Meatless protein?: Where do you get your... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease
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Meatless protein?

Whitetail66
Whitetail66

Where do you get your protein from? Plant based protein is easier on the kidneys than animal protein (if I'm understanding things correctly). I was never a big vegetable/salad person, but want to increase my protein intake from plant based food. I like the Quorn meatless products, but would like to get some more variety. What are some of your favorite non-animal protein sources? Thanks for any input.

36 Replies
oldestnewest

I'm not into Vegetarian nor Vegan meal plans. I'm limited to 8 oz. of protein each day and I get mine from shrimp and fish. The fish includes tilapia, flounder, grouper, and crab. I did include salmon and catfish but since I had my gallbladder removed I can't eat the fattier fish as in the past. Also, I never eat any of the protein fried or smoked. It's either baked or grilled. I've also made my own blackening seasoning and that just adds to the variety so I keep it mixed and I don't get tired of the ways I prepare it.

I tried the ultimate veggie burger made by Gardein, and it is surprisingly good, along with the meatless products from Quorn, but the shrimp, and fish sound better. I do eat fish, shrimp, chicken breast, and pork now, but limit myself to 3 ounces per meal. I am trying to stay around the 50 gram mark until I see my my doctor on the 10th. Just wish I new what my intake limit should be for my protein, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. I just feel like crap, so I know that something is off.

I've never tried a veggie burger. I want my vegetables to look like vegetables and not something else. But that's me. I also don't use the camera on my cellphone to take my photos. I have a real Nikon for that. Again, eating the veggie burger also means dealing with the bun. For my meal plan that's wasted/empty calories.

I have no problem eating it without a bun, but I guess it's not a burger then, is it? Btw, I'm too old to take my picture with my phone ;-). Trust me, I would never have eaten a veggie burger before this, but I wanted to find something that has the consistency of meat, which it pretty much does.

You might want to try halibut, Mahi Mahi and if they'll cut it thick, orange roughy. Swordfish can also be "steak-like" but eat that sparingly.

I had a large portion of chilean sea bass. Is that ok for us?

The sea bass isn't necessarily a bad thing it's more about the portion size. What is your daily protein intake and did the meal put you over the limit? It's not easily found where I live but I hope you enjoyed it.

It was delish! I am doing a lot of salmon now. I would like to experiment with other fish as I have steered clear from all red meat and rarely do chicken. I find it hard to fill up on a kidney diet, especially since a serving size of protein is 3 oz. I don’t feel full. I just can’t get excited about loading up on veggies.

If you want a small portion of fish that is filling and you can get it, try halibut.

which veggie burgers are the best. i was under the impression there is a lot of sodium in them ? if low or no sodium where do you find them ? thanks so much.

mingle
mingle
in reply to Whitetail66

Watch veggie burgers ,i think they have a lot of sodium in them

Whitetail66
Whitetail66
in reply to mingle

I am a label reader for sure, and watch my sodium intake like a hawk. I like the Gardein meatless burgers. I don't have them a lot, but a couple times a week. The Quorn chik'n patties are good too.

Hi🐶

I’ve been eating a modified vegetarian diet for about 6 months now at the suggestion of my nephrologist. In addition to gardein and Quorn meatless meat products I eat the following :

Egg whites (liquid and powdered)

Fish 2x a week for dinner

High protein pasta (made with garbanzo beans, etc)

Nutritional yeast (use as a seasoning; it’s a complete protein source)

Black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc

Tofu

I’ll share my two standby recipes in two follow-up posts.

Jayhawker

Here is a link to a website with a crispy baked tofu recipe. At the bottom of the page you’ll find recipes you can make using the crispy baked tofu, for instance a roasted Brussel sprouts and crispy tofu recipe...

cookieandkate.com/how-to-ma...

High Protein Steel Cut Oatmeal

1/4 c McGann’s quick cook steel cut oatmeal

1/2 c water

1/2 c cinnamon applesauce (no sugar added)

1/3 c liquid egg whites

1. Stir all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. (This should be a large bowl.)

2. Microwave on high fir 3 minutes.

3. Stir.

4. Microwave on high for 1-3 additional minutes depending on the desired consistency.

Please note, microwaves are all different so you may need to adjust temperature, time, or both when cooking in your microwave.

