Protein is used every day by the body for growth, healing, building muscle, making hormones, etc. We all need to have daily sources of protein for the body to function properly. The body uses what it needs of the proteins we eat, and then normally the waste product, called urea, is flushed through the kidneys.
As it builds up in the body, urea can cause symptoms such as fatigue (tiredness) and poor appetite. By decreasing the amount of protein that you eat you can help the kidneys have a lighter workload with less urea to clear and therefore prevent excessive amounts of toxins from accumulating in the blood.
The amount of protein you need is based on your body size; therefore, it is impossible to give a “one size fits all” prescription for protein. If you would like more help in identifying how much protein you should eat, contact our dietitian.
Protein is found in two types of foods:
- In large amounts from animal sources such as beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs. These are classified as high value proteins. Dairy products are also high in protein especially milk, yogurt, and cheese, however these are also high in phosphorus and may need to be limited. Check with your MD.
- Foods with smaller amounts of protein include plant sources such as breads, cereals, and other starches and grains. These are classified as low value proteins but are important for a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables also provide small amounts of protein.
Remember, that it is important to eat the right amount of protein and not eliminate protein altogether as it is very important to keep you healthy.
For more information on protein in Chronic Kidney disease, click here to visit the NKF website.