Eat Lots Of Fruits & Vegetables
The final pillar of a healthy kidney stone diet is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. How many? Aim for at least 5 servings per day.
Obviously, fruits and vegetables are good for us for many reasons. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and gastrointestinal conditions. For kidney stones specifically, they help make our acid less acidic. Fruits and vegetables produce alkali , which helps balance acid produced from protein in our diet. Calcium oxalate kidney stones are more likely to form in acidic urine.
Control Your Diet To Fight Obesity And Diabetes
You may wonder what obesity and diabetes have to do with stones formed in the kidneys. Here are the connections:
- Insulin resistance, a common cause of diabetes, can reduce citrate and increase calcium in urine both risk factors for kidney stones.10
- A higher body mass index , as in the case of obese individuals, has been linked to greater oxalate excretion another risk factor for stones.
So, weight loss driven by a healthy diet not dependent on animal protein and effective management of diabetes may be able to better prevent kidney stones.
Reduce Intake Of Salt
Salt is rich in sodium, and high sodium levels cause calcium buildup in the urine. Increased sodium levels cause a proportionate increase in the calcium levels the calcium and the oxalates in the body get deposited to form stones. When buying canned food, check the label for the amount of sodium.
Avoid excess intake of salt in your food. The foods that are rich in salt are French Fries, canned soups, packaged meats, etc. Processed food also contains phosphorus, another ingredient that can cause kidney stones.
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How Does Diet Affect The Risk Of Developing Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can form when substances in the urinesuch as calcium, oxalate, and phosphorusbecome highly concentrated. The body uses food for energy and tissue repair. After the body uses what it needs, waste products in the bloodstream are carried to the kidneys and excreted as urine. Diet is one of several factors that can promote or inhibit kidney stone formation. Certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible, but scientists do not believe that eating any specific food causes stones to form in people who are not susceptible. Other factors that affect kidney stone formation include genes, environment, body weight, and fluid intake.
Foods To Prevent Kidney Stones
Certain foods can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Eating in moderation while maintaining a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables is encouraged. It is important to be mindful of the following foods that can lead to the formation of kidney stones in certain people: foods high in sodium, cola beverages, fast foods, processed meats, certain supplements, black tea, chocolate, spinach, soy milk, almonds, cashews, soy beans.
The good news is there are many items you can include in your regular diet to help prevent stones from occurring.
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Who Gets Kidney Stones
About 1 in 10 people will experience a kidney stone at some point during their lifetime, and men are about twice as likely as women. Kidney stones generally occur after age 30, although its possible for a younger person to have one as well. Once youve had a kidney stone, youre at a significantly higher risk for future stones.
The tendency to form kidney stones tends to run in families, so if your parents or siblings have had stones, you may be at increased risk. Whether or not you have a family history of stones, though, certain dietary habits can increase or reduce your risk.
Kale Spinach A Superfood For Kidney Stones
This superfood should be included in your diet if you want to protect the health of your kidneys. It is seen as the best food for the kidneys.
Moreover, Iron is tremendously rich in this food. For example, it contains far more iron than is found in beef.
Antioxidants have a lot to do with this. It also helps prevent diseases like liver, cancer, bone loss, and asthma. Kale is also another greeny leaf vegetable that is low in calories.
This leaf contains more vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin K improves blood clotting and prevents heart disease and osteoporosis.
Further, They are loaded with vitamins, beta carotene, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
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What To Eat To Prevent Kidney Stones
Passing a kidney stone is excruciating! Here are some tips to reduce the chances that youll ever have to endure that pain or relive past misery
As anyone who has ever had one can attest, passing a kidney stone is something youre not likely to forget … or remember fondly. Although dietary measures are not 100% effective in preventing stones, they can definitely reduce your risk.
Staying Hydrated Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
The number one natural way to prevent kidney stones is to drink more water. If you are not hydrated, you will not produce enough urine. This can increase the chances of kidney stones because low urine output means the urine is concentrated and less likely to dissolve urine salts that cause kidney stone.
I recommend that you drink around eight glasses of water each day. If you sweat a lot, exercise or have a history of stones, you may benefit from additional fluids.
A good way to tell if you are drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine
Orange juice and lemonade are also good options to drink because they contain citrate, which prevents stones from forming.
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Can Citrus Fruits Beat Kidney Stones
If you wish for a healthy kidney, take a lot of vitamin C rich oranges and lemons to improve your vital functions.
According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publications, consuming lemon juice with water daily has been found to reduce the rate of stone formation by raising citrate levels in urine.
In addition, they are good summer foods, that can keep you well hydrated. It helps to control cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and aid digestion.
Four Major Types Of Kidney Stones Can Form:
- Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stone and occur in two major forms: calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. Calcium oxalate stones are more common. Calcium oxalate stone formation may be caused by high calcium and high oxalate excretion. Calcium phosphate stones are caused by the combination of high urine calcium and alkaline urine, meaning the urine has a high pH.
