CAN I EAT FISH WHEN ON DIALYSIS?
By- Apeksha Ekbote, Msc,RD, Chief Dietician, NephroPlus
People on dialysis need to eat more protein. Protein can help keep healthy blood protein levels and improve health. Protein also helps keep muscles strong, helps wounds heal faster, strengthens immune system, and helps improve overall health. Eating a high protein food at every meal is always suggested especially for dialysis patients to combat the losses. A recommendation of 1.2g per kilogram ideal body weight is given to most patients on dialysis.
Proteins attained from Non Vegetarian sources are high in biological value. However, what one needs to know is that they are even high on phosphorus which needs to be restricted in individuals who are on dialysis. Hence consuming them in prescribed amounts as recommended by your dietician is very important.
Fish, which is one of the finest foods to consume is high in protein and vitamin D. Fish is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain. According to the National Kidney Foundation, omega-3 fats may reduce fat levels in the blood and also slightly lower blood pressure which is definitely needed for individuals on dialysis.
The most common question that many of us wonder is whether or not we can consume all fishes? The answer is definitely no. Marine fishes are typically higher in sodium and potassium which is another nutrient which we have to keep in mind while following a dialysis diet. Hence it is recommended to keep a check on the type of fish consumed. Marine fishes if consumed, needs to be in limited amounts as recommended only.
While all fish are high in phosphorus, sea bass (Betki) and Tilapia contains lower amounts than other seafood. However, it’s important to consume small portions to keep your phosphorus levels in check.
A list of commonly consumed fishes and their Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium and Protein levels found in 100gms are given below for your reference. (Reference:-Indian Food Composition Table, 2017)
|NAME OF FISH||NAME IN REGIONAL LANGUAGES||PROTEIN (g)||SODIUM (mg)||POTASSIUM (mg)||PHOSPHORUS (mg)|