by Judy Boccanfuso, RD, CSR
Satellite Healthcare

Adding soy protein is a great way to add more variety to your everyday renal diet. Soy products provide high quality protein with similar or sometimes less sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and/or phosphorus (P) than comparable animal protein sources. Although there are many soy foods to choose from, let’s look at three good options.

Soy milk

Soy milk has an equal amountof protein and less Na, K and P than dairy milk. It can easily take the place of dairy milk on your morning cereal, and can also be drunk as a beverage. It is available in unflavored and vanilla varieties, but the vanilla generally has a more pleasing taste.


Tofu is a food made from soy milk which has been thickened into a soft block. It is used by many cultures as a primary protein source. It comes in many forms and brands, and can be blended into sauces or smoothies, cubed and added to a stir fry, crumbled into a casserole, or used in many other ways. It is inexpensive, takes on the flavor of what you cook it with, and can be a good alternative to a meat-based meal.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

TVP is soy protein that comes in dried granules of various sizes. When dehydrated it is similar to ground meat and can be added to or replace ground meat in recipes. It is very inexpensive, can be bought in bulk, and stores easily
on the shelf. It takes on the flavor of what it is cooked with, and has a slightly chewy consistency. It works well in stews, chili and casseroles.

Remember to check the nutrition facts label on any soy product you buy, as nutrition can vary from brand to brand.