops in a pod and is edible.

Pulses include all beans, peas, and lentils, such as:

  • baked beans
  • red, green, yellow, and brown lentils
  • chickpeas (chana or garbanzo beans)
  • garden peas
  • black-eyed peas
  • runner beans
  • broad beans (fava beans)
  • kidney beans, butter beans (lima beans), haricots, cannellini beans, flageolet beans, pinto beans, and borlotti beans


Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas have 2-3 times wheat, rice, quinoa, oats, barley, and maize protein content.


Dairy food and protein:


Dairy products are rich in phosphorus, potassium, and protein. Thus we should consume them in moderation on a renal diet. Despite its high calcium level, milk’s phosphorus concentration may cause bone weakness in people who have renal illnesses. Protein, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium are all plentiful in dairy products. All of these nutrients are necessary for the numerous activities of our bodies.


Dairy products are high-protein food—protein aids in the development of muscle and the health of our internal organs. Protein also aids in the healing of wounds and the prevention of infections. Because we require protein sources in our diet daily, it’s critical to balance the correct quantity of protein from animal and plant sources if you need to reduce protein due to impaired kidney function. Dried beans, lentils, almonds, lean red meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy are just a few examples.


Good and Bad Proteins:


Animal protein contains all of the amino acids that the body needs. Some animal sources, however, are less healthful than others. Because animal-based protein sources also include saturated fat, this is the case. Too much saturated fat in the diet can raise LDL or harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. LDL may cause plaque to develop in arteries, restricting blood flow and increasing the risk of heart disease. Saturated fat is more prevalent in fatty red meats and whole-milk products than in other protein sources.

When it comes to protein consumption, finding the correct mix of protein sources is crucial. Many necessary amino acids may be found in fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, and seeds. The rest may be gained by picking animal-based protein sources that are more intelligent.


Salmon and other fatty fish are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fats) and have low salt content. 

Lentils are high in fiber and provide 18 grams of protein. 

Furthermore, these legumes have almost little saturated fat.


Vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet for protein?


Vegetarian protein-rich foods primarily consist of protein-rich veggies, nuts, and dairy products. The majority of the goods described here are readily available at a local supermarket. Some of them are:


  • Lentils
  • Edamame beans
  • Black beans
  • Green peas
  • Black-eyed beans
  • Baked beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Chia seeds
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cashew nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Parmesan Cheese


Non-vegetarian protein sources differ from vegetarian protein sources. Protein-rich non-vegetarian meals include various meats such as chicken, pig, cattle, and fish such as sardines, scallops, shrimp, and halibut. Some of the sources are:


  • Meat
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Egg Whites
  • Chicken liver
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Prawns
  • Shrimps
  • Octopus
  • Ground beef
  • Dairy Products


High protein and urea?


Protein metabolism produces a lot of urea, which is a nitrogenous waste product. The constant high urea stimulation might harm the urothelium and raise the risk of carcinogenesis, suggesting that a high-protein diet increases the urea concentration in urine.


Because your body may have difficulties removing all of the waste products of protein metabolism, a high-protein diet may impair renal function in persons with kidney disease. The extra stress of a high-protein diet can cause kidneys to lose their ability to digest protein. As it gets more difficult for them to store the protein for your body to consume, more and more of it is excreted in your urine.


How much protein to take according to different stages of CKD?


  • The current recommendation for CKD stages 1 and 2 is to consume no more than 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight.
  • The protein consumption guideline for stage 3 is 0.8 g/kg body weight, the same as the requirement for a healthy 150-pound adult.
  • When the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) falls below 25% or roughly 25% residual kidney function, the Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiatives (K/DOQI) Nutrition Guidelines recommend a protein intake of 0.6 grams per kg of body weight may be helpful.
  • In stage 5, a protein intake of 0.6 to 0.75 grams per kilogram of body weight is suggested.


If you have kidney illness, it’s critical to understand how much protein you should ingest. Your kidneys are in charge of removing waste products from your body, and protein consumption produces many nitrogenous wastes. Eating the right amount of protein is essential for staying healthy, preserving muscle mass, protecting you from infections, and transporting nutrients throughout your body. According to the severity of kidney disease, it is classified into five phases. Stage 5 is the most severe disease, requiring renal replacement therapy in dialysis or kidney transplantation. In the first four stages, kidney function is not so poor, and when dialysis is needed, protein consumption must be reduced to lessen the strain on the kidneys.

A nonvegetarian diet that includes at least one nonvegetarian meal contains 1.2 to 1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, whereas a regular Indian vegetarian diet has roughly 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.


In the first four stages of kidney disease, you should reduce your protein consumption to 0.8 to 0.7 grams per kilogram of body weight, which may be done in a regular vegetarian Indian diet by limiting pulses and dairy products, and you should avoid a nonvegetarian diet. Patients on dialysis in the fifth stage of renal disease should raise their protein intake to 1.3 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight by including white meat, egg white, poultry, and fish in their diet unless they are a strict vegetarian.


In chronic renal disease, getting the correct quantity of protein is crucial. Low protein diets should be avoided since they might lead to lowered immunity and muscle loss. Animal proteins include all of the necessary amino acids, which are the body’s building blocks. The fat content of animal proteins varies. The most saturated fats are found in red meat, egg yolks, and dairy products, whereas the least saturated fats are found in fish, poultry, and fat-free dietary items. Plant-based proteins are typically deficient in one or more essential amino acids, making them low-quality proteins.


Beans, lentils, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all excellent protein sources from plants. You need protein every day to satisfy your body’s needs, but if you have kidney disease, your body may not be able to eliminate all of the waste from the protein you eat. Excess dietary protein waste can lead to sickness, a loss of appetite, and a change in taste. Patients with CKD who are not on dialysis should lower their protein consumption to slow the course of their disease, whereas dialysis patients should increase their protein intake to compensate for dialysis losses and diminished appetite.


How to calculate protein intake per day?

You can figure out how much protein you need each day by multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.36. That equates to 53 grams of protein per day for a 50-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds and is sedentary (does not exercise).

Every day, the average adult requires 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

2 Given that one kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, a person weighing 165 pounds (75 kg) would require around 60 grams of protein each day.


CKD Without Dialysis: Limit Protein

If you don’t want to go on dialysis, limit your protein intake.

The more protein waste that must be eliminated, the more complex the kidneys must stop it. It can put a strain on your kidneys, leading them to wear out more quickly. A low-protein diet is suggested for patients with renal disease who are not on dialysis. Many studies show that decreasing protein intake and increasing plant-based items in the diet might help delay renal function decline.

On Dialysis: Increase Protein

On the other hand, after a person begins dialysis, a higher protein diet is required to assist maintain blood protein levels and enhance health. Dialysis eliminates protein waste from the blood, eliminating the requirement for a low-protein diet.

Determine the Appropriate Protein Amount for You

Your body size, nutritional state, and renal condition determine the amount of protein you require. Ask your healthcare provider about meeting with a renal dietitian to assess the quantity and kind of protein suitable for you, even if you are in the early stages of kidney disease because too little protein can lead to malnutrition. Your doctor will monitor your kidney function to see whether any dietary or medication adjustments are required.

Myths about CKD Diet:

  • People are more exposed to diet and fitness ads in the age of social media, particularly Instagram. Personal trainers and top models provide weight-loss advice, and some even sell “miracle” workout + diet packages that, in their opinion, may transform your body shape in a matter of weeks.
  • Obesity and its associated illnesses (hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc.) are, on the other hand, on the rise. Even though these seemingly opposing elements of our period appear to be mutually exclusive, they both have the potential to have significant repercussions and increase the risk of renal disease.
  • Remember that maintaining a healthy, consistent, and long-term weight loss requires a well-balanced diet and frequent physical activity. Trends and advertising may entice you, but we all have different bodies and requirements. Therefore, if you want to lose weight, we highly recommend a nutritionist’s tailored diet, particularly for you.

How to control high phosphorus intake in a high protein diet?

Your doctor will probably provide you with diet and nutrition recommendations while dealing with your chronic kidney disease diagnosis. Your kidneys aren’t filtering your blood as well as they should be, and this is affecting your body’s mineral balance. So, how does this relate to nutrition?

When dealing with renal illness, several nutrients should be avoided. Phosphorus, in particular, is an essential mineral for a variety of bodily processes. It is present in your bones and aids in the formation of cells and the flow of energy between them. When the kidneys function correctly, they eliminate excess phosphorus from the blood.

Phosphorus is abundant in high-protein diets, which are favored for weight loss. Excess phosphorus and phosphorus regulatory hormone alterations have been linked to vascular calcification and cardiovascular disease. When your kidneys aren’t functioning correctly, your body can’t get rid of the excess phosphorus. Too much phosphorus in your blood can disrupt the equilibrium of other minerals. It’s critical to strike a delicate balance between calcium and phosphorus. If the excess phosphorus in your body cannot be removed, it will build up in your blood. As a result of the accumulation, calcium is drained from your bones to restore equilibrium.

What are cheap sources of high-quality protein?

