Published on July 4th, 2020 | by Michaelw0
The X factor to repair your kidneys
If you have kidney disease there’s one thing in your diet that will make all the difference between repairing your kidneys and keeping damaging them.
The most important factor. We could call it the factor “?”.
Because, it’s true that avoiding getting too much potassium is important.
And getting complex carbohydrates instead of refined ones is important too.
But there’s one factor, one thing, that can be both your worst enemy or your most precious ally.
It’s what makes the plant-based diet so healthy for kidney patients.
This factor is
Yes, I consider protein intake the most important factor for a renal diet.
My name is Katherine and this is 00kidney.
And if you are new here, welcome to our journey together to a better kidney health!
Don’t forget to subscribe!
But why is protein so important to repair your kidneys?
Because protein intake is a double-edged sword.
Your body is mostly made from protein, you know?
But your kidneys are burdened by them.
THIS makes protein intake really hard to manage correctly, and if you aren’t able to get the exact quantity, your kidneys are going to suffer.
On one hand, you need protein to survive. This macronutrient, mostly found in meat, eggs and dairy is the essential building block of your body.
If you don’t get enough protein, you’ll become malnourished and this means being weaker, and more prone to infection. Not good.
But on the other hand, protein metabolism is going to put your kidneys trough a lot of work. A lot.
And this is the kind of burden that will make kidney disease progress faster.
So, you cannot live without protein but your kidneys are damaged by them.
And this is a problem.
The good news: in this video, I won’t just show you the problem.
No, I will show you exactly how to use the protein in your renal diet to repair your kidneys in the easiest way possible.
And to show you that this is possible. There’s a very inspiring comment that was posted here on 00kidney and I want to read it to you.
This is a comment I’ve received on my last video from a user called Jonathan B Goodwin. He says
I didn’t know this could be done. I was diagnosed 7 years ago and my creatinine only went up since then.
I have high cholesterol, HBP and CKD.
I had to give up my job on long haulers I had family problems and my life was a mess.
Then my doctors started telling me that I’ll need a kidney transplant in a matter of months.
This really scared me at the point that I decided to take action.
I’ve started to read all that I can, I’ve started taking seminars and I’ve started watching youtube videos (by the way Katherine really is the best).
OH, THANK YOU! ehehe
I switched to a plant based low protein diet, I started walking 3 miles a day even when it rains.
I started caring. Yes, this can be done.
And I think I can beat CKD now.
So now I want to tell people like me that there’s still hope not to get killed by this disease.
Despite all that I’ve been trough I will never give up.
You can do it too.
Oh, this is really good news. Thank you very much for sharing your inspiring story with us.
And guys, if you know anyone suffering from chronic kidney disease, please share this video with them.
Not many patients know about the importance of protein in the diet and this video can help a lot of them in my opinion.
And by the way, in the final part of the video I’ve also answered your questions.
I’ve received some interesting questions in comment section about Vitamins, superfoods and strategies to repair kidney damage.
But, first, let’s see why an optimal and balanced intake of protein is the most important thing to repair your kidneys.
They always tell you that up to 60% of the human adult body is water.
What they don’t tell you, is that excluding water, the human body is made up almost entirely from protein.
Your organs, your muscles, your skin and tissue… everything is made from protein.
They’re the building block of the human body, kidneys included.
Now, why do you need to limit protein intake, then?
If protein is the building block of the body, amino acids, these smaller lego pieces in my slide, are the building block of protein, ok?
When you get protein from meat, eggs, fish and so on, the digestive system needs to break it down into amino acids so the body can use them.
This creates waste products. A lot of waste products, actually. And guess what organ is going to clear these waste products?
Yes, the kidneys.
What this means for us is that, if you want your kidney health to improve, you need to get the right amount of protein.
And that’s about the lowest quantity of protein your body can survive on.
This is absolutely necessary to avoid worsening your condition.
Not too much protein, not too little; just right.
And you will notice immediately when you hit the right number, because lowering your protein intake will decrease your urea levels, or BUN in your analysis.
And that’s good.
Excessive urea in the body also causes many of the symptoms of CKD, including loss of appetite and weight, nausea and vomiting, itchiness and fatigue.
So, decreasing the urea load by consuming less protein would also help you control these symptoms.
And that’s great, right?
Now, what is the magical number?
How much protein should you get daily?
Today, the best dieticians and nephrologists recommend their patients to get
0.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight a day.
This is what most studies point to and what’s supposed to give you the best results.
This is the magic number.
0.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight a day.
Now, some patients could be prescribed less than this, when aggressive management is required.
In this case malnutrition is almost guaranteed, and the patient would need to take special amino acids called keto acids.
I’ve talked about this in this video up here.
So, for now, let’s start from this number.
Let’s try to understand what does getting 0.6 grams of protein per kg means.
We need to do some calculation here.
Let’s make an example.
Jane weighs let’s say 132 pounds. But we need the weight in kilograms.
