More calories

I have CKD and am adopting a low protein( no meat/fish/dairy/eggs) and low potassium/phosphates/sodium (reduce potatoes/pasta) diet, and have found I can reach my protein level easily enough, but am constantly short of calories. Can you help at all?


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    Healthy, natural fats. Make sure your protein comes with fats that belong, full fat milk etc, oil fish like salmon and mackerel. Dress salads in oil and vinegar,cook veggies in butter etc etc.

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    Thanks for this, but the problem is I can't have fish/dairy....hence the problem in finding extra calories.

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    Have a look here to see if it helps. Trying to get enough calories on a renal diet is an issue. I would say more fats and simple sugars but you really should consult with a nutritionist. The risk is getting enough calories but not enough other nutrients.


    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

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    I highly encourage you reach out to your team and ask for a referral to a renal dietitian. The kidneys are so tricky and we often set targets based on a person's level of kidney failure.

    There are also some useful medications that can be used to help with absorption of potassium/phosphorus. And in some cases, we can be a bit more liberal with protein.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    Thank you for the advice, Susan. I will ask for access to a dietician at my next check in.

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    edited February 2022

    I have mild pku and I need to follow a low protein diet too (mine is 12-13 grams of protein a day). Here are my recommendations:

    1. Make korean glass noodles, chinese mung bean noodles, cassava couscous, plantains and starchy root vegetables as your staple foods (limit your potato intake if you have a similar or lower protein tolerance... Besides they aren't super nutritious and go stuff like sweet potatoes/ yams/ cassava or taro are much lower in protein and more nutrient dense)

    2. You may think intentionally adding more fat to your diet for the intent of "bulking up" your calories might be a good thing but you can very easily overdo it and end up feeling pretty unwell/ gaining fat. Avoid deep fried food as it contains lots of saturated fats, some trans fat and coule contain free radicals from overheating (in case you do not have a thermometer). Drinking fortified coconut milk every day, using coconut cream as your heavy cream substitute, eating some avocado here and then, drizzling salads with sesame or olive oil and stir frying your veggies or noodles in a bit of oil such as canola or olive oil for medium heat and avocado for high heat would be more then enough to provide you approximately 25-30% of you calories in fat (pretty much any oil would also work but those are the healthier options and getting more then 40% fat is unrecomended unless you are recommended by a dietician on the ketogenic diet). If you can tolerate higher protein you can add more nuts, chia seeds and dark chocolate to your diet.

    3. Eat fruits, ddied fruits or a smoothie in between meals to get extra calories, nutrients and feel fuller.

    4. At the place of dairy look into vegan yogurt, ice creams, milk and cheese options. There are many out there and you would definitively find something you'll like. I like nafsika garden mozzarella blocks, violife cheddar/ mozzarella sheards and silk coconut yogurt.

    5. At the place of meat, you can try and make mock meats patties/ vegfie balls with rice, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms (or any rehydrated mushrooms of your choice), oyster mushrooms, diced konjac cakes and bind it all with potato starch and methyl cellulose (give the meat taste you can flavor with powdered vegan meat broth, soy sauce and/or mushrooms powder; if you have a higher tolerance you can go for marmite). Or you can simply sauté some fresh or dried mushrooms, try out jackfruit mock meat recipes or try out banana blossom mock meat/ fish recipes.

    6. If you are lucky or willing to order food online you might find vegan breaded fish cakes, konjac shrimps/ squid (you may find it at a big asian grocery store) and vegan raw sushi fish

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