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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease - Protein (Fact Sheet)

What Is Protein?

Protein is in many foods that you eat. Protein can be found in foods from animals and from plants. Most diets include both types of protein. Protein provides the building blocks that help maintain and repair muscles, organs, and other parts of the body.

Animal-protein Foods:

Plant-protein Foods:

High Protein:

Low Protein:

Why Is Protein Important for People with CKD?

When your body uses protein, it produces waste. This waste is removed by the kidneys. Too much protein can make the kidneys work harder, so people with CKD may need to eat less protein.

Animal protein includes all of the building blocks that your body needs. Plant proteins need to be combined to get all of the building blocks that your body needs.

How Do I Eat the Right Amount of Protein?

Your dietitian will tell you what amount and types of protein are right for you. Here is some general information about protein types and serving sizes:

What if I Am a Vegetarian?

There are many good sources of protein for people who do not eat meat or dairy foods. Talk to your dietitian about how to combine plant proteins to be sure you are getting all of the building blocks your body needs.

Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease - Protein (Fact Sheet)

Also available in Spanish.

Page last updated: February 6, 2013