Avoid all red meat after kidney transplant?

After transplant 2 months ago, I was told to avoid red meat for rest of my life (and other meats, expect chicken, and fish). Is it true? Does it affect medication we are taking? Were you told the same?I Google to find out why red meat should be avoid and what I found is because of its cholesterol and fat. Some nutrition site shows that it's OK to have red meet in our daily meal as long as it's lean and well cooked.What was your experience? Thanks for idias.

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  • Diminished capacity, an odd phrase which yields "rules" to live by that, for non-tx patients are suggestions to improve overall health. Even if something is only a minute increase in threat to the Tx organ, it is controlled by an edict from the higher ups.  I suppose it is a fresh start and one should use the opportunity to change for the better (avoiding red meat, no alcohol, avoiding sodium.....,) and introducing other new food items, you might enjoy, is never a bad idea.  I know of few food items that have a direct interaction with my Tx medicines and I avoid them (grapefruit, pomegranate,...)  But I didn't sign up to live in a bubble and one red meat meal won't kill me as quick as the bus bearing down on me when I step of a curb.

  • I was never told to avoid red meat by my transplant nephrologist or my local nephrologist....just told to drink lots of water....

    Take care.


  • The medication that you are taking increases your cholesterol. I was put on a statin as a result. My cholesterol was 100 when I was on dialysis. About 6 months after transplant, it had risen to 200, so they put me on a statin drug, which controls the cholesterol. I am an exercise madman, which I am sure helps that condition, too. Yes, there is fat in beef, pork (although it is not as it used to be with pork) I have not stopped eating red meat, although I must admit, I eat more chicken (specifically boneless, skinless chicken breast). I also occasionally eat turkey breast, fish and when I can get it, venison and elk meat (this is really lean). I seldom drink anything, I don't smoke. My cholesterol is like 130 or 140. My good cholesterol is like 45, bad is less than 100. Triglycerides are less than 100. I am in better health than I was pre-transplant. I lift weights 3 or 4 days a week and do cardio 2 or 3 days a week. As far as my eating is concerned, I do not get more than 4 ounces of meat of any kind in a meal. I eat 5 times a day, generally less than 400 calories, although they are slightly higher at dinner time. As far as hydration is concerned, I generally drink about 100 ounces of water in the winter time. More in the summer.

    • Hi Cisco,

      Have you experienced any side effects from the statins?  I couldn't take them anymore because of growing neck and shoulder pain/cramps that stopped about a week after being off them.  I have completely changed my diet, however I still enjoy a good filet mignon, tho much less often.  I do limit my protein to just 4-6 oz/meal.

  • That's may be because of your individual condition require to absorb less related substance contained in red meat. You'd better ask clearly about the reason and then obey it. 

    • My personal experience is in agreement with Jane.  Listen to your physicians and nephrologists, ask questions, research and get a second opinion about anything potentially controversial, such as this, but, after all is said and done, your special condition is unique and, therefore, it is incumbent upon you to get all answers and then chose the doctors your trust most and do what they say.  I am 18 months out and have had zero problems, I like to think, because I have done precisely what I have been told to do after all of my questions were answered at least once but twice on those things I questioned.  Best wishes.

  • My experience is that with the avoidance of all animal products cholesterol can dramatically drop.  Mine was 150 at last check up with a vegan diet and prograf and cellcept.  Prior...close to 300

  • Hi Richard,

    I remember that I was "assigned" to the renal diet, which limits protein to 4 oz/meal, preferably lean chicken or fish.  Cora & DavidG are correct that high protein/ fat meals put a strain on the kidneys and heart, however minimal.  Any taxing is to be avoided.  Being a culinary trained chef, this was a great adjustment for me, however I learned to cope and investigate other options.  I still cannot refuse a good filet mignon, I just limit my exposure.  Whatever you choose, be sure to thoroughly cook proteins to be safe.  After a time limiting sodium, trans-fats, and other changes will become second nature (even if you cheat on occasion.)

    • Kidneyboy have you considered writing a cookbook?

  • I don't remember (it's been a long time) being told to "avoid" red meat, but I do know that lower animal protein in general is easier on kidneys. And as we have other medical issues, it's always best to follow a diet program that will keep us healthier for longer. So a typical heart disease type diet is excellent for a kidney transplant patient - low sodium, low trans fats, lots of fresh foods. I do eat red meat (I'm a meatatarian, I'll admit it) but I am always careful to limit the quantities of any foods that may not be ideal. We have to live, and I love my summer grilling/bbq.

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