What is protein?
Protein plays many roles in the body to help keep us healthy. We need protein to build muscle, fight infection, and more. It’s important to get protein every day to help meet the body’s needs.
Protein and your kidneys
When your body digests protein, it creates waste. When you have kidney disease, your body may not be able to remove all of this waste from the protein you eat. Protein waste can build up in the blood. This may cause symptoms like hunger loss, nausea, and weakness.
Eating too much protein can cause kidney disease to progress faster. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid protein for kidney health. But if you have kidney disease, you should limit the amount of protein you eat. Your doctor will tell you what your specific protein needs are.
How to limit protein
Animal foods like meat and dairy can have a lot of protein in them. When you eat these foods, keep your servings to 3-6 ounces per meal. Eat animal protein at no more than one or two meals per day, as well.
Another way to limit protein is to choose more plant-based protein sources like beans and nuts in place of meat. Ounce for ounce, these foods contain less protein. Studies also show that choosing plant-based foods may help slow the loss of kidney function.
Schedule a session with a Livongo coach, who can help you choose foods that are right for you.
Healthy protein choices
Here are some common protein foods, and how much protein they contain. Your Livongo coach can help you figure out what foods are best to meet your individual needs.