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Published on November 21st, 2021 | by Katherine


Can you eat cheese with kidney disease?

People often say they love it so much they can’t live
without it.

And yet, cheese is often on top of the FORBIDDEN list of
foods for people with kidney disease.

Today we are going to see why cheese may not be as bad as
we think it is.

More in this video!

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Hello guys, today I’m here to answer a very important question: can you eat cheese with Kidney problems?

When it comes to cheese, people often say they love it so much they can’t live without it.
And yet, cheese is often on top of the FORBIDDEN list of foods for people with kidney disease.
Today we are going to see why cheese may not be as bad as we think it is.
Because, what many people don’t know about cheese is that it even has some health benefits!
Now guys, before we start – do you eat cheese? Which one in particular? Let’s talk about it in comment section!
Let’s talk about the biggest problem with cheese now: it is TOO rich in nutrients.

We are talking about a caloric dense, nutrient dense food item here.

I’ve included in my table here some of the cheeses we will consider.
This way we can see, at a glance, how much protein, sodium and phosphorus you would get from them.
These are some of the most common traditional types of cheese.
The interesting part is that, all of them, have at least some health benefits.
On the other hand, there are some reasons why eating cheese may not be acceptable, at least for some people.
Let’s see why.

First problem is Sodium in Cheese
Sodium is very dangerous for people with kidney problems.
Too much sodium in the body can result in high blood pressure, edema (swollen face, hands, legs, and ankles), breathlessness, and heart failure.
Usually, patients are advised to get no more than 1500mg of sodium from the diet.
But not all types of cheese are excessively rich in this nutrient.
As we can see here, for example cream cheese, ricotta, cottage and Swiss cheese all have low enough sodium levels to be safe, at least if eaten in small amounts.
Swiss cheese, or Emmental, is the clear winner when it comes to sodium.
This cheese is particularly interesting because it has some nutrients especially hard to get in a renal diet, calcium and vitamin b12.
There’s one study showing that Swiss cheese contains concentrations of two antihypertensive peptides that were found to have blood pressure-lowering properties.
Now, the problem with Swiss cheese is that it’s too rich in phosphorus.
So, it’s not a great choice if your blood levels are too high.

Phosphorus is the second problem with cheese.
Too much phosphorus in the blood can cause bone pain and problems, itchy skin and it can also make kidney disease progress faster.
Yes, there are good reasons to always monitor your phosphate levels.

But there are also some cheeses not too rich in phosphorus.
Cream cheese, cottage and brie.

Now, brie is probably my favorite – and it also has health benefits!
It’s especially rich in vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium and it’s also one of the types of cheese richer in vitamin D3.
Vitamin d3 is the vitamin you need the most.
Also, like many real cheeses, brie contains Conjugated linoleic acid, CLA.
Research has suggested that CLA may help prevent obesity, heart disease, and reduce inflammation.

And it’s worth mentioning that these types of cheese I’m showing you today are all traditional recipes – some from France, some from Italy and some from Switzerland.
I’m not going to talk too much about processed cheese such as Cheez Whiz, spread, pre sliced, Velveeta and so on because they are typically full of added preservatives – especially phosphate, which is even more dangerous than regular phosphorus in cheese.
This is also because fitting cheese in a renal diet is not easy and you’re not going to eat it every day probably.
Looking at the nutrients in these cheeses they better suited for a one or two times per week type of deal.
So, if you are only going to eat cheese once in a while, get the good and tasty ones I’m showing you today, and avoid eating industrially processed food items.
Now, there’s one more problem with cheese in general, and it’s the protein content.
Know that not everyone is following a VERY low protein diet – and cheese can be added to a low protein diet anyway – still there are reasons to limit the protein in the diet.
First of all because avoiding protein can literally prolong the life of your kidneys for 10 years or more.
I’m not exaggerating – watch my video up here if you don’t believe me.
Now, of all the types of cheese, one of the lowest in all the dangerous nutrients, including protein is cottage cheese.
Cottage cheese is a soft, white cheese made from the loose curds of cow’s milk. It’s thought to have originated in the United States.
This one has a great nutrient profile, including more beneficial fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins – particularly vitamin K2.
Now, vitamin k2 is almost impossible to get in a kidney diet and it can prevent vessels and heart calcification. Very very healthy.
Cheese is also rich in fats and fats from dairy also have some health benefits. They fight diabetes, for instance and have protective effects on heart health.

Yes, some types of cheese are too delicious and versatile not to consider them in a kidney diet.
But, as we have seen, some cheeses are loaded with nutrients that can affect your kidney health.
Your favorite cheese may be low in protein and sodium, but its phosphorus content can be high.
This is why it is important to read the nutrition label and watch your portion control.
Always check in with your renal dietitian or primary health care provider to know more about your nutritional requirements.

So, to answer the question: can you eat cheese with kidney disease?
The answer is YES, if you can fit it in your daily allowance.
And with all we know now about various types of traditional cheeses, this shouldn’t be impossible – but remember – moderation is the key here.
This is all for today, thank you for watching!


About the Author

Hello, this I Katherine, welcome to 00Kidney! Here you will find how tos and guides for kidney disease patients, how to lower creatinine, how to improve kidney function, the best recipes for you kidney friendly diet and... much more!

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