Adding Protein Into Your Diet
Some protein is lost during each dialysis treatment. People on dialysis must eat enough protein to replace what is lost during dialysis as well as have enough to build and repair body tissues. Our heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs use protein to stay healthy. Getting too much protein is possible. That’s why meal planning is so important.
Protein at Every Meal
Eat some protein at each meal. Most people can meet their protein goal by eating at least two-to-three (2-3) portions of high protein food each day. A good portion is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.
Change Up Your Protein
Variety can help you get enough protein. Rotate these in your weekly diet to keep things interesting:
Eggs, especially egg whites
Mix in vegetable proteins such as tofu, soy products, beans, nuts, and legumes. If you tend to eat a lot of plant-based protein, check in with your dietitian to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein from the right sources. Too much of some plant-based proteins can be rough on your body.
Plan for Snacks
Keep low-salt, protein-rich snacks ready, especially for those days you may not feel hungry but know you have to get your protein. Spread a little tuna or egg salad on a cracker or two. Grab a handful of salt-free nuts. Nibble on a protein bar.
Getting the right amount of protein is a balancing act. Ask your dietitian to remind you of how much protein you should get and the best foods to enjoy along the way.