Diet and nutrition are a crucial part of a dialysis patient’s everyday life. When you are on dialysis, your protein intake must increase. Most dialysis patients need more protein than the average person. Maintaining adequate protein can help you stay energized and possibly even decrease your chances of being sick or hospitalized. Unfortunately, some of the side effects of the dialysis are lack of appetite, an unsettled stomach, vomiting, and loose stools. 1 These issues can cause you to lose protein, making protein intake even more difficult.
What Types of Proteins Are Essential for People Receiving Dialysis?
There are two types of protein, animal and plant-based proteins. These protein sources are important to eat every day. Sources of animal proteins include meat, poultry, pork, fish, and eggs. Dairy products are also considered a protein source, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Plant-based protein sources include soy, peas, brown rice, chickpeas, and beans. Some plant-based proteins and processed animal proteins may be higher in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. 2 Your kidney dietitian can help with your diet.
What Are Other Sources of Protein?
Traditional sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, and eggs. 3 But what other foods are sources of protein? We compiled a list of 15 unique protein foods. Keep in mind that not all of these foods will fit into everyone’s diet, so consult your kidney dietitian first.
15 Unique Protein Foods
Again, all of the above foods are sources of protein and are found at most major grocery stores. The serving amounts above are the ingredients alone and do not account for cooking style or added ingredients. If curious on the nutrients that our found in the food you are eating, check out the USDA food data central. On this site you can search foods and find out the nutrient breakdowns per measurements. 23
Protein is an important part of the kidney diet. If you are still struggling to maintain adequate protein or albumin levels, you may want to talk to your healthcare provider about other options. If you are unable to meet your protein goals through diet and supplements, options are available. Please talk with your health care team about other options to supplement your protein needs.
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