How To Keep Up Iron Levels With Kidney Disease (Sans Meat)

When it comes to eating the proper diet for kidney disease, one of the toughest things to be mindful of are your different mineral levels. One of those vital minerals is iron.

Iron is very important to the body, particularly because of its role in transporting oxygen to all parts of the body, it’s ability to help in the formation of red blood cell as well as support body metabolism. The ideal approach to get adequate iron into the body is through our diet and red meat is a very good source of iron. You can get up to 2.5 mg of iron from one 3-ounce serving of lean ground beef. Ideally, 8 mg of iron is all that is needed for men while women need up to 18 mg on a daily basis.

It’s a fact that red meat is a rich source of nutrients like zinc, vitamin B12, muscle-building amino acids and of course, iron, but we also have to weary of the fact that red meat also has the has the inherent risk of increasing the chances of having several chronic diseases such as heart disease and some types of cancer.

Also, it’s widely known that meat and kidney disease aren’t the best of friends, with a vegetarian diet being much preferred when kidney function is impaired. That said, some studies have shown that plant-based diets may do the opposite of that while also reducing the risk of having health issues later.

Fortunately, hamburger isn’t the only source of iron however, if you are completely vegetarian or vegan, you would have to eat more mineral because iron comes in two forms; heme and nonheme. You can get both from foods such as poultry, seafood and meat. On the other hand, fortified foods or plant-based foods contain only nonheme and this could be a problem if you’re strictly plant-based because your body your body readily absorbs the iron in animal products easily.

According to the author of The Plant powered Diet, Sharon Palmer, RDN, vegans and vegetarians ought to consume approximately 1.8 time the recommended daily. That comes to about 32 mg for women between ages 19-50.

There are some foods that contain more iron than beef and if you intend to hit the required level, here are some delicious foods you can consume to help you reach your target. Make sure to be cautious of potassium and phosphorus levels if they are an issue for you. Some of these foods may need to be excluded. 

  • Spinach You can get as much as 3mg of iron from only a half-cup of cooked spinach and the best part is that it only contains 21 calories.
  • Swiss chard You can go for leafy greens in your salads if you are not a fan of spinach. You can get 4mg of iron from one cup of cooked Swiss chard as well as some other minerals such as calcium, fiber, protein and vitamin A and C.
  • Oats A cup of oats for breakfast would provide you 3.5mg of iron.
  • Lentils For each half cup of cooked lentils, you wil get 3.5 mg of iron. I guess you are already thinking of adding it to your diet plan.
  • Oysters You could effectively use seafood as a substitute for red meat, particularly when you consider the fact that it has effectively significant lower calories than red meat.
  • Edamame You can get 18 grams of muscle building nutrients from a two half-cup serving
  • Pumpkin seeds You can get as much as 3 mg of iron from just ⅓ of a cup of pumpkin seeds.
  • Baked potato As long as you don’t go crazy with the sour cream and butter, this might just be a meal that is a lot healthier than you think. You can get 3 mg of iron from one large baked potato

For more information about the best foods to eat to make sure your iron and other levels are all at the best balanced levels, be sure to check out our articles, shop and YouTube for more resources!