Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Nutrition

Kidney Health: Protein in Your Diet (304)

Kidney Health: Protein in Your Diet (304) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Nutrition


Protein in Your Diet

Proteins are known as the building blocks of life. Protein is needed for all body functions and to
help maintain and grow body tissues. Meeting protein needs is an important part of achieving
good health. You may have high protein needs or you may need to limit your daily protein

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are high quality protein. Vegetable and grain
products are lower quality proteins. This means you may need to eat a larger quantity of
vegetables and grains to meet your protein needs.

Foods that contain protein are put into groups. The groups include the milk group, the meat and
meat substitutes group, and the bread products group. The number of servings you need to eat
from each group is listed below.

Your daily goal for protein is ___________________________grams.

Milk ______________choices daily
Each choice provides 8 grams protein. Each of these items is equal to 1 choice:

1 cup milk, all kinds
1 ounce cheese
1 cup yogurt
½ cup of Greek yogurt
1 cup milk pudding
¾ cup custard
1 cup cream soup, made with milk*
1 cup ice cream
1 cup light cream or half-and-half

Meat and meat substitutes _________________ choices daily
Each choice provides 7 grams protein. Each of these items is equal to 1 choice:

1 egg, large
¼ cup egg substitute
1 ounce beef, lamb, pork, poultry, or fish
¼ cup cottage cheese*
1 hot dog or 2 small sausages*
⅓ cup or 5-6 oysters
½ cup tofu, soft type
¼ cup tofu, firm type
¼ cup salmon, tuna, crab, lobster, clams
1 ounce or 5 medium shrimp
2 ounces vegetarian meat analog (Boca
burgers, Gardenburgers)
2 slices of deli meat (1/8” thickness)*
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup cooked soybeans, pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, lentils, or split peas

Breads and cereals ______________ choices daily
Each choice provides 2 grams protein. Each of these items is equal to 1 choice:

1 biscuit (2 inch)
1 slice bread
½ hamburger bun
1 dinner roll
3 Tablespoons Grapenuts
6 saltines
½ cup cooked rice
1 pancake (4 inch)
½ cup cooked cereal
1 muffin
¾ cup dry cereal, flakes
6 graham crackers (2½ inch square)
2½ tablespoons flour
½ cup cooked pasta

Foods without much protein
This list is useful to those people needing to restrict the protein in their diet. These foods contain
little or no protein:

Decaf coffee or tea
Soft drinks or Kool-Aid®
Broths or bouillon*
Fruits and vegetables
Herbs and spices
Catsup or mustard
Lemon juice
Oils, butter, margarine, shortening, or mayonnaise
French or Italian dressing
Sugar, honey, syrup, or molasses
Jams and jellies
Hard candy, mints, or gum drops
Candies without chocolate, eggs, milk, or nuts
Chewing gum
Frosting without chocolate, eggs, milk, or nuts
Items that contain alcohol ϒ

*Foods that may be high in sodium.
Note: Alcoholic beverages should only be used on doctor’s approval.

Teach Back
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the
phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 2/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing. HF#304