Plant-Based vs. Animal-Based Diets For CKD

Your day-to-day lifestyle choices coincide with everything. From the way you move your body to the food you eat, each aspect of your day can be influenced by your preferences. Regarding diet, chronic kidney disease can be significantly impacted by what you decide to eat. Many people are often in one of two categories, plant-based or animal-based diets. Each can play a different role in your chronic kidney disease lifestyle.

At Durham Nephrology, we have spent decades trying to find the best ways for CKD patients to stay healthy. This has led us to multiple diets and ways of eating that make the most considerable transformation for our patients. While it is a personal choice, having more information about options can be very helpful.  

Deciding Between A Plant-Based And Animal-Based Diet 

The Importance Of Diet 

Before learning about these specific diets, you must understand how diet impacts chronic kidney disease. While some characteristics are specific to patients, there are also details of a diet plan that affect all CKD patients. Overall, eating foods with less salt and sodium can help lower blood pressure. It is about choosing healthy foods for all areas of your body, especially the heart. When your diet supports your overall health, the body has the nutrients it needs to support kidney function and other areas affected by the condition. 

Plant-Based Diet 

One of the most significant ways a plant-based diet differs from an animal-based diet is the type of protein the two consume. Patients rely on beans, nuts, and grains for protein in a plant-based diet. This gives the patients a choice of variety while keeping their commitment to a plant-based diet. When choosing heart-healthy foods, plant-based diets can do this by focusing on beans, fruits, and vegetables. These choices can also help you consume less phosphorus and the correct amount of potassium.  

Studies show that plant-based diets for CKD patients show improvement in areas such as hypertension, metabolic acidosis, and hyperphosphatemia. The plant-based diet offers a great source of amino acids for patients. They are also nutrient-dense, improving overall health, and showing positive changes for CKD patients.   

Animal-Based Diet 

For an animal-based diet, CKD patients can rely on standard proteins. This includes chicken, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy. While you may not want to include all of these in the diet, it allows you to decide which ones appeal to you. There have been concerns about the levels of certain substances in meat, such as fat, acid, and sodium, that can cause harmful effects on the kidneys. However, as is the case in many situations, moderation and choosing the correct options can make all the difference. Your doctor may recommend moving away from certain meats known to cause further problems, and you may have to start bringing more vegetables and plant-based proteins into your diet. 

These days, everyone hears about new diets all the time. It is difficult to determine which ones are best suited for medical conditions. However, we are here to share how specific diets, such as plant-based vs. animal-based diets, can impact patients with CKD. The significant difference between the two comes down to protein consumption and recognizing and adjusting the limitations of each. Are you interested in learning more about the differences between a plant-based and animal-based diet for patients with CKD? Our team at Durham Nephrology is here to give you all the resources and information you need. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 477-3005 for more details. 


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