Protein is an essential nutrient. Including protein-rich foods in your diet has several advantages, including weight loss and improved muscle mass (1Trusted Source, 2).

Fortunately, there are several delectable options to fit every dietary requirement.

Healthy protein sources, on the other hand, may be too expensive for some people. While specific protein sources are pricey, there are many less costly options.

Here are 17 protein-rich foods that won’t break the budget.


  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Eggs
  • Edamame
  • Canned Tuna
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Black Beans
  • Sardines
  • Cottage Cheese
  •  Lentils
  • Oats
  • Milk


When to have a high protein diet in CKD patients?


Although high-protein diets have not been thoroughly researched, a study on rats found that an increase in protein in their diets appears to alter blood flow within their kidneys, eventually leading to renal impairment. It is yet unknown if these diets may induce kidney disease in healthy people. On the other hand, physicians and researchers appear to agree that CKD patients should avoid high-protein diets. 


Your body creates protein waste when you consume protein. Millions of nephrons in healthy kidneys filter this waste and eliminate it from your body through urine. If your kidneys aren’t in good shape, this capacity deteriorates, and protein waste accumulates in your blood. Protein waste can induce nausea, weakness, anorexia, and changes in taste.

How do I choose protein powder available in the market?


Protein powders are a convenient and quick method to keep your body fed and satisfied. People utilize them for many purposes, including weight loss, athletic performance, muscle mass development, and general wellbeing.


Based on the results you want, here are some basic guidelines:


Build muscle: Choose a protein powder with a high biological value for muscle building (a value that measures how well the body can absorb and utilize a protein). Your best alternatives are whey protein and whey isolates.

Weight loss: Choose shakes without added sugars or dextrins/maltodextrins for weight reduction (sweeteners made from starch).

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan: avoid milk-based protein drinks (such as whey or milk proteins) and instead choose 100 percent plant proteins such as soy, pea, or hemp.

Patients with diabetes: should pick protein drinks without added sugar. It’s also a good idea to seek a smoothie that’s low in carbs (5-15 grams per serving).

People with renal illness can’t tolerate a lot of protein at once, so keep protein minimum. Stick to protein powders with a lower protein concentration (10 to 15 grams per serving).

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance: should avoid powders that include lactose sugars, artificial sweeteners, or dextrins/maltodextrins to prevent gastrointestinal issues. If you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, avoid powders that contain gluten.

Stick to your budget – Instead of buying ready-to-drink protein smoothies, which are more costly since they’re handy, buy tubs of protein powder to save money.


Can I take muscle-building protein supplements? (Can these supplements increase creatinine?)

The impact of supplements on kidney health is influenced by a person’s underlying health conditions and the accessories they consume. Certain supplements, however, have been linked to renal issues.


Creatinine is a naturally occurring byproduct of creatine metabolism. The kidneys efficiently excrete it, so it is employed as a kidney function indicator. Creatinine levels aren’t a reliable indicator of renal disease. Even though the kidneys function well, it may still be outside the usual reference range if the body produces more creatinine. Creatinine production can be raised for various reasons, including higher-than-average muscle mass, greater protein intake, creatine supplementation, and muscle injury from strenuous exercise.

Albumin protein supplements powder?


It provides a protein supply that is 100% derived from Hen egg albumen and is manufactured using a better extraction technique that allows for simple mixing and digestion. It’s quickly absorbed and used for muscular growth. When compared to other protein supplements, it will help you grow more muscle. Improve performance by reducing mental weariness. It has the best relevant action throughout the day and night and shows extended absorption.


Whey is often used as a supplement in conjunction with resistance training to increase muscle protein synthesis and promote lean muscle mass development. But what exactly is it, and what are the advantages of employing it? Casein and whey are two proteins found in milk. 


With only 2 grams of carbs per scoop, egg protein powder may surely assist you in achieving your weight reduction objectives. Because this supplement is composed entirely of egg whites, it has less fat and cholesterol.




Protein is an essential nutrient that helps clients maintain their health. It’s also necessary for building muscle mass. Some consumers may quickly transition to a high-protein diet, while others may do the exact opposite due to personal preferences or misunderstandings. In any event, amino acids, which are responsible for everything, make up dietary protein. Protein is necessary for the construction of the human body, as well as hormones, enzymes, and immunological compounds.


Intraglomerular hypertension, which can lead to renal hyperfiltration, glomerular damage, and proteinuria, can be caused by a high protein diet. Long-term high protein consumption might result in de novo CKD. The quality of dietary protein may also influence kidney health. Thus, one needs to take good care of the quantity and quality of protein intake while suffering from a CKD.


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