Are Beans Good for CKD? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Beans are good for CKD. Because they have fiber and protein and they can help manage CKD when consumed in appropriate amounts.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a condition that affects your kidneys.

In CKD, your body experiences a gradual loss of kidney function at the micro level.

This can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage.

One of the key factors in managing CKD is diet.

What you consume can affect your electrolyte balance and waste filtration, which can impact your CKD symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage CKD, you should consume low-phosphorus, low-potassium, and low-sodium rich foods like cauliflower, blueberries, and white rice, and avoid high-phosphorus, high-potassium, and high-sodium rich foods like bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

Now, beans are a plant-based food that is high in fiber and protein.

People usually eat them cooked, either alone or in dishes like salads, soups, and stews.

Beans are good for CKD because they contain fiber and protein which are beneficial, but they also contain potassium and phosphorus.

The phosphorus from beans is not absorbed as well as the phosphorus from animal sources.

Most people with CKD not on dialysis and post-transplant do not have to limit beans due to potassium or phosphorus.

However, if your laboratory results show higher levels of potassium or phosphorus, it’s important to talk to a kidney dietitian.

Half a cup of cooked beans can give you approximately 7-9 grams of protein and 305-437 mg of potassium, which is a considerable amount of your daily needs.

Fiber can positively affect CKD by helping you stay full longer, lowering bad cholesterol, and slowing how quickly blood sugar rises after a meal.

Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and overall health, but it should be consumed in moderation as excessive intake can make your kidneys work harder.

Furthermore, beans are a legume and legumes are good for CKD.

Because, as part of a plant-based diet, they can help improve outcomes in CKD.

You can eat a moderate amount of beans per day safely.

More than that can cause potassium or phosphorus levels to rise, which can be harmful if you have advanced CKD.

That’s why I suggest you limit your bean intake to avoid complications.

Stick to a moderate portion size to minimize the risk of high potassium or phosphorus levels.

Also, you shouldn’t eat beans if you have/suffering from advanced CKD with elevated potassium or phosphorus levels to prevent further complications.

Because high levels of these minerals can worsen CKD.

You can buy fresh beans in your local market or can order them online.

Always choose dry or fresh beans over canned ones to control sodium intake.

Because canned beans often contain added salt which can increase sodium intake.

You can store them dry in a cool, dark place for several months.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care is key to managing/dealing with CKD effectively.

I always recommend my CKD patients to follow a CKD-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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