Archive for the ‘Kidney health’ Category

Our New Focus…

Moving forward, we will try to find, or create, free versions of fee-based resources (such as brochures, tools, and books) for dietitians – to help them out.   We will provide links to both versions in case either can be helpful.

We hope this research is helpful and best wishes for your success.


John and Celeste Hudson

(authors of this blog and

National Kidney Month Free Fact Sheets

National Guard Kidney Transplant 096

Kidney disease is more common than people think...

Many people don’t realize how common kidney disease has become:  

One out of 9 adults has chronic kidney disease and most don’t know it. This, according to the Northeast Kidney Foundation. During March, National Kidney Month, they want consumers to take notice, and to know their risk factors.

Chronic kidney disease can develop for years without any symptoms, “ says Dr. Thomas Schumacher, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Those with diabetes and high blood pressure are at greatest risk. “If more people were aware of the risk factors and took preventive measures, we could potentially delay or prevent the need for dialysis. ”

For more information and fact sheets to enhance your Nutrition Consulting practice:  National Kidney Month Free Fact Sheets.


English: Structure of the kidney

Handout to use on your blog or website

Dietary consultants may want to use this Handout (PDF) to enhance their practice. You can post it on your website or blog and give to your clients. It is titled, HANDOUT: Eating Right For Kidney Health. What you eat and drink can help slow down chronic kidney disease. Some foods are better for your kidneys than others. Cooking and preparing your food from scratch can help you eat healthier.

These tips will help you eat right as you manage your CKD. The First Steps to Eating Right (pages 1 and 2) are important for all people with CKD. The Next Steps to Eating Right (page 3) may become important as your kidneys slow down. Work with your dietitian to choose the right foods for you.

Click here for the download page.

Why is a low protein diet needed?

Protein is needed, but can cause problems for diseased organs.

Protein is necessary for a healthy body. When protein is metabolized by the liver and digested, urea is produced as a waste product. If the liver is diseased, then food metabolism is compromised. If the kidneys, which are responsible for excretion of urea, are not functioning properly (renal failure), or if high levels of protein are continually present in the diet, urea builds up in the bloodstream causing loss of appetite and fatigue. A low-protein diet will reduce the workload on these organs.

It is usually the case that serious liver and kidney disease are accompanied by the need to limit salt or sodium intake due to high blood pressure or fluid retention. Table salt (the primary source of sodium in the diet) should therefore be limited, along with other foods with a high sodium content, as an additional feature of the low-protein diet.

Too much protein can worsen your health

It is generally accepted that a healthy person needs 40-60 grams of protein each day to remain in good health. However, it has been reported that the amount of protein typically consumed by people in affluent societies (American diet typically comprises 12-15% protein) may overtax the kidneys – to the extent that up to 30% of kidney function may be lost by the time someone is in their eighties. High-protein diets for weight loss often recommend 30% or more protein in the daily diet, and in prolonged use can cause serious metabolic changes leading to bone loss and kidney stones!

Reduced protein intake can improve your health

Low protein diets (4-8% protein) are used routinely to treat patients with liver disease, kidney (renal) failure, and disorders involving the urea cycle, the metabolism, and amino acids.

How is a low-protein diet achieved?

Reduce amount of protein

Some of each type of protein should still be consumed each day from the two main sources:

Animal products (fish, poultry, eggs, meat, dairy products) – considered high quality or complete protein.

Vegetable products (breads, cereals, rice, pasta, dried beans) – considered low quality or incomplete protein.

To reduce the amount of protein consumed, protein foods in recipes can be ‘stretched’ (to consume less) or reduced as against more of the low- or non-protein foods (less in proportion), making a smaller amount seem just as satisfying.


Use thinly sliced meats.
Fill with salad items like lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, chopped celery, apple, parsley or water chestnuts.


Use lower protein foods (milk substitutes for cream soups, or rice or pasta) to make soups as filling but with less protein.

Main Dishes

Make the main dish of vegetables and grains, and treat meat as the side dish to your meal.
Use small pieces of meat and more vegetables in kebabs.
Make fried rice with vegetables and use less meat or shrimp.
For salads use crisp, fresh vegetables and only a few small strips of meat and egg.
For casseroles, reduce the amount of meat and increase the starch, pasta or rice. In recipes using soup, use a low sodium mix.
Use low-protein pastas and breads in the diet.
For cheeses, use smaller amounts of stronger-tasting cheeses (sharp cheddar, parmesan or romano) for plenty of flavor.

Boost calories to compensate

Decreasing protein in the diet may also mean a reduction in calories. To compensate so as to maintain a healthy weight, increase calories by substituting or adding certain ingredients with minimal protein content, such as:

Increase heart-healthy fats like polyunsaturated vegetable oils (corn, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, soybean or sunflower oils), olive oil, mayonnaise-type salad dressings.

Use candy and sweeteners (hard candy, gum drops, jelly beans, marshmallows, honey, jam and jelly – even sugar (diabetics need medical advice).

Use canned fruits in heavy syrup.

Sample low protein menu


Cheerios cereal or equivalent ¾ cup
non-dairy creamer ½ cup
½ medium banana
orange juice ½ cup
1 cherry fruit roll up


2 slices white bread
turkey breast 1 oz/28 g
tomato ½ cup
green beans ½ cup
mayonnaise 3 tsp
1 medium apple
fruit punch 4 fl oz/118 ml


1 popsicle


lean hamburger 2 oz/56 g
white rice ½ cup
broccoli ¼ cup
cauliflower ¼ cup
tossed salad with 2 Tbsp ranch dressing
pineapple ½ cup


gum drops 1 oz/28 g

Sample low protein menu contains

Protein: 39 gm
Calories: 1476
Fat: 48 gm
Carbohydrates: 237 gm
Sodium: 1270 mg

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