Is Protein Restriction Necessary If You Have Diabetic Kidney Disease?

Steak is high in protein but it ultimately depends on serving size

From a Diabetes Care Consensus panel:

Consensus recommendation:

In individuals with diabetes and non–dialysis-dependent diabetic kidney disease (DKD), reducing the amount of dietary protein below the recommended daily allowance (0.8 g/kg body weight/day) does not meaningfully alter glycemic measures, cardiovascular risk measures, or the course of glomerular filtration rate decline and may increase risk for malnutrition.

Are protein needs different for people with diabetes and kidney disease? Historically, low-protein eating plans were advised to reduce albuminuria and progression of chronic kidney disease in people with DKD, typically with improvements in albuminuria but no clear effect on estimated glomerular filtration rate. In addition, there is some indication that a low-protein eating plan may lead to malnutrition in individuals with DKD. The average daily level of protein intake for people with diabetes without kidney disease is typically 1–1.5 g/kg body weight/day or 15–20% of total calories. Evidence does not suggest that people with DKD need to restrict protein intake to less than the average protein intake.

Source: Nutrition Therapy for Adults With Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report | Diabetes Care

Steve Parker, M.D.

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