To go from pounds to kilograms you need to divide by 2.2.
That’s 60 kg.
So, the right amount of protein for her would be between
60 kg ? 0.6 g/kg = 36 grams
John weights 180 pounds, or 82 kg.
The right amount of protein for him would be
82 kg ? 0.6 g/kg = 50 grams
Ok, so these are two practical examples.
But we still got grams of protein, let’s translate these numbers into serving sizes.
These are some examples of serving sizes and the amount of protein they contain.
Don’t worry, I’ll also show you what are the best foods to get protein from in a moment.
Now, if for example we consider 3 ounces of chicken meat, or a portion as big as the palm of your hand, (MOSTRA PALMO MANO) …
it would contain 26 grams of protein.
Beef is a little less rich in protein, 3 ounces have 22.6 grams of protein.
So, if you’re the jane of the previous example, this would be already too much protein for you.
Because if you need to get 36 grams of protein in the whole day it’s not wise to get 22 or 26 grams from a single portion.
So, maybe, just eat half portion of these high protein foods, right?
Because, as we can see here, many foods that are not considered protein sources, such as white bread, oatmeal and rice still have some protein in them +
Ideally, your dietitian should make you a dietary plan counting everything you eat in a day.
Or you can make it for yourself if you are used to track your caloric and nutrient intakes.
Now, the number I’ve shown you earlier, 0.6 grams of protein per kg, is very restrictive.
And it also means that you need to get all your protein from high quality sources.
Yes, there are two kinds of protein: good protein and bad protein.
If you want to repair your kidneys, just one of these two kinds is allowed in your diet.
In this slide we can see some good sources of protein, such as fatty fish, salmon, eggs, especially the white, poultry, lean meat, tofu, nuts and seeds.
These are all good protein and should be your main source of this nutrient if you want to repair your kidneys.
All these foods are rich in something your kidneys need: meat has iron, fatty fish has omega 3 fatty acids, eggs white can even fight high cholesterol.
So, get the little amount of protein you need from these foods.
On the other hand, foods such as processed meat, deli meat, hot dogs and junk food in general are too rich in sodium, phosphates and other preservatives to be healthy.
Let’s see why I’m telling you this.
Salmon for example, is really kidney friendly because it’s a great source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3s are really healthy.
They can decrease chronic inflammation and protect against heart disease and cancer.
In addition, salmon is low in saturated fat and is an excellent source of protein with all the essential amino acids needed by the body.
Salmon has about 300mg of potassium per 3 oz serving, or 85 grams, so you’re going to need a bit of portion control here.
It also has 200 mg of phosphorus and 45 mg of sodium.
A 3 ounces portion has also 17 grams of high quality protein
Another great choice for kidney patients is
This is also a great source of protein, and it’s even good for people following a vegan diet.
The Chia seed is a tiny little powerhouse that can add a lot of benefits to your renal diet.
Chia seeds are one of the BEST plant-based sources of omega 3s.
And the plant based diet is a great way to keep your protein intake down.
NOW, if you want to know more about the plant based diet, I’ve made a video about it.
But also consider that chia seeds have three times the amount of iron found in spinach, 5 times the calcium of milk and 3 times the antioxidants of blueberries.
A real powerhouse food!
Now, another great plant based source of protein:
Green peas are exceptionally healthy for kidney patients:
A new research from Canada found that protein in this superfood may provide a natural remedy against high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.
Not many people eat them because legumes are usually avoided by kidney disease patients.
But green peas are different from most legumes:
For a half cup portion, or about 70 grams, they contain just 160mg of potassium and 74 mg of phosphorus, making them a great side dish to improve your kidney health.
In half cup, there’s also 4 grams of protein.
Now, this protein, even if it’s coming from a healthy food, are not as good as those from meat, for example.
This is because of the amino acid profile they have.
And this is a very important piece information if you have to limit your protein intake.
So, there are 20 acids in the protein we eat every day.
Nine of the amino acids are called essential.+
This is because our bodies cannot make them. These essential amino acids must come from the foods we eat, right?
Now, meat, dairy, fish and eggs have all these 9 essential amino acids.
Plant foods, on the other hands, are missing some of these.
But don’t worry, there’s a trick to get the 9 essential amino acids from plant foods too!
Here it is
Combining foods from any two of the following plant groups will make a higher quality protein, CONTAINING ALL THE 9 amino acids.
First group is
. Legumes, such as dry beans, peas, peanuts, lentils, and soybeans
Second group is
. Grains, such as wheat, rye, rice, corn, oats, and barley
Third group is
. Seeds and nuts, such as chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, pecans, and walnuts
So, if you eat for example green peas, from the first group, eat them with a grain like rice or oats or something else from the second group or with some chia seeds from the third.
Always mix the foods in these three groups, when you eat them, ok?
This way you’re going to get the best protein possible from the healthiest foods.
Now, if you have doubts on how to keep track of all this grams, and nutrients and food groups… well, my preferred method is keeping a health journal or a diary that also includes the food intakes.
