If you have just learned that you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your doctor may tell you to start limiting the protein in your diet depending on the severity of your kidney disease. Changing your diet to meet your body's lower protein needs and still using the foods and recipes you are used to can be difficult.

Sources of protein in our diet include:

  • Animal Protein Food includes Meat, such as pork, beef, chicken, turkey and duck, eggs, fish and dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese.

  • Plant Protein Food can be divided into High and Low Proteins plant food.

    • High Protein plant food includes beans, peas, lentils, soy foods such as soy milk and tofu, Nuts and nut spreads such as almond butter, peanut butter, soy nut butter and sunflower seeds.

    • Low Protein plant food includes bread, tortillas Oatmeal, grits, cereals Pasta, noodles and rice.

Why is limiting protein important for people with CKD? 

When your body uses protein, it produces waste. This waste is removed by the kidneys. Too much protein can make the kidneys work harder, so people with CKD may need to eat less protein.

For patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 60 mL/min who do not have nephrotic syndrome (for definition of Nephrotic Syndrome click here), we suggest restricting daily protein intake to 0.8 g/kg. Nutritional fstudies in patients with reduced eGFR suggest that protein intake can be safely lowered to 0.6 g/kg per day. A modest restriction is generally well tolerated and does not lead to malnutrition in patients with CKD providing caloric goals are met, dietary protein is of high biologic value, and metabolic acidosis is avoided. Patients should be discussing that in depth with their treating physician. 

Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.