No, a classic ketogenic diet is not a high protein diet. For those with PKD or CKD, it will generally be even lower, somewhere between 10% and 15% of daily caloric intake (unless they're on dialysis).
While there is some evidence that intake from red meat on a ketogenic diet does not cause harm to the kidneys, I like to play it safe and help clients manage PKD or CKD based on a protocol developed by scientists and renal health professionals in 2021. It prioritizes plant protein, while adding some protein from other sources like dairy, eggs, fish, and chicken.
Keto for PKD/CKD is high in fiber from whole food, lower carb, lower oxalate plant sources.
If you don't already enjoy a variity of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in your diet, this might raise up pictures of a rabbit in your mind. However, you need not fear! You certainly won't be be staring at a plate full of raw lettuce at every meal.
For some ideas of what delicious foods can be eated on a plant-rich ketogenic diet, check out the pictures at the bottom of this page.
These include fat from lower oxalate whole foods, as well as from oils such as coconut, olive, or avocado among others.
Some good news: butter is on the list of healthy fats. While high saturated fat intake is not a good idea when combined with high sugar intake (as it often is in a typical Western diet), when the body runs primarily on fat - as it does on a ketogenic diet - then levels of saturated fat are actually reduced in the body. A keto-driven metabolism likes saturated fat as fuel and uses it well.
Which fats are avoided? No heavily processed seed oils, please.
There are some specific goals for mineral intake on a PKD/CKD ketogenic diet. Salt, for example, is required in higher amounts than for someone not on a ketogenic diet. HOWEVER, salt intake will still be lower for those with PKD/CKD than for someone on a ketogenic diet who doesn't have impaired kidney function.
Emerging research is showing that BHB supplementation has a positive effect on damaged kidneys, even when someone with PKD/CKD is not on a ketogenic diet. Don't let this lull you into a sense of complacency, however. BHB is not a magic pill that will negate the effects of a heavily processed, high oxalate diet, so dietary changes will still need to be made.
My program is structured for personalization; every client is set up with a plan tailor-made to fit their own needs. This means clients with polycystic or chronic kidney disease can transition sucessfully to whole food ketogenic nutrition designed specifically for them.
The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before undertaking a new health regimen. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you read [in/on this material/website]. Do not start or stop any medications without speaking to your medical or mental health provider.
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