CKD possible stage 3 - what are you doin... - Early CKD Support

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CKD possible stage 3 - what are you doing as far as butter / cream cheese on toast or bagel?

WriterATL profile image

I’ve had blood work with GFR around 39, and have my first appointment with the nephrologist this week. I assume I’ll meet with a dietitian after that. For the last month before this appointment I have cut meat by about 80% and dairy by about 50%. So far (in smaller quantities) I am allowing myself a pat of real butter on my toast or a thin smear of cream cheese on a bagel. What are you using for items like this? Thanks.

22 Replies

Hi WriterATLYour Egfr (estimated glomerate filtration rate) is only part of the lab results, you need to check your phosphate levels and potassium levels, if these are higher than average then reducing dairy would be beneficial.

Potassium should be under 5.0

Reducing meat and dairy put less pressure on the kidneys but at the same time don’t feel the need to cut it out completely. I eat all whole foods foods and some fish and poultry and dairy and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, just the portion size is controlled. Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated, as this will impact on your Egfr. Exercise moderately and reduce processed foods and sodium.

mk315 profile image
mk315 in reply to purple-1974

How about roasted garlic? When you roast it (details on google) It becomes soft and can be spread on things.

HI Writer,I do still use Laughing Cow herb cheese for my lunch. I am eating as much as I can plant based foods. I used to eat a lot of cheese and eggs. No more. However, I tried plant based butter and when looking at the ingredients, I thought that there was much too much junk in the processing and all it was oils that really are not the best for you. So I eat Land O Lakes light whipped butter. 1 tablespoon is half the calories and no junk in the processing. Some of these plant based foods, like the cheese products, have a ton of what I call junk in them. NO thanks.

Bagels and cream cheese are on my CKD diet in limited quantity. Cheese is considered a meat substitute. I can have 1/2 cup of other dairy per day. Also butter is considered a fat group and can have limited quantity or substitute (almond butter). Best to ask your Doctor or dietitian if you can work it into your CKD diet. I also track my diet so do not go above diet amount for protein, potassium, phosphorus and sodium.

Hey Orange City, I too track and I am just curious what amount of fat do you allow in your diet? I have lowered fat to 28 grams, protein to 32 grams and for the most part can stick within the limit.

My diet does not mention the total amount of fat, but in the fat group it allows me 6 servings and range from 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine to 1 tablespoon of reduced calorie salad dressing to 2 tablespoon sour cream etc.

RT008 profile image
RT008 in reply to orangecity41

Please don't consume margarine. It's made of trans fats, chemicals and artificial coloring. Vegetable oils such as canola, corn, soy, safflower, cotton seed oils are TOXIC and cause inflammation. Eat REAL butter, olive oil, coconut or avocado oil instead.

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41 in reply to RT008

Thanks . I do eat only almond or olive oil margarine.

Should not be eating nuts of any kind

Thanks, I only consume in moderation.

I eat about four brazil nuts occasionally. I don't find it helpful to tell myself there is any food group I mustn't have. In 2 years I have just eaten what I wanted, as per my nephrologists advice and have not had any problems with sod, phos, pot. Creatinine and Egfr have stayed stable. I am sensible though, not too much cheese, but I have a yoghurt every night and drink tea all day long. I was neurotic about diet when I was first diagnosed, got all the renal cookbooks etc. then at my first OPA I was told I am not at a stage where I needed to have a strict diet. I am stage 3, gfr 45 Creatine 113

I too do moderation and track my diet which allows to be be more open on some foods that are restricted on the diet. I too have yogurt in limited quantity. I am at level 3 CKD.

Hidden profile image

I'm also stage 3 but still eat red meat. However I don't eat it often or in anything but small quantities. I still continue to eat dairy products, eggs, fish and chicken and of course I love to have spuds on my butter when I get the chance! My partner insists I should be using Canola spread in preference, I don't. My 3 monthly test results are what I go by, if they hold stable then I'm doing OK. If not modify my diet and stop the forbidden foods. I stick with fresh and natural as much as possible not eating pre packaged foods wherever possible. That was the biggest step forward for me allowing me to hold my results static. By accident it has also helped my other health issues. A welcome surprise.

seabreezegirl profile image
seabreezegirl in reply to Hidden

You should not be eating white or sweet potatoes.

Do NOT concentrate on what you consume just for this one item. You like a bagel with butter? HAVE IT! Eliminating butter/cheese from your bagel is NOT going to change your CKD level either positively or negatively. It is what we consume on a daily basis that matters. The negative effects of dairy products are the amount of phosphorus and/or potassium that they contribute. So it all comes down to how much you consume DAILY. In other words, the daily recommended amount of phosphorus a person should consume each day is between 800mg to 1200mg. A Tablespoon of butter contains just about 3mg of phosphorus. Regarding potassium a person should consume about 3500mg per day. A tablespoon of butter contains only 3mg. So obviously butter on that bagel is basically harmless. AND life is to be enjoyed sensibly. I have been stage 3b for about 4 years. I have every morning a bagel, with butter. My egfr is unchanged. Do NOT just think that every move you make needs to be monitored or over generalized. You can have meat. You can have dairy, etc., etc. It is just that you need to use moderation, not elimination. Keep you daily intake within guidelines. In other words do not have meat every single meal. But 2 or 3 times a week is fine (lower protein cuts). You can have that slice or two of pizza with cheese. NOT every day. Have that coffee. etc., etc. ALL that said, it is general. You have to base your diet on your bloodwork. As purple wrote base your diet restrictions (if any), upon your blood work. If your phosphate, potassium, sodium levels are normal, then don't get too much more restrictive in your diet.