- Uric acid stones form when the urine is persistently acidic. A diet rich in purinessubstances found in animal protein such as meats, fish, and shellfishmay increase uric acid in urine. If uric acid becomes concentrated in the urine, it can settle and form a stone by itself or along with calcium.
- Struvite stones result from kidney infections. Eliminating infected stones from the urinary tract and staying infection-free can prevent more struvite stones.
- Cystine stones result from a genetic disorder that causes cystine to leak through the kidneys and into the urine, forming crystals that tend to accumulate into stones.
Dietary Changes to Help Prevent Kidney Stones
People can help prevent kidney stones by making changes in fluid intake and, depending on the type of kidney stone, changes in consumption of sodium, animal protein, calcium, and oxalate.
Recommendations based on the specific type of kidney stone include the following:
- hot dogs
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What To Do When A Kidney Stones Diet Doesnt Work
Dietary choices may not be enough to stop kidney stones from forming for all people. If you have recurrent stones, we recommended you talk to your urologist about what role medication can play to prevent them in the future.
Each type of kidney stone has a different type of medication that can help reduce the amount of that material present in the urine causing the stone.
For example if you get calcium stones, a urologist may prescribe phosphate or thiazide diuretic. A person who gets uric acid stones may benefit from allopurinol to reduce the acid in the blood or urine. Those with struvite stones may be prescribed a long-term antibiotic to reduce the bacteria in the urine. Lastly, a doctor treating someone with cysteine stones may prescribe capoten to reduce the level of cysteine in the urine.
Some prescriptions or over-the-counter medications you are taking could lead to kidney stones. Those include:
- Chemotherapy drugs.
- Uricosuric drugs.
If you are taking any of the medications listed above, you should talk to your doctor about alternatives. Do not stop any medically prescribed medications without discussing it with your doctor first.
I do not recommend my patients use herbal remedies that are not well-researched or well-regulated for the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. It is best to head to a doctor to discuss your options.
Calcium Is Not The Enemy
But it tends to get a bad rap! Most likely due to its name and composition, many are under the impression that calcium is the main culprit in calcium-oxalate stones. “I still see patients who wonder why they are getting recurring stones despite cutting down on their calcium intake,” said Dr. Jhagroo. “I’ve even had patients say that their doctors told them to reduce their calcium intake.” A diet low in calcium actually increases one’s risk of developing kidney stones.
Don’t reduce the calcium. Work to cut back on the sodium in your diet and to pair calcium-rich foods with oxalate-rich foods.
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Foods To Be Avoided Or Limited:
- Cereals- Ragi, Bajra.
- Pulses and Legumes- Sprouts, Rajmah, Cholae and in thin daal form.
- Vegetable & Fruits – High Potassium, Vegetables & Fruits.
- Non-vegetarian – Organ Meats, Egg Yolks, Sea foods, Pork, Beef, Ham, Bacon.
- Beverages- Coconut water, Fruit Juices, Instant Coffee, vegetables soups, Aerated drinks & Squashes, Horlicks, Bornvita, Sugar, Honey, Jaggery, to avoid by diabetics.
- Others- Dry Fruits, Processed and Preserved food items like Pickles, Papad, Salt Butter, Sauces, Ketchups, Chips, Salted Biscuits, Baking powder, Cooking soda, Chocolates, Cocoa powder, Salted cheese and Noodles.
Kidney Stone Diet: Foods To Eat And Avoid
Kidney stones in the urinary tract are formed in several ways. Calcium can combine with chemicals, such as oxalate or phosphorous, in the urine. This can happen if these substances become so concentrated that they solidify. Kidney stones can also be caused by a buildup of uric acid. Uric acid buildup is caused by the metabolism of protein. Your urinary tract wasnt designed to expel solid matter, so its no surprise that kidney stones are very painful to pass. Luckily, they can usually be avoided through diet.
If youre trying to avoid kidney stones, what you eat and drink is as important as what you shouldnt eat and drink. Here are some important rules of thumb to keep in mind.
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Kidney Stone Diet Plan And Prevention
If you have kidney stones, you may need to follow a special diet plan. First, your healthcare professional will run blood and urine tests to find out what kind of risk factors you may have. Then your healthcare professional will tell you the diet changes and medical treatment you need to prevent having kidney stones come back.
A registered kidney dietitian can help you make the necessary changes in your diet plan and lifestyle.
Pretzels Chips And Crackers
Ready-to-eat snack foods like pretzels, chips, and crackers tend to be lacking in nutrients and relatively high in salt.
Also, its easy to eat more than the recommended portion size of these foods, often leading to even greater salt intake than intended.
Whats more, if chips are made from potatoes, theyll contain a significant amount of potassium as well.
