Patients with renal illnesses frequently address the issue of “Pulses in CKD?” before committing to a certain eating plan. It’s necessary to note that there are several types of kidney diseases, which are divided into acute and chronic classifications.

Acute illnesses, such as kidney stones and acute renal failure, last only a few days. CKD, on the other hand, is a condition in which the kidney’s function steadily degrades over months to years, requiring careful management of the patient’s diet throughout the condition. 

Let’s start with a basic overview of the role of proteins in renal conditions.

Are pulses good for kidney patients? 

One of the most significant nutrients in our diet is protein, as you may have heard. Proteins are the fundamental components of our body. 

Proteins make up our hair, nails, muscles, and bones, among other things. Protein digestion, on the other hand, leads to the formation of waste products in the body, which must be filtered out by the kidneys. 

In a person with a renal illness, protein consumption should be tightly monitored based on the seriousness of the condition. We must recognize that the Indian diet is already protein-deficient.

As a result, if a person with chronic renal disease reduces his/her protein intake, it might lead to weakness and a loss of immunity. As a result, dietary protein should be consumed in moderation. There are three points that a kidney patient should consider when consuming protein-rich foods.

  • The protein must be easy to digest.
  • It should be easily assimilated.
  • It should generate a minimum amount of waste products.

Proteins included in meat and seafood have significant levels of salt, creatinine, and potassium, putting additional strain on the kidneys’ ability to filter out this waste. As a result, meat should be ingested in moderation, particularly if you have a severe form of renal disease. 

For people with renal illness, a vegetarian protein source such as dal (lentils) is recommended since it does not contain large quantities of waste products and is generally easy to digest.

How much protein is there in pulses?

Pulses include beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes. The food category plays a vital role in a healthful, balanced diet. Consumption on a regular basis has been associated with the prevention of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. 

Pulses generally have a protein level of 20 percent to 30 percent. Protein content statements on food labels, on the other hand, are based not just on the amount but also on the quality, or nutritional value, of the protein in the meal.

List of all Indian legumes and lentils. 

In every Indian household, lentils (and other legumes) are a basic diet. You might find the table below useful. The names in the first column are in English, and the names in the next column are in Hindi.

Yellow split Pigeon peasArhar dal, Toor dal, Tuvar dal
Split & skinned green gram, yellow lentilsMoong dal, Mung dal
Red lentilsLal masoor dal
Split & skinned black gramUrad dal
Split Bengal gram lentilChana dal
Split green pigeon peasHara tuvar
Split green gramMoong dal chilka
Split Black gramUrad dal chilka
Green Gram, Mung beanSabut moong, hari moong dal
Black GramSabut urad dal, maa ki dal
Indian Brown LentilsKali Masoor
Horse GramKulthi
Moth bean, Turkish gram, dew beanMoth dal, mat, matki
Chickpeas, Garbanzo beansKabuli chana, Chole
Black chickpeasKale chane
Green ChickpeasHare Chane
Red Kidney BeansRajma
Pinto Beansalso called Rajma but light brown in color
Adzuki beansChota rajma
White Kidney BeansSafed Rajma
Black Kidney beans, Black Turtle BeansKala Rajma
Black Eyed PeasLobia, Chavle, Rongi
Dried green peasSukhe hare matar, hara vatana
Dried white peasSukhe safed matar, safed vatana

Which pulses are allowed in CKD?

So, returning to the initial question, “which pulses should patients with renal problems consume?”. Here are a few pulses that a patient suffering from CKD can consume:

1. Moong Dal

Moong Dal has long been regarded as a health-promoting superfood. It is a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and bioactive components. When you divide a full mung bean (green in color) in half, you obtain moong dal (yellow split gram). 

The mung bean is a legume that was initially grown approximately 1500 BC on the Indian subcontinent. It is currently a widely consumed tropical pulse in Asian, African, and West Indian households, with Asia accounting for 90% of global output. 

According to several sources, professionals frequently prescribe moong dal as part of a meal plan for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are not on dialysis or who have renal failure. Due to the absence of chemical ingredients, the organic form is much more useful.

2. Arhar Dal

Arhar dal is cholesterol-free and has a good quantity of protein and fiber. It is also gentle on the digestive tract and a good option for sustaining intestinal health.

Nutritive Value of Lentils

Though the nutritious value of different varieties of lentils varies significantly, one cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils typically contains about:

  • Calories: 230
  • Carbs: 39.9 grams
  • Protein: 17.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Fiber: 15.6 grams
  • Thiamine: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Niacin: 10% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI
  • Folate: 90% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid: 13% of the RDI
  • Iron: 37% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
  • Phosphorous: 36% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 21% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 17% of the RDI
  • Copper: 25% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 49% of the RDI

Lentils are full of fiber that aids with bowel regularity and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Lentils can help you gain weight in your stool and enhance your overall gut health. Lentils also include a wide spectrum of phytochemicals, which are plant components that protect against chronic Kidney diseases, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Which pulses to avoid in a kidney patient? 

1. Masoor Dal (Red Lentils)

Masoor dal is abundant in folate, potassium, tryptophan, copper, iron, and other nutrients. To eliminate these additional waste products, the kidneys must work harder. As a result, it is preferable for persons with renal illness to take masoor dal in moderation.

2. Dal Urad (Black Gram)

Urad dal causes the body to produce more uric acid, which must be excreted by the kidneys. This might put a strain on a renal failure patient’s kidneys. It also includes a lot of calcium, iron, and potassium. Thus it should be consumed in moderation.

3. Dal Chana (Chickpeas)

In our bodies, chana dal takes a long time to digest. Chana dal should be ingested in small doses if you have a renal illness. Vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and fiber are all abundant in this fruit. All of these things are typically beneficial to our health, but they can impose an additional strain on the kidneys, especially for those who are on dialysis.


An essential thing to remember while eating dals is that no matter whatever dal you pick, you must soak it in water before cooking it. This lowers the potassium concentration of the dal, which helps to relieve the strain on the kidneys.

People with the renal illness must adhere to a rigorous diet that is adapted to their needs in order to reduce the number of harmful items in their diet. In the long run, following a good diet plan can help improve overall kidney function and reduce the advancement of renal failure. To lower the quantities of waste products in the body, a kidney patient must consume healthy and well-balanced meals.