I eat this every morning for breakfast.

Jayhawker

Bet117
Bet117NKF Ambassador

Hi Whitetail,

Quick reply. Speak to your doctor and possibly a dietician in regard to what meat substitutes best meet your individual nutritional needs.

You have received some great suggestions here. I have been plant based for several years and eat much of the same. I am allowed beans, the plant based pasta, oats, cream of wheat and fish if I choose. All good.

Just be aware that many of the plant based substitutes such as frozen veggie burgers, hot dogs and the new selections sold as breakfast alternatives are outrageously high in sodium and unhealthy for kidney patients. I am a notorious label reader!

There are many recipes which can be tasty and still give you the satisfaction that you are craving.

Hang in there and give your professionals a chance to work with you.

Reach out and share.

Bet

Jayhawker
Jayhawker
in reply to Bet117

Yes, Gardein and Quorn are slightly better on sodium levels than most of the other meatless options available in the freezer isle of the grocery store. I factor that into my daily sodium intake when eating those options. Since I get very little sodium from anything else I eat throughout the day, I’m usually okey eating these options when I choose to do so. Frankly, even eating a serving of Quorn protein for dinner I still eat no more than 1200 mg of sodium daily.

However, I prefer to rely on tofu, egg whites, and fish for protein the majority of the time. When I do that my daily sodium intake comes in around 800 mg. I know my kidneys are happiest when I ingest the lower daily sodium amount...

Jayhawker

ricky987
ricky987
in reply to Bet117

Good point on the sodium. Also, beware of too much phosphorous. A lot of frozen products contain a form of phosphate (phos of any form). Phosphorous is hard hard on the kidneys

KidneyCoach
KidneyCoachNKF Ambassador
in reply to ricky987

Nearly everything we consume contains phosphorus which is why it can be difficult to limit. I'm surprised by the amount of protein y'all are consuming. I eat more protein because I'm on dialysis and my recommended intake is still lower than some here comment. Perhaps due to body size, activity levels etc?

Blessings

I’m supposed to eat 40 g of protein daily. I typically come in at 37-38 g of protein daily. I eat the majority of this at breakfast and dinner. Lunch is just some raw vegetables (ie, red bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cucumber). There is a little protein in my lunch, but very little. So I get 12 g of protein with breakfast. I get an additional 20 g of protein with dinner. Lunch adds another 5-6 g of protein.

All of this puts me slightly under the .6 per kg typically recommended for persons in Stage V but not yet on dialysis. I’m not sure what others are doing, but I’m definitely eating just slightly less than the recommended amount of protein. And, as I’ve already said, this is with guidance from a renal dietician. Frankly, when I first went to the dietician I found out that I wasn’t eating enough protein so I had to work to increase my protein intake.

Jayhawker

This would be my concern: telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/1...

Jayhawker
Jayhawker
in reply to lowraind

As I said earlier, it’s the total daily sodium intake that needs to be monitored. For me, I can safely eat a serving of most gardein or Quorn protein products without overdoing my daily sodium intake.

However, as I find more tofu main meal recipes, I eat less gardein and Quorn protein. Further, as others in this forum have said, it’s important to get protein from a variety of plant based sources. So from the beginning of my shift to a vegetarian approach I have worked to include a variety of plant-based protein sources each day.

As a person who has needed to shift to a vegetarian approach to eating later in life, this has been a work in progress for me to learn about how to do this appropriately. I’ve had guidance from a renal dietician. In fact, she had suggested either gardein or Quorn protein sources for me in our first appointment. I still remember her emphasizing that it was my total daily sodium intake that was the issue. As she and I calculated my daily sodium intake without meat protein, she pointed out that many of the gardein or Quorn protein options would work for me; they would not put me over my daily sodium target. Together with her I decided to use gardein or Quorn protein for some of my main meals as I transitioned away from eating meat. That helped me transition.

However, now, six months later, I rarely eat either gardein or Quorn protein. But I don’t believe I would have successfully transitioned to a vegetarian meal plan without gardein or Quorn protein options. Egg whites, tilapia fish, tofu, and beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, and white) are my primary protein sources now. I also use nutritional yeast as a seasoning together with fresh herbs on most things I cook.

