RenalTracker Team
March 1, 2023

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. It has been written and vetted by RenalTracker's team of kidney experts and researchers. The same team was awarded the KidneyX Prize organized by the American Society of Nephrology and HHS for pre-dialysis solution in Washington DC in 2019.   

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low protein snacks

One of the most important factors in managing CKD is following a low-protein diet. A low-protein diet can help to reduce the workload on the kidneys, slow the progression of the disease, and minimize the risk of complications. 

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why a low-protein diet is essential for individuals with CKD, the recommended protein intake, and some tips for following a low-protein diet without compromising on taste and nutrition. Whether you are living with CKD or supporting someone who is, this post will provide valuable insights into the benefits of a low-protein diet for managing this condition.

What are the benefits of following a low-protein diet?

For people with Chronic Kidney Disease, a low-protein diet has been shown to have a number of advantages.

According to a study that was published in National Library of Medicine on "Dietary Protein and Chronic Kidney Disease", a low-protein diet can lower the amount of protein in the urine, improve lipid and cholesterol levels, and even improve glucose management for those with diabetes and early-stage CKD.

Urea is a significant problem for many kidney disease sufferers. A low-protein diet lowers the level of urea created by the metabolism of proteins. Then, to help keep the kidneys safe, this can lower blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels.

A low protein diet combined with a low sodium diet has also been demonstrated to lower blood pressure.

Other benefits are the following: 

  • Maintain kidney function
  • Reduced risk of metabolic acidosis due to lower levels of protein in the urine
  • Decrease in oxidative stress
  • Decrease in insulin resistance
  • Reduced/regular blood pressure
  • Reduced uremic toxins
  • Enhanced phosphorus control

Does following a low-protein diet have risks?

A low-protein diet may have potential effects if it is not carefully managed by medical professionals.

There is a chance of not getting adequate calories when protein intake is reduced. Consequently, accidental weight loss may result. Muscle loss can occur when weight reduction occurs too quickly or in a hazardous way.

Increased inflammation is another risk. Not getting enough calories in your diet or muscle breakdown may be the reason for this. Poor blood sugar regulation may also result from this inflammation.

Animal products must typically be avoided or severely limited on low-protein diets. As a result, a diet deficient in protein may result in anemia, one of the early indications and symptoms of kidney disease.

What you can eat on a low-protein diet

A low-protein diet will consist of a wide range of foods. Among the food categories with low protein content are;

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • Healthy fats

A low protein diet also consists of other ingredients such;

  • Herbs

  • Spices

  • Condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and jam

  • Coffee and tea

  • Sauces and some dips

Many people with advanced kidney disease may require potassium restriction, though this is not always necessary. Obviously, this is something to consider while trying to increase your intake of fruits and veggies.

Always keep in mind that low-potassium fruits and vegetables are readily available for your enjoyment. Including foods high in potassium is also probably still possible, but it's better to consult a dietitian to learn how to do so safely.

When it comes to a low-protein diet, heart-healthy fats are essential. Among preferred sources of fat are:

  • Sesame oil

  • Olive oil

  • Avocado oil

  • Pecans

  • Walnuts

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Avocado

  • Low-sodium olives

  • Hemp hearts

What does a sample low-protein diet look like?

Here is a sample low-protein diet for a Chronic Kidney Disease patient for the day:


Flax, chia, berries, and maple syrup combined with cream of wheat.


Avocado, lettuce, sprouts, red onion, cucumber, carrots, and hummus in a veggie wrap, served with chips and corn salsa on the side.


Grilled portobello mushrooms marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar served with rice, sauteed green beans, and a side salad.


frozen grapes ckd

Frozen grapes

How about low-protein snacks?

Fresh fruits (consult a dietitian first)

muffins ckd

Homemade muffins (made with low-protein baking mix)

sweet potato ckd

Baked sweet potato fries with spicy mayo dip

fruit popsicles ckd

Homemade popsicles made from fruit juice

fruit smoothies ckd

Fruit smoothie (using low-protein dairy alternatives)

Importance of seeing a dietitian or nutritionist

It's crucial to have a thorough nutrition assessment with a renal dietitian to determine whether or not you should be on a low protein diet.

It is strongly advised that you see a dietician before restricting any aspect of your diet. Find a dietician by asking your doctor for a recommendation, using the National Kidney Foundation's directory, or by contacting me!

It is not advised to undertake a low-protein diet on your own because of the risks involved. Work with your healthcare practitioner to acquire the assistance you require and reduce your risk of malnutrition.

The Bottom Line

A diet low in protein, or even extremely low in protein, can help you preserve your kidney function and avoid dialysis for as long as possible.

More fat in the diet results from a decrease in protein. Ensure that it still originates from natural, unprocessed sources.

Work with a dietitian to adhere to a low-protein diet in the safest and healthiest manner possible. 

Your Next Step 

If you want to learn more low-protein kidney diet snacks, you can start with a FREE DISCOVERY CALL with our advisor and find out if you are a good fit for our program: