Foods That Help Avoid Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a hard mass that forms from crystals in the urine.  For most people, natural chemicals in the urine keep stones from forming and causing problems.

Different Types of Kidney Stones

  • calcium oxalate 
  • Calcium phosphate stone 
  • Uric acid stone  

Diet changes and medical treatment are individualized based on the type of stone, to prevent them from coming back.

A good rule is to stay away from too many salty foods and meats and other animal protein to prevent.

Foods to Avoid

For Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones

High-oxalate foods. Many plants contain oxalate, so it’s hard to avoid it entirely. But some foods have much more than others. Try to limit:

  • Spinach
  • Rhubarb
  • Almonds and cashews
  • Miso soup
  • Grits
  • Baked potatoes with skin
  • Beets
  • Cocoa powder
  • Okra
  • Bran cereals and shredded wheat cereals
  • French fries
  • Raspberries
  • Stevia sweeteners
  • Sweet potatoes

Get the calcium you need: Getting too little calcium in your diet can cause oxalate levels to rise and cause kidney stones. To prevent this, make sure to take in an amount of calcium appropriate to your age. Ideally, obtain calcium from foods, since some studies have linked taking calcium supplements to kidney stones. 

Excess Salt. If you eat a lot of sodium, which is an ingredient in salt, that raises the amount of calcium in your urine. Limit canned foods, packaged meats, fast foods, and condiments in your diet.

Animal Protein. Limit beef, pork, eggs, cheese, and fish, because they may raise your chances of most types of kidney stones.

Vitamin C. Too much can make your body produce oxalate. So, don’t take more than 500 mg a day.

For Calcium Phosphate Kidney Stones

If you’ve had one of these, don’t worry about oxalate. But do watch out for:

Animal protein-rich foods:

  • Organ meats, like chicken or beef liver
  • Milk, cheese, and other dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Seafood

Foods that can make urine more alkaline, including:

  • Fresh fruit juices (except orange, cranberry, and nectarine)
  • Vegetable juices
  • Molasses

Processed foods. Phosphorus is a common additive and preservative. Limit intake of fast foods, bottled colas, frozen foods, and luncheon meats. Read the label for ingredients starting with “phos.”

Avoid Excess Sodium. Aim for no more than one teaspoon of table salt a day. And don’t forget to drink lots of water. It helps dilute the waste in your urine to make stones harder to form.

Uric Acid Kidney Stones

You get these if your pee is too acidic. These stones contain uric acid, a substance the body produces as it breaks down chemicals in food. Unlike with calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones, sodium isn’t a special issue here.

Avoid Excess Animal protein. Eating too much red meat, poultry, eggs, and shellfish does two things. It makes your body make more uric acid. 

It can rob your system of citrate, a substance that helps keep away kidney stones and maybe keep existing ones from growing.

Last and most important, drink plenty of water as it dilutes the substances in urine that lead to stones. Strive to drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups. It may help to include some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice. The citrate in these beverages helps block stone formation.

Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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