NYS Certified Nutritionist

Diets for Kidney Patients

For decades, doctors have ordered low protein diets for patients with kidney disease.  Americans consume, in general, far too much protein, creating extra work for the kidneys as they try to excrete the waste caused by protein metabolism.  When kidneys cannot function normally, the build-up in the blood of toxic protein by-products, takes a serious toll.  Kidneys are necessary for maintaining blood pressure, electrolyte balance, waste excretion, and more.

The August 16, 2018 on-line issue of the Journal of Renal [Kidney] Nutrition reported that plant-based proteins meet the requirements for those with chronic kidney disease, offering more health benefits than animal protein sources.  Researchers leading the reported study asserted the notion that animal proteins are superior to those from plants, is outdated and even dangerous for kidney patients.

The article concluded that plant-based diets can prevent high blood pressure, elevated phosphate levels, and other conditions resulting from loss of kidney function.

If you are an omnivore, consider reducing the size of your animal protein servings, and aim to use animal proteins as a condiment, flavoring your meals, rather than the focus of the meal.  [If you are a kidney patient, do consult with a dietician who specializes in counseling those with kidney issues.]  An Asian stir fry with colorful vegetables, and 2-3 ounces of chicken, served over rice would be a great meal.  How about a bean chili with just a touch of carne [meat], served over rice, or in a bowl with cornbread?  Then there’s pasta with meat sauce, loaded with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onions, and zucchini or eggplant.   What an interesting, international way to eat and improve your health!