Almond flour is a widely used gluten-free flour. This nutrient-dense vegan flour is prepared from keto-friendly almond nuts. Although almond flour has a rich nutrient value it can cause kidney problems, especially kidney stones.
But why does almond flour cause kidney stones and what are the other side effects of this vegan flour on kidney functions? This article will cover the facts in detail.
Why Does Almond Flour Cause Kidney Stones?
Almond flour can cause kidney stones because it is high in dietary oxalate which is a major contributor to kidney stones. Studies have shown that dietary oxalate may increase the risk of the formation of CaOx kidney stones (1).
Furthermore, almond flour is a rich source of calcium also. A high intake of calcium-rich foods like almond flour may cause Hypercalcemia. When the blood calcium levels are above-normal it is called hypercalcemia. Studies have shown that hypercalcemia can cause kidney stones (2).
This excessive eating of almond flour can cause kidney stones because of its high density of oxalate and calcium.
However, almond flour is a good source of potassium. High potassium consumption can slow down kidney stone formation (3). That’s why a normal intake of almond flour may have a little benefit over kidney stones.
Is Almond Flour Good For Kidney Disease?
Only a controlled intake of almond flour is good for kidneys. It is high in potassium, calcium, and dietary oxalate. Among these, only potassium has a beneficial effect on kidney function.
The other two components are contributors to kidney problems and stones. Moreover, almond flour may increase the risk of albuminuria and eGFR decline due to a moderately high saturated fat density.
According to studies, a high intake of dietary saturated fat can decline eGFR and have a greater risk of albuminuria (4). An abnormal amount of albumin in the urine is called albuminuria. Albumin is a kind of protein that carries enzymes, hormones, and medicines through the body.
Both urine albumin and eGFR measurement are used to determine kidney diseases. A decline of eGFR or Estimated glomerular filtration rate and high urine albumin are the symptoms of kidney problems or kidney diseases.
The American Heart Association recommends our daily saturated fat intake should be 5-6 % of total calorie intake (5). It means your daily intake of saturated fat should not cross 13 grams on a 2000 calorie diet.
On the other hand, almond flour is high in both calories and saturated fat. That’s why a surplus intake of almond flour can create trouble for your kidneys.
Moreover, almond flour is a good source of calcium. Too much intake of calcium is associated with multiple kidney problems. Excess calcium accelerates the calcification of vascular and soft tissue (6). If you are a chronic kidney disease patient, vascular calcification can decline the GFR(glomerular filtration rate).
In fact, vascular calcification is a significant cause of the morbidity and mortality of chronic kidney disease patients (7).
Moreover, a high intake of almond flour can increase daily protein intake which is not good for kidneys. As, renal hyperfiltration, glomerular injury, and proteinuria may be caused by a high dietary protein intake (8).
Due to these facts, an excess intake of almond flour may cause kidney problems and is not good for kidneys.
Is Almond Flour High In Oxalate?
Yes, almond flour is high in oxalate. In fact, nuts like almonds, and brazil nuts are a great source of dietary oxalate. In fact, only 7 pieces of standard almonds can contain more than 50 mg of oxalates.
Patients with kidney stones should not eat any more than 50 mg of oxalates per day. On the other hand, healthy adults also maintain a limit of 100 mg. That’s why you should be careful before adding too much almond flour to your diet plan.
Can Almond Flour Cause Kidney Failure?
Almond flour is a side product of fresh almond nuts. One study published in The American Journal of Medicine has shown that excessive intake of oxalate-rich almonds may cause kidney failure in certain circumstances (9).
As almond flour is just a normal byproduct of organic almonds without adding other ingredients, it shares almost the same nutrition value as almonds. That’s why almond flour can cause kidney failure.
Moreover, the high protein and calcium compounds of almond flour can also trigger kidney failure, in case of excess intake. However, a normal and small intake of almond flour is ok because of the low density of these nutrients.
Can Kidney Stone Patient Eat Almond Flour?
Patients with kidney stones should limit their almond flour intake to a bare minimum. As almond flour is a rich source of both oxalate and calcium, it can worsen your kidney stone problems.
It is a wise idea to avoid nut flours if you are suffering from kidney stones. Moreover, almond flour also contains a moderately high amount of saturated fats and protein. Both of these are not beneficial for kidney patients.
That’s why you should avoid almond flour and components prepared from it i.e keto almond bread, almond cake, nut muffin, etc.
Almond flour is a byproduct of almond nuts. This vegan flour is high in nutrients and can aid in multiple disease control. However, almond flour is a rich source of oxalates which is a major contributor to calcium oxalate kidney stones.
As calcium oxalate kidney stones are among the very common types of kidney stones, a surplus intake of oxalate-rich almond flour can increase the risk of kidney stones. Moreover, a high density of calcium and protein is found in this gluten-free flour.
Both of these nutrients boost kidney disease risks. That’s why a high intake of almond flour not only causes kidney stones but it also causes other kidney diseases also. Because of this, a kidney stone patient should avoid almond flour.
However, if you are a healthy adult a normal intake of almond flour will not cause any side effects. Just you have to maintain the intake limit to 100 grams per day to avoid the risk of kidney stones and kidney diseases.