Kidney Disease: Choosing the Right Protein for Your Body

Choosing the right type and quantity of proteins you eat is important when you have chronic kidney disease. This can affect your overall health and kidney function we well.

Beef, chicken, fish, almonds, eggs, walnuts, and beans.Choosing the right amount of protein

If you have kidney disease but are not yet on dialysis, you will most likely need a low-protein diet. This is important in slowing down the speed at which your kidneys are failing. The amount of protein you can eat daily will be calculated by the dietitian in the kidney clinic. It is based on your body weight, the degree of kidney failure, and your daily activities.

Eat your daily protein

The amount of protein that you can eat each day may change with time. Your healthcare provider determines your protein intake according to the stage of your kidney disease.  Your body weight is also a factor. If your protein intake is decreased, you may need to eat more calories from other types of food. Carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, make good choices.

  • I can eat _____ grams of protein each day.

  • I should eat a total of _____ calories each day to maintain my body weight and muscle mass.

Choosing the right type of protein

People with kidney failure have to limit the amount of phosphorus in the diet. Unfortunately, many proteins contain high amounts of phosphorus and may have to be taken in limited amounts. Milk products are a good example because they have a lot of phosphorus. The choices of protein may also be limited because of cultural, religious, and social values. Vegetarian, vegan, kosher, and halal diets are all good examples of diets with limited protein choices. Dietitians in the clinic can work out the protein types and amounts to suit your needs.