I’ve talked about this topic in one of my recent videos, the link is up here if you want to know more.
Time for your comments! Let’s read a question from Berna Mercado
Hello Katherine, i bought the ebook on how to fight Ckd.
I would like to ask should we drink omega3 , coQ10, Alpha lipoic acid together?
Hello Berna, very good for you getting the program! It will make everything easier! I’ve met many people who were able to reverse kidney disease thanks to program you just bought!
But don’t start all the supplements all together.
First of all, there could be side effects and, if this happens, you will want to know which one is causing them.
So maybe start the first supplement, then wait one or two weeks and then start the next one.
For example, omega 3 can give you mild stomach problems, so that one should be taken on a full stomach.
It’s not common, but can happen.
The most important thing is that these supplements are all aimed to lower the dose of medications you need.
They are going to lower your need for diabetes medications, cholesterol medications and high blood pressure medications.
Now, if you start everything in combination with your usual medication regimen, you’re going to risk troubles.
But if you talk to your doctor and explain them what you’re doing and why, your doctor will be able to adjust your dosage for the medications you’re already taking, alright?
It’s a process that requires some testing aimed at a fine tuning of the medications you’re taking.
The final goal is to get as little medications as possible, since many of the pills patients get regularly prescribed have proven NEPHROTOXIC EFFECTS.
But this is something you can only do with the help of your doctor.
And by the way, congratulations for starting your path to repair your kidneys!
Let us know how it goes.
And by the way guys, if you want to know more about the program she’s using, there’s a link in description.
Now a question from a user called M WS
He asks, can kidney disease be completely reversed or is there a limit to how much repair can be done?
Very interesting question! Yes, indeed, there’s a limit to how much you can repair the damage.
This is because not all cells could be repaired.
I like to explain this with an example.
Picture a string tied around a finger, cutting off the blood flow. If that string were in place for a couple seconds, upon removing it there would be no sign it was ever there.
At some longer time, there would be skin cells lost, and scars that persist, but the bones and muscles might live.
The finger might not serve well at the piano, but might be good enough for holding a paintbrush.
But the string was tight for days or even months, the cells of the finger would eventually die. The finger would blacken, shrivel…you get the picture.
What this means for us. First of all, the sooner you remove the tie around your kidneys, the better. STRINGI DITO POI LEVA MANO
This is why I always tell people to take action immediately if they suspect kidney problems.
And also, that not all damage can be reversed.
But, even if you have chronic kidney disease, and the string has been tied to your kidneys for years, not everything is lost.
There are two million separate filters in the kidneys, and you need just about half of them to get the job of filtering the blood perfectly done.
Remember that some people are born with just one kidney and they may never know about this.
Now, when you start taking action to stop what’s damaging the kidneys, you’re even going to be able to get some of your kidney function back.
You won’t probably be able to get back to 100 percent kidney function, but you don’t even need it.
Still, the sooner you start taking care of your kidneys, the better.
Now a question from
Is vitamin D really helpful? where to get vitamin d from foods?
can a kidney patient eat watermelon?
Ok, this is an interesting question.
And, yes, I think vitamin D is really important for kidney patients.
This is because about 79% of kidney patients have a deficiency for this vitamin.
And the problem is not that they don’t get it enough from the diet, but that, you know, you need healthy kidneys to process this vitamin and make it available for the body.
So what you get from foods and from the sun isn’t going to be good enough for you if you have kidney disease.
You still can try to get more of it from food. It can help a little bit.
Your best option would be fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon. These are very healthy, they are also rich in omega 3s.
But your best bet would be getting some vitamin d from supplement, because you can find it in the active form that doesn’t need to be processed by the kidneys. It’s called vitamin d3.
What about watermelon? It’s mostly water, as the name says. So, if you don’t have a fluid restriction, it’s perfectly safe.
Just practice some portion control, alright?
A wedge of watermelon contributes 560 mg potassium, and for some patients that’s too much. But a smaller 1 cup serving contains only 180 mg potassium, safe even for stage 4.
So, no reasons not to enjoy it.
Ok, these were your questions for today, I hope my answers will be able to help you.
And if you guys have other questions… write them down in comment section! If they’re interesting I will be answering them in my next video, next Tuesday!
Now, a conclusion for today’s video.
Protein intake is really important in your diet and, as we have seen, if you manage it the smart way it can help you repair your kidneys.
So, get the right amount of protein and get it from the right foods. That’s the way to repair your kidneys.
And find a doctor or a dietitian that can help you planning your diet. I can’t stress enough how important this is.
Because I can point you in the right direction, I can even show you what to eat and how to read your analysis to understand if you’re doing right.
But if you really want to beat kidney disease you need to do everything you can.
And this may even include finding help where you can.
But remember that there’s always hope, at least of stopping the progression of this illness.
Even in the more advanced stages of kidney disease.
This is all for today, thank you very much for watching, see you next Tuesday!