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By Apeksha Ekbote, Msc,RD, Chief Dietician, NephroPlus 

Pune, 16 September 2021: Protein is an important nutrient during dialysis. An individual loses as much as 8-16g or average protein per session of dialysis. Individuals on dialysis need to consume 1.2-1.5g/kg ideal body weight of protein every day to compensate these losses. A challenge met here is by most vegetarians to consume the required quantity in their diet.


A vegetarian is a person who follows a specific diet which include consumption of only plant based foods. Vegetarians do not consume meat or egg. If you are a vegetarian, you don’t have to start eating meat because you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) or have started dialysis.


Although most of the vegetarian protein sources are either rich in phosphorus or potassium, it is not necessary that you avoid taking them. It is utmost important than you take your phosphate binders with food correctly. Vegetarian sources are not as high in biological value like egg or meat but taking them appropriately will help one get their daily dose of Protein.


Vegetarians may include the following sources to enhance their protein:


  • Soy or Soy Products like Soy Milk, Soya Flakes, Meal maker, Tofu etc.
  • Dairy Products (Restricted to 300 ml/day) most importantly Paneer
  • Beans and Lentils (Leached)
  • Grains
  • Legumes (Leached)

Although, Protein supplements may be an option for patients with who are unable to meet their protein needs by food alone, it is not compulsory for a vegetarian to shift to being an Ovo-vegetarian (Consume eggs) just to get their protein. Follow your dieticians advice  and get the daily dose of protein by continuing to be a vegetarian.