To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat: That is t... - Dialysis Support

Dialysis Support

1,511 members500 posts

To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat: That is the question.

RonZone profile image
3 Replies

Ok, so I was going through the modules of and ran across this:

"But What About a Low Protein Diet?

If you have chronic kidney disease, your doctor may suggest a low protein diet. Some doctors believe that eating less protein may help the kidneys work a little longer.

But doctors do not all agree that a low protein diet will help the kidneys. There is good evidence that malnutrition is harmful and leads to early death. So eating less protein needs to be balanced with staying healthy. If your doctor suggests a low protein diet, ask for a referral to a renal dietitian, who can help you design a meal plan that will keep you healthy.

Once people begin dialysis, they may need extra protein. Dialysis—especially PD—removes some protein, so it is important to eat enough protein to avoid malnutrition."

So do I eat less protein at Stage 5 before dialysis or not? These mixed message are a tad frustrating.

3 Replies
rabbit01 profile image

I think that this is one to discuss with your nephrologist or renal dietician or both. In my personal experience I cut out red meat as my kidneys declined. Reducing the protein intake will help reduce the amount of load on your kidneys so may slow down the progression but to be honest at stage 5 pre dialysis then it is not going to buy your a huge amount of extra time. Once on dialysis the dialysis itself actually reduces protein levels so you may find that doctors ask you to increase your protein intake.

LutherPDX profile image

My understanding is this: you need to eat less proteins until you start dialysis if your goal is to retain as much kidney function as you have remaining, as long as possible.

You only start dialysis when you absolutely have to. So once Dialysis starts your concern isn’t as much as retaining residual kidney function, as it is trying to stay alive.

It is smart to see Renal Dietician about this, as they have a lot more experience and data to rely on when advising dietary changes. not to mention they have your lab results to interpret, to determine whether you were actually malnourished or not.

And yes, my understanding is also that plant-based proteins so much better for your residual kidney function and animal-based proteins.

KidneyCoach profile image

Yes the dialysis process itself removes protein from the body. If you're not yet on dialysis it would be vital to engage with your nephrologists and renal dietitian to determine what course of action to follow. This primarily depends upon albumin and BUN levels which are very individualized. Blessings

You may also like...