Protein is important for a healthy body; however, there are certain conditions where it should be limited or lowered. Some conditions that require lower protein intake include liver and kidney diseases. These conditions can lead to high levels or buildup of urea (a waste product of protein metabolism) in the bloodstream, causing loss of appetite and fatigue. A low-protein diet will reduce the buildup of urea in the bloodstream.
Substitute meat, poultry and fish, which are high in protein, with products made of vegetable mixes that have low-protein content. Use ready-to-cook vegetable mixes that taste like meat, poultry and fish that you can incorporate in your meals. Examples include chicken-flavored patties or nugget mix, mushroom burger mix (mushrooms made to taste like burgers) and vegetable hot dog mix (mixture of vegetables made to look and taste like hot dogs).
Dairy products provide a balance of protein, vitamin D and calcium. Use nondairy or imitation dairy products that are lower in protein contents. Imitation cheddar cheese has the flavor of cheese but with only less than 1 g of protein per serving. Egg and milk substitutes or imitations are also available in grocery stores.
Vegetables have about 1 g of protein for every 1/2 cup of serving. Broccoli, vegetable juices, mushrooms, squash, green beans/peas, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, radishes, lettuce, onions and carrots are vegetables that are low in protein. Eat vegetables as your main dish rather than as a side dish to get the benefit of all the nutrients and the right amount of protein.
Fruits have a trace amount of protein for every 1/2 cup of serving. Fruits low in protein content include apples, bananas, oranges, kiwis, raisins, fruit cocktail, apricots, pears, grapes, peaches, cherries, berries, tomatoes, fruit juices and melon. One way to incorporate fruits in every meal is to combine them with grains. Make couscous with mixed fruits for a healthy meal. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
Grains and Cereals
Grains and cereals have about 2 g of protein in every 1/2 cup or one slice serving. Examples are cold or hot cereals, bread, croutons, bagels, pita bread, noodles, tortillas, popcorn, English muffins, crackers, rice, potatoes, corn and yams.
Lower Proportions of Protein Intake
Sometimes, the best way to get a low-protein meal is to cut down on the serving of protein-rich foods. Use thinner slices of meats when making sandwiches. Limit yourself to half a glass of milk per day. Treat rice or pasta as your main dish and meat as a side dish. Limit the meat serving to a size similar to a deck of cards (fits in the palm of your hand).
Generally, foods high in protein provide 8 g of protein per serving. Consider the total amount of serving of dairy, meat and other protein-rich foods so you do not go overboard. Your health care provider or nutritionist can help you decide on the right proportions based on your health requirements. Look for the nutrition labels as your guide.