Animal and Plant-Based Protein Sources for CKD Patients

Published on 
February 3, 2023
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Eating a balanced diet that is rich in protein is important for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) as it helps to maintain muscle mass, repair tissues and support overall health. However, it's important for individuals with CKD (stages 3-5 non dialysis) to be mindful of the types of proteins they are consuming as some proteins can put a strain on the kidneys.

Animal based proteins such as red meat (beef), pork, chicken, fish, and dairy products are good sources of protein for people with CKD. However, it's important to choose lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products as these are generally lower in saturated fats. Additionally, it's important to watch portion sizes for nutrition as consuming too much total protein can put a strain on the kidneys.

Plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu, soya and nuts are also great options for people with CKD. These foods are lower in saturated fat and high in fiber, making them a healthier option than many animal-based proteins. 

It's also important to note that individuals with CKD may need to limit or avoid certain types of animal-based proteins such as organ meats, shellfish, and processed meats as they can be high in saturated fats, purines and sodium.

In conclusion, people with CKD should consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of animal proteins and plant proteins. Choosing lean cuts of meat, low-fat dairy products, and plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils and nuts can be a good option for maintaining overall health while also being mindful of the kidneys. It's also important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate amount and types of protein for your individual needs.

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Author - Ruth Kander

Ruth Kander is a highly experienced dietitian with 26 years of service in both the NHS and private practice. She holds registrations with the British Dietetic Association and the Health and Care Professions Council. Ruth graduated from King’s College London in 1995 with an honours degree in Nutrition and a post-graduate diploma in Dietetics. Specializing in kidney medicine for the past 23 years, she currently works as a specialist kidney dietitian at a large London teaching hospital. Ruth has also been involved in several community projects, including healthy eating in schools and clinical governance in care homes. An accomplished lecturer, she has received awards for her education programs and patient care. Passionate about helping people with chronic kidney disease to be healthy and feel well, she is dedicated to providing support and guidance to help individuals make the best food choices for themselves.