Protein is a nutrient that performs many functions in your body:
- Building, maintaining, and repairing body tissues
- Making hormones (insulin) and enzymes that help regulate body processes
- Producing antibodies to support your immune system
- Helping to maintain fluid balance (albumin)
- Storing and transporting nutrients (albumin) and oxygen (hemoglobin)
Although it is vital for normal function, protein is often accompanied by phosphorus in foods. Some proteins—especially processed meats—contain more phosphorus than others, so it’s important to choose your protein sources wisely.
Protein lost during dialysis should be preplaced so that you can be at your best. That’s why the National Kidney Foundation recommends that people on dialysis maintain high protein intake while limiting phosphorus consumption. Ideally, protein selections should contain less than 10-12 mg of phosphorus per gram of protein.1 Nepro® meets these requirements because it contains 9 mg of phosphorus per gram of protein.
The National Kidney Foundation also recommends that half of your daily protein intake comes from consuming high biological value protein (also called complete proteins), which contain all 9 essential amino acids. Your healthcare professional can advise you on the amount of essential amino acids that are right for you.
All high-protein foods are not created equal. Be on the lookout for protein-rich foods that are also high in sodium, preservatives, fat, or cholesterol.
Poor protein choices
For these higher-protein foods, be aware that some are also higher in phosphorus, sodium, preservatives, fat, or cholesterol.
- Bacon, sausage, hotdogs, bologna, salami
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Nut butters
- Dairy products are generally considered good sources of protein, but be aware of their potassium content. For example, milk has over 200 mg phosphorus and over 300 mg potassium per 8 fl oz2
1. Kopple, JD. Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Jan;37(1 Suppl 2):S66-70.
2. Nutrient Content of Milk Varieties. Milk Facts website. http://www.milkfacts.info/Nutrition%20Facts/Nutrient%20Content.htm. Accessed May 15, 2018.