Getting the Right Amount of Protein

It is important to get the right amount of protein for your overall health and how well you feel. The right amount of proteins in the body helps in:

■ building muscles

■ repairing tissue

■ fighting infections.

Mostly, doctors recommend a diet that will have controlled amount of proteins. This also helps to decrease the number of wastes in your blood and may enhance your kidneys to function longer. The source of Protein comes from the following two sources. For a patient with chronic kidney disease, it is important to get protein each day from both of these sources:

■ Animal sources, such as eggs, fish, chicken, red meats, milk products, and cheese.

■ Plant sources, such as vegetables and grains.

 

Steps to Take

■ Work out with your dietitian on how much protein you may need to eat each day. 

 ■Make  a food diary and verify with your dietitian if you are eating the right amount of protein

 

Other Important Nutrients in Your Diet

To feel your best each day, you may need to change the amounts of some of the following nutrients in your diet. Your dietitian will help you plan your meals to get the right amounts of each:

 

Sodium

It is a known fact that kidney disease, high blood pressure, and sodium are often related.It becomes even more important to limit the amount of sodium in your diet. Ask your doctor who will let you know if there is any need to cut back on sodium. Take the help of your dietitian to select foods that are lower in sodium content. Check the food labels so that you can choose food in lower sodium content when you shop for foods the next time. Generally, large amounts of this mineral sodium is found in table salt and foods that have table salt content  as in:

■ Soy sauce seasonings, garlic or onion salt seasonings and teriyaki sauce seasonings

■ Canned and frozen foods

■ Ham, bacon, sausage and cold cuts and similar processed foods

■ Chips and crackers and similar salted snack foods

■ Restaurants take-out foods

■ Soups that are canned or dehydrated (like packaged noodle soup).

 

Take to your doctor and dietitian to limit the use of salt substitutes that are high in potassium. 

You need to try fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of table salt to enhance the flavor of foods and adding a dash of hot pepper sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor.

 

Phosphorus 

Even your kidneys may not be able to remove excess phosphorus from your blood. This may even cause the phosphorus level to increase your blood. The reactions of this may cause your skin to itch and even cause loss of calcium from the bones. So avoid taking a high blood phosphorus diet. This may cause your bone to become weak and to break easily. It is recommended to eat fewer foods that are high in phosphorus that may help lower the amount of phosphorus in your blood. Check with your dietitian to help you choose foods that are lower in phosphorus. Large amounts of Phosphorus is found in the following:  dairy products such as milk, cheese, pudding, yogurt and ice cream, dried beans and peas such as kidney beans, split peas and lentils,  nuts and peanut butter,  beverages such as hot chocolate, beer, and dark cola drinks. Mostly, doctors recommend a type of medication called a phosphate binder to take with all your meals and snacks.

 

Calcium 

It is important to take sufficient calcium for building strong bones. But foods that are good sources of calcium are also high in phosphorus. Follow a diet that limits phosphorus-rich foods and take phosphate.binders to keep your calcium and phosphorus levels in balance and to prevent the loss of calcium from your bones. Take appropriate amount of calcium supplements, a special prescription from Vitamin D or medications recommended by your doctor. 

 

Potassium 

Potassium is an important mineral in the blood that builds your muscles and makes the heart work properly. It is dangerous to have too much or too little potassium in the blood. It depends on the stage of your kidney disease to decide the amount of high-potassium foods in your diet and whether any medications is required to change the level of potassium in your blood. Doctor mostly recommend taking potassium supplements or other medications in order to balance the amount of potassium in your blood. It is recommended to Take only the supplements suggested by your doctor. Work out a diet plan with your dietitian to get the right amount of potassium from your food.

In order to lower the amount of phosphorus in your diet, use milk substitutes in place of milk. and non-dairy creamers.

Fluid 

Normally, you don't need to worry about the number of fluids you drink in the earlier stages of kidney disease. Your doctor will advise you to limit the fluids and the daily limit of fluid required for each day in case your kidney disease becomes worse.

 

Vitamins and Minerals 

They come from a variety of foods you eat each day. If your diet is limited, you may need to take special vitamins or minerals. Ask your doctor about which vitamins and minerals supplements may be good for your body.

If you are taking any herbal remedies, consult  your doctor before taking it  as some of these may also be harmful to people with kidney disease. It is a safe choice If you are cooking with herbs which can often be used instead of salt to flavor foods. Kindly check with your doctor and dietitian about the right vitamins and minerals for you. 

 

Steps to Take 

  • It is important to consult your doctor about limiting the amount of nutrients in your diet.
  • Plan your meals accordingly so as to get the right amount of nutrients with the help of your dietitian.
  • Ensure that you read food labels  and good for lower sodium choices when you shop for foods.
  • Ask your dietitian for tips about flavoring your foods with herbs and spices in place of table salt.
  • Take only those supplements, medications, vitamins and minerals recommended by your doctor.

 

Some Tips to Help With Your Diet

  • Non-dairy creamers can be used in place of milk in cereals, coffee and many sauces. 
  • Labels on food packages only give you information about some of the nutrients in your diet. 
  • Herbs, spices, table wine and special vinegar can be used instead of salt to make your food flavorful. 
  • Try purchasing or growing fresh herbs. 
  • Ask your dietitian for a list of herbs and spices that blend with different types of foods.