High-Protein Diet 4 MIN READ 94 VIEWS November 24, 2021

Is Protein Bad for Your Kidneys?

Protein for Kidney
How Protein Works for the Body 
How Much Protein for Kidney is Good
Best Protein for Kidney Disease
Low Protein Foods List for Kidney Disease 
Foods Rich with Protein for Dialysis Patients
Foods list of high protein for dialysis patients

Before we talk about the role of protein for kidney, let us understand proteins first. Proteins are the very basic necessity of the body. All living cells of the body make use of proteins for their structural and functional needs. In fact, protein is made up of amino acids and is commonly termed as ‘building blocks’ because they are essential macronutrients needed for growth and repair of cells. That means the body would need quite a large amount of macronutrients to stay healthy. However, proteins are often considered bad for the kidneys. What is the truth there and really, is protein bad for your kidneys? Let us read on to find out. 

How Protein Works for the Body 

Another important aspect that we need to know about proteins is that our bodies don’t store them. It is therefore very important for us to provide an adequate quantity of proteins daily to our body because:

  • The intake of protein is essential for building muscles, fighting infections, and helping repair tissues. 
  • It also helps make new cells in the body. 
  • Proteins oxygenate the body through red blood cells which contain a protein (Hemoglobin) that works as carriers of oxygen throughout the body. 
  • Proteins are important for the growth cum development of youngsters, children, and women on their way to motherhood. 

How Much Protein for Kidney is Good?

Normally, a very nominal amount of protein for kidney is sufficient. Studies have shown that the intake of protein depends upon one’s body weight. Normally 0.55 to 0.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight is recommended. However, currently, the suggestions are on limiting dietary proteins to 0.8 grams/kg of body weight. 

Let’s suppose the body weight is 65kg, then the need for protein works out to 65×0.6 to 65×0.8 = 39 to 52 grams of protein per day. 

Excessive protein builds up extra waste in the blood. The kidneys find it very difficult to remove that excessive waste. Here, the question arises “is protein bad for your kidneys?”. The answer is a no – protein is not bad for our kidneys but it is equally important to limit the daily intake of protein and keep it to the recommended quantity only. 

Now, we understand that protein for kidneys is important but in the right quantity per day. Hence, it is necessary to understand the importance of having low or high protein diets. 

Best Protein for Kidney Disease

When one is suffering from kidney problems, it becomes more important to select the best protein for kidney disease through a proper diet. The human body with kidney disease finds it difficult to remove excessive waste products of protein from the blood. If the excessive protein remains in the body, it induces a huge burden on the kidney and can cause various problems like nausea, weakness, loss of appetite, etc.

It is worth noting here that a kidney patient undergoing dialysis needs more protein because he loses it during the dialysis process. On the other hand, an individual with kidney disease finds it difficult to remove the protein waste from the body. Hence, a kidney patient undergoing dialysis needs diets higher in protein whereas others are recommended diets low in proteins. 

Keeping a low protein foods list for kidney disease handy in such cases is quite pivotal. However, one has to be careful when following a low protein diet because it may cause other health issues and nutritional deficiencies. The low protein diets are generally vegetables, grains, and fruits. And the high-protein diets are generally fish, red meat, nuts, and fat-rich dairy products. 

Low Protein Foods List for Kidney Disease 

Yes, there are many low-protein foods and some of them have been listed below for people with kidney disease: 


● Onions 

● Mushrooms 

● Carrots 

● Tomatoes 

● Green Leafy Vegetables 

● Ladyfingers 

● Chiles 


● Berries 

● Bananas 

● Apples 

● Pears 

● Guava 

● Avocados 

● Grapes 

● Raisins 

Grains & Breads: 

● Rice 

● Bread crumbs 

● Wheat starch 

● White bread 

● Low protein waffle 

● Pancake 

● Rusks 

Foods Rich with Protein for Dialysis Patients

It is very important to know that during the process of dialysis the protein waste gets removed from the blood. Hence the low protein diet is no longer good for patients undergoing dialysis. 

The loss of protein during dialysis makes it essential for such patients to take diets rich in protein. This would keep the body adequately nourished & one would feel healthy. Some of the recommended high protein diets are chicken, beef, and rich fat dairy products. 

Foods list of high protein for dialysis patients

Given below is a list of foods rich in protein for kidney, specific to patients undergoing dialysis: 

Nuts & Dry Fruits: 

● Almonds 

● Cashews 

● Pistachios 

● Peanuts 

● Walnuts 

Non-Vegetarian Foods: 

● Chicken breast 

● Egg 

● Meat 

● Beef 

● Pork 

● Turkey breast 

● Fish – All types 

● Shrimp – seafood 

Vegetarian Foods: 

● Whole wheat flour 

● Chocolate chips 

● Whey 

● Lentils 

● Pumpkin seeds 

● Milk 

● Cheese 

● Soya beans 


Kidneys and proteins have a very close association with each other. There are recommendations on the amount of protein a normal healthy person should consume daily. For a healthy person, a high protein diet will not be harmful if taken for a short duration. During normal kidney functions, one can consume an adequate amount of proteins but once the kidney shows signs of any malfunction and needs medical attention, one should consult the doctor. 

One may require a diet containing adequate protein for dialysis patients or a diet high in protein to compensate for the protein losses happening during the process of dialysis.One should remember that an intake of adequate amounts of protein for kidney is a must for the body on a daily basis since the body does not store the proteins at all.

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