Anyway, that is my journey. My renal function has improved some with this shift. My BUN has decreased by half. My creatinine is now typically 2.8 giving me an eGFR of 16. This means I’m no longer technically in Stage V. My data has also been very stable. Clearly the changes I’ve made have worked well for me.

Jayhawker

Ok, so let’s talk about the protein myth. Animals such as a cow get their protein from plants, you ever see a cow eat meat? If you want to have something that resembles a hamburger the closet thing out there is the Impossible Burger. Now you have to consider that sodium is increased to give it flavor. So while it isn’t animal protein which puts kidneys in a hyperactive state, you now are dealing with high sodium content. The Engine 2 Diet plant “burgers” sold exclusively at Whole Foods are good and so are Hilary’s Best Veggie Burger (found at most grocery stores) are tasty and not overly processed. To get protein from plants, vary your source and colors. Eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains preferably sprouted grains, and beans. I follow a plant based diet and I do not have a protein deficiency. I choose to bypass the middle man (animals) and go right to the source. Hope that helps. If you have any questions feel free to send me a message.

Jayhawker
Jayhawker
in reply to CNeb

Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Jayhawker

CNeb
CNeb
in reply to Jayhawker

You’re welcome. I love this quote and it helps put the over marketing of protein in check.

drive.google.com/file/d/1_A...

Jayhawker
Jayhawker
in reply to CNeb

I love it!

Jayhawker

I make my own veggie burgers using beans and veggies. Google home made veggie burgers and you will get a lot of different versions. And egg whites, does everyone use seperated eggs or do you buy the carton kind. I find that egg beaters has lots of ingredients. I like my whites to have some yellow color to look more like eggs, ha ha. just a visual thing.

Jayhawker
Jayhawker
in reply to Buffy-1

I haven’t tried making my own veggie burgers yet but will definitely try that within the next week or two. Thanks for sharing this with us!!

Jayhawker

Bassetmommer
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

Hi Whitetail,

All good suggestions below. I stay away from processed foods in general, which includes veggie burgers and the like. Best advice is to see a renal dietician. You need to know how much your potassium and phosphorous levels are because one of the biggest issues with plant based is the increase of these nutrients. For some kidney patients, it is a big issue.... it is for me. So I have to be careful that I am getting what I need and still consuming appropriate nutrients. That is why I use a tracker that allows me to register daily my intake of calories, sodium, potassium and phosphorous and protein. That way I know where and what I am eating. I use Davita, but I also have been using it for so long that I have all my own creations and foods in my library. It is a pain to do that, but worth it in the end. I do not rely on what they have in their library because often the nutrient levels are way off.

Bet117
Bet117NKF Ambassador
in reply to Bassetmommer

Agreed!

Yes, I enter recipes in the HealthWatch360 app too for the same reasons. I have vivid memories of how overwhelming all this was for me when I first started trying to handle the dietary restrictions. It was such a help to find the HealthWatch360 app! I finally began to gain confidence that I knew exactly what I was putting into my body.

Jayhawker

Something to consider - research has shown that because of the fiber content of plants, we don’t absorb a lot of their phosphorus and potassium. Best to judge by your blood test results than by the phosphorus and potassium content listed for plants.

Jayhawker
Jayhawker
in reply to Halebopp

True

CNeb
CNeb
in reply to Halebopp

Correct, phosphorus in plants have low bioavailability compared to the phosphorus and phosphates included in processed foods. The fiber also helps.

I love spicy food and I cook Indian food to get flavor. A lot of Indian food is vegetarian and if you are careful with salt you can have a flavorful meal without meat.

I gave up animal protein about 3 months ago. My GFR went from 24’to 28 in about 1 month after eating plant based foods and my Creatinine went from 2.0 to 1.8. I eat many salads, various beans in salads or with pasta, rice & cous cous. I eat lentils & potatoes of all colors. You have to be creative and look up recipes to make eating vegetarian a pleasant experience. My husband is a meat eater and a chef so he was not happy with me changing my diet. So, I started cooking and he eats whatever I prepare and he likes the food. Occasionally, he eats meat when he craves it and it doesn’t bother me not to eat it. I rely on the Internet for some excellent recipes. I also feel better and have less stomach issues. Good luck in your endeavors.

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