The body NEEDS sald, phosphorous, etc., etc. DO NOT eliminate it totally.

Also note that if you use margarine and not butter it contains 0mg of phosphorous.

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to RickHow

HI RickHow,Diet does matter more when you get down to stage 4 and 5. Even little things make a difference. Dairy products are hard on the kidney because of the protein, which is hard for the kidney to process, especially milk. Red meat is very hard also because of the protein. When you are stage 3, a or b, diet impacts are not as evident. I was stage 3 b for years. I ate carefully, but still went to stage 4. Then I changed up my diet to be much more strict and even with that, I went down to stage 5. But now, being very restrictive, plant based, no meat, eggs, fish, dairy for the most part, I was able to actually bring up my GFR. Not everyone has a phosphorous or potassium issue. I am eating much more plant based potassium foods and my potassium went down. Go figure.

RickHow profile image
RickHow in reply to Bassetmommer

Hi. Agree it is much more important at stage 4, 5. But the person wrote they were at stage 3. And I am all for using common sense on a diet. Paying attention to certain things (protein, the other "p's", etc. ) As you yourself said, even with care you still went to stage 4, then 5. Red meat I have once a week, sometimes twice (but just lean pork, never beef). Each of us are different and that is why I always say you need to look and monitor your own bloodwork because again as you say not everyone has a phosphorous or potassium issue (nor calcium, nor vitamin D, nor glucose, nor sodium, etc.). As my kidney doctor tells me the answer is MODERATION. Keep within daily requirements of intake of protein, salt, etc., etc. And there are different theories also about dairy products. Do the benefits outweigh the risks. Here too it depends on each persons own blood work. Here are some interesting findings of a recent study of CKD:

-Habitual intake of low- or reduced-fat dairy products is associated with a lower risk for developing chronic kidney disease.

-Dairy foods may influence kidney function because they lower the risk for developing hypertension and type 2 diabetes, the two leading causes for chronic kidney disease.

-Dairy components, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein, may directly improve kidney function by modifying inflammation and oxidative stress.

And so many other variables we each individual must consider. For example I am lucky (so far) there is no protein in my urine. My blood tests indicate the the protein in my blood is on the low side, just below normal. So having meat/fish 2 or 3 times a week doesn't seem bad for me. BUT on those days I monitor my other intake and try to stay away from other foods which have larger protein. And I keep my portion of meat to just 4 to 5 ounces. But again I am right on the border between stage 3a and 3b. Each stage, each person is different. I just personally can not see going overly restrictive on my diet when you know what??....what will be will be...again as you sadly are finding. Everyone just use common sense and follow the advice of your doctor who knows you best.

Hi, WriterATL. Please don't come here for actual dietary advice. Educate yourself from actual medical sources. Go to Amazon and buy "Stopping Kidney Disease" by Lee Hull. It is a tome on CKD and includes a plant based diet plan.

I followed Mr. Hull's plan to about 95% and I started with an eGFR of 42. My last set of labs from a couple of months ago showed an eGFR of 62 so I am back at Stage 2.

Just before my last set of labs I was having butter on toast on almost a daily basis because that is what my wife wants and I could not resist. She started with an eGFR of 67. Her last eGFR was 92, yes 92! The one before that was 89.

So... what is my point? You can cheat a little if you follow a proper, plant based CKD diet to 95-98%.

Educate yourself, buy "Stopping Kidney Disease." It's $19.99 or less on Amazon.

I agree with RickHow. You've got to enjoy life even though you have ckd. I eat everything except for a little bit of red meat now and then. Had some brisket last night for the first time in more than a year. Feeling kind of ugghh today. I make scrambled eggs several times a week...with butter. How much butter? Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan to make it non-stick. If there's too much, I flip the pan over the sink to get rid of the excess before I put in the eggs. Diet can make a bit of a difference. So can hydration. Genetics. Stress. Sleep...etc etc. We're all looking to control our eGFR, but there's only so much you can do. Tell ya one thing....if you follow Lee Hull's book, you'll be attempting to live on 18 calories a day. Most folks need to lose weight, which these restrictive diets are great for, but if you're at the right weight already, you'll go nuts trying to follow Hull's book....especially if you want to maintain or gain muscle mass. It's all a delicate balance, and you have to find your own.

Angelikafrog profile image
Angelikafrog in reply to Marvin8

I am in agreement on the Lee Hull books. I bought them straight away after diagnosis looking for some help with diet as I was in a total anxiety state thinking I had to follow a strict renal diet. Glad I bought them on Amazon Prime cos they went straight back.

Hello ATL ,I am stage 4 , and had my left kidney removed a few years ago, and since then have been seeing a nephrologist regularly ever since , as the right kidney is under par too. On my first visit to the nephrologist he said I didn't need to see a dietician or go on a diet, just to eat sensibly, I asked if I needed to cut out anything at all , and the only thing he said to make sure to avoid was grapefruit as it has a certain enzyme in it which kidneys don't get on with so it is best to avoid it in any form. I have learnt since then to be careful when shopping to check anything with fruit juice in it as it is used in dozens of different things , a lot of other tinned fruits include grapefruit juice, i.e. a lot of orange juices, and lemon juices contain grapefruit , so just keep an eye out for that on the ingredients list on goods. Good luck on your kidney journey.

I have learned not to buy butter any longer. I just put the Jam on the toast. And It sure made a difference in my clorestrol levels . I fact diet really helps alot in general . I eat Organic cabbage and organic Red bell pepper everyday too .Blueberries are good as are onions and garlic cauliflower. Eat Organic as much as possible as your poor kidneys do not need Round - up in them. No chocolate, no Pepsi or coke for sure. Drink pure filtered water , I use a PUR filter .

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