Pretzels, chips, and crackers are easily consumed in large portions and tend to contain high amounts of salt. Additionally, chips made from potatoes provide a considerable amount of potassium.
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Diet Guidelines To Prevent Calcium Phosphate Stones
Limit animal protein:Consuming animal protein increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Its always recommended limiting animal protein such as milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, chicken, mutton, beef, pork, especially organ meats.
Replace animal protein with such plant-based foods that are low in oxalate and high in protein, such as:
- Sunflower seeds
- Legumes: peanuts, dried peas, beans, and lentils
- Soy-based foods: tofu, soy nut butter, and soy milk
- Nuts and nut products: cashews and cashew butter, walnuts, almonds and almond butter, cashews and cashew butter, and pistachio
Reduce sodium consumption:Consuming more sodium in the food will increase the chance of developing kidney stones. Sodium is a part of salt. Sodium is in many packaged, canned, condiments, seasonings, fast foods, and meat.
If you ever had calcium phosphate stones, its always recommended consulting dietitian who are specialized in renal / kidney stone diet plan to prevent the recurrence of stones.
Get right amount of calcium from foods:Right amount of calcium can block other substances in the digestive tract that may cause stones. It is best to get calcium from soy milk, lactose-free milk or goats milk plant-based foods such as legumes, cereals, calcium-fortified juices, nuts, seeds, breads, some types of beans, and some kinds of vegetables. Foods with high in vitamin D recommended in a daily diet also found in mushrooms, cheese and fatty fishes .
It’s Not Just The Oxalate
Oxalate is naturally found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, legumes, and even chocolate and tea. Some examples of foods that contain high levels of oxalate include: peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, beets, chocolate and sweet potatoes. Moderating intake of these foods may be beneficial for people who form calcium oxalate stones, the leading type of kidney stones.
A common misconception is that cutting the oxalate-rich foods in your diet alone will reduce the likelihood of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. While in theory this might be true, this approach isn’t smart from an overall health perspective. Most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.
It is important to eat and drink calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal. In doing so, oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form.
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How To Prevent Kidney Stones
When there is too much calcium, oxalate, or phosphorous in the urine, they can combine and crystallize to form calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate kidney stones. Even too much uric acid in urine can settle to form uric acid stones. Your diet can greatly influence the urinary levels of these substances and is well within your control.
The basic strategy to discourage stone formation is to lower the urinary levels of sodium, oxalate, uric acid, and calcium and increase urinary citrate.1 Citrate stops crystals from growing into stones.
Robin’s Rescue: Eating To Prevent Kidney Stones
Question: I’ve had five kidney stones removed and I’ve researched the topic a lot. I discovered that 10 percent of the U.S. population will experience them. I think a warning to your readers is appropriate, so please share with us what we can do to help prevent kidney stones.
Robin’s Rescue: You’re spot-on. Kidney stones are quite prevalent and a strong body of evidence suggests they’re increasing globally, affecting both men and women, and all races and ages. Why? Researchers believe our dietary practices are to blame.
There are four main types of kidney stones. Knowing what type you have aids treatment.
- Calcium stones: These are the most common kidney stones and occur in two major forms, calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate.
- Uric acid stones: A diet rich in purines substances found in animal protein such as meats, fish and shellfish may increase uric acid levels.
- Struvite stones: These are often the result of kidney infections.
- Cystine stones: These stones are the result of a genetic disorder.
The first step in preventing kidney stones is to understand what’s causing them. For example, limiting oxalate in the diet may help prevent calcium oxalate stones but won’t help prevent uric acid stones.
Preventing kidney stones through diet
Try making a few, simple dietary changes:
Additional tips for preventing stones
Ask Robin Miller
Eat A Moderate Amount Of Protein
A high protein diet will increase the urine calcium. In addition, high protein diets produce acid during metabolism. This acid is eventually excreted in our urine, which lowers urine pH and increases the risk of kidney stones. Similar to sodium, the extra calcium in urine from a high protein diet is taken from bone, putting them at risk.
For most people, a healthy amount of protein is: 0.8 grams protein / kilogram body weight. For example, a person who weighs 175 pounds should eat about 64 grams of protein per day . The right amount of protein for you might be different based on your body size, age, sex or nutrition status. Always ask your dietitian what is best for you.
Similar to sodium, most Americans eat much more protein than we need. The 0.8 grams per kilogram recommendation for people with kidney stones is the same amount recommended for healthy adults. Even for people who are vegetarian or vegan, it is fairly easy to eat enough protein.
Unsurprisingly, most of the protein in our diet comes from meat, poultry, fish and seafood. A 3 ounce portion of animal flesh has about 25 grams of protein in it. This is 40% of the protein goal for the entire day in our example of a 175 pound person. Pair that with protein from meat eaten at other meals and the small amount of protein found in nearly all foods. You can easily see how protein adds up quickly!