Lighten Up on Protein

Protein is an important building block for your body. However, it creates a waste product called urea. When you’ve got chronic kidney disease, your body doesn’t remove urea very well—so you can feel tired, as well as lose your appetite.


Shopping gets easier with a pocket list of foods you should choose or limit. 
FOODS to choose for ESRD
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Know how much is too much—or too little

When your kidney function is less than 25%, or stage 4, you may be told to cut back on red meat, poultry, fish and dairy—since they contain high levels of protein. But—and this is a big but—protein is still essential for all your body functions; it’s just a matter of eating a smaller amount. 


Think of protein-rich meat and dairy foods as side dishes—not the main portion on your plate. Get guidance from your doctor and dietitian. 
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Protein tip: Cut the amount you eat in half

The average American eats almost twice the amount of protein they need each day. For example, the average 150-pound man eats about 100 grams of protein each day, but needs only 54 grams.

For a predialysis diet, the recommendation is 37–41 grams of protein each day. (This changes depending on your stage.) So by cutting the protein you currently eat in half, you’ll probably get close to where you need to be. Ask your dietitian so you know your personal goal.