Diet, Eating, and Nutrition for Kidney Stones

Can I help prevent kidney stones by changing the way I eat or drink?

Drinking enough fluids, especially water, is the most important thing you can do to prevent kidney stones. Unless you have kidney problems, many health professionals recommend drinking six to eight glasses, 8 ounces a day. Talk to a health professional about how much liquid you should drink.



Studies have shown that dietary Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) can reduce the risk of kidney stones. Learn more about the DASH diet 

Studies have shown that being overweight increases the risk of kidney stones. A dietitian can help you plan your diet to lose weight.

Does the type of kidney stone I have have influenced my choice of food?

Yes. If you already have kidney stones, ask your healthcare professional what type of kidney stone you have. Based on the type of kidney stone you have, you can prevent kidney stones by making changes in the amount of sodium, animal protein, calcium, or oxalate in your diet.

You may need to change your diet and drink for the following types of kidney stones:

Calcium Oxalate Stones

Calcium Phosphate Stones

Uric Acid Stones

Cystine Stones

A dietitian specializing in kidney stones can help you plan a diet to prevent kidney stones. Find a dietitian An external link that can help you.

Calcium Oxalate Stones

Reduce oxalate

If you have ever had calcium oxalate stones, you may want to avoid these foods to help reduce the amount of oxalate in your urine:

nuts and nut products

nuts — vegetables, not nuts, and they are high in oxalate

rhubarb

spinach

wheat bran

Talk to health specialist professionals about all other sources of oxalate food and about how much oxalate should be in your healthy diet.

Reduce sodium



Your chances of developing kidney stones increase if you eat a lot of sodium. Sodium is part of salt. Sodium is found in a lot of canned, packaged, and fast foods with extra fats. It is also found in many condiments, spices, and meat.

Talk to a health professional about the amount of sodium that should be in your diet. See tips for reducing your sodium intake.

Reduce animal protein

Eating animal protein and fats may increase chances of producing kidney stones.

A health care professional may tell you to limit your intake of animal protein, including

beef, chicken, and pork, especially organ meat

eggs

fish and mussels

milk, cheese, and other dairy products

Although you may need to limit the amount of protein you eat each day, you still need to make sure you get enough protein. Consider replacing the meat with animal protein that you normally eat with beans, dried peas, and lentils, which are high-protein plant-based foods and low in oxalate.

Talk to a health professional about how much protein you should eat and how much should be in animal or plant-based diets.

Get enough calcium in your diet

Even though calcium sounds like it could be the cause of calcium stones, it is not. In the right amount, calcium can block other digestive tract substances that can cause stones. Talk to a health specialist professional or doctor about how much calcium you should take to help prevent you getting much calcium oxalate stones and supporting strong bones. It may be best practice to get calcium from low-oxenate, plant-based foods such as calcium-rich juices, cereals, breads, certain types of vegetables, and other types of beans. Ask your dietitian or other health care professional what foods are the best sources of calcium for you.

Calcium Phosphate Stones

Reduce sodium

Your chances of developing kidney stones increase if you eat a lot of sodium. Sodium is part of salt. Sodium is found in many canned, packaged, and fast foods. It is also found in many condiments, spices, and meat.

Talk to a health professional about the amount of sodium that should be in your diet. See tips for reducing your sodium intake. A health care professional may tell you to limit your intake of animal protein, including

beef, chicken, and pork, especially organ meat

eggs

fish and mussels

milk, cheese, and other dairy products

Although you may need to reduce the amount of protein your animal has in a day, you still need to make sure you get enough protein. Consider replacing some meat and animal proteins that you normally eat with some of these plant-based foods that are high in protein:

grains such as beans, dried peas, lentils and nuts soy nut butter, soy foods, such as soy milk, and tofu nuts and nut products, such as almonds butter and almonds, cashews butter and cashews, walnuts, and pistachio sunflower seeds

Talk to a health professional about how much protein you should eat and how much should be in animal or plant-based diets.

Get enough calcium in your diet

Even though calcium sounds like it could be the cause of calcium stones, it is not. With proper dosage, calcium can block some of the digestive tract that can lead to stones. Talk to a health professional about how much calcium you should eat to help prevent getting extra calcium phosphate stones and support strong bones. It may be best to get calcium from plant-based foods such as calcium-rich juices, cereals, breads, certain types of vegetables, and other types of beans. Ask your dietitian or other health care professional what foods are the best sources of calcium for you.

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