Protein: How Much Should Dialysis Patients Eat?

Provided by DaVita® Dietitians

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.

An adequate amount of protein is essential when you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and are on dialysis. But how much protein should you consume? The DaVita dietitians bring you this guide that will help you determine the amount of protein you should have when you’re on a dialysis diet.

The amount of protein you need when you are on dialysis depends on your size, your nutritional status and the type of dialysis treatments you receive. Most people on dialysis need to eat at least 6 to 9 ounces of good-quality protein each day.

Estimating how much protein to eat

Here are some examples of protein foods and how many ounces of protein they provide.

  • Beef steak (4 ounces)
  • Chicken drumstick (2 ounces)
  • Egg (one = 1 ounce)
  • Egg whites (two = 1 ounce)
  • Fish fillet (3 ounces)
  • Half chicken breast (3 ounces)
  • Hamburger patty (3 ounces)
  • Pork chop (3 ounces)
  • Shrimp (18 to 20 medium = 3 ounces)
  • Soy burger (2 to 3 ounces)

Another way to estimate protein is using your hand as a guide. The size of the palm of your hand is approximately 3 ounces. The size of your thumb is about 1 ounce.

Your dietitian will coach you on an eating plan designed to provide enough protein to meet your individual requirements.

Related articles on

View All Articles in Diet Basics

Have no fear, Diet Helper is here

Download a Cookbook

Get a free recipe collection from the DaVita® kitchen.

No-Cost Kidney Health Classes

Find a no-cost, in-person class near you.

Find a Dialysis Center

Over 2,000 across the US.

Advanced Search

Or call 1-800-424-6589 now to speak with a placement specialist.


© 2004-2014 DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy of medical information | Web Privacy Policy | Safe Harbor Privacy | FAQs | Site map
This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician.
Please check with a physician if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. If you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1