Kidney Stone Diet(Cause & Prevention)

If you are suffering from kidney stones a unique diet plan is to be followed. A proper kidney stone diet is full of foods that contain a little amount of stone-forming nutrients.

However, before going into details let’s check how to identify a kidney stone. And what are the symptoms of kidney stones?

How Do You Know If You Have A Kidney Stone?

Kidney stone is identified with symptoms like:

  • Feeling severe pain below the ribs area, especially in the back and both sides
  • Burning sensation during peeing and pain in the groin
  • A long-lasting stomach ache
  • High fever and vomiting
  • Smelly urine
  • Blood in the urine for extreme cases

If you are facing any or all of the above symptoms then you may have a kidney stone. However, it is a wise idea to go with an ultrasound test or Urinalysis to get it confirmed.

Both of these tests are identical for kidney stone analysis.

List of Foods That Cause Kidney Stones

There are several components in food like oxalate or calcium that can trigger kidney stones in healthy adults. Any food which is high in these components can cause kidney stones.

For example, beets can cause kidney stones because they are high in oxalates. Also, nut flour like almond flour can cause kidney stones because of its high oxalate density.

Furthermore, chia seeds and kidney stones are interlinked because these seeds are a rich source of calcium. On the other hand, garlic is good for kidney stones as it contains little amount of oxalate and calcium.

Let’s check the reasons and foods that contribute to kidney stones in detail:

Foods High in Calcium Oxalate

Calcium stones are the most common renal stones comprising about 80% of the stones. There are three variations of calcium renal stones i.e (1):

  • Pure calcium oxalate stone which is observed in 50 percent of cases
  • Calcium phosphate kidney stone(5 percent cases)
  • A mixture of both(found in 45 percent of calcium kidney stone cases)

Studies have shown that hypercalcemia causes kidney stones (2). Hypercalcemia-a condition in which the calcium level in your blood is above normal.

That’s why both foods that are high in calcium or oxalate can cause kidney stones. So what foods should be avoided to reduce the risk of calcium renal stones?

The following foods consumption to be restricted to get rid of calcium kidney stones:

List Foods to Avoid Kidney Stones

Both high oxalate and calcium-rich foods are to be avoided by kidney stone patients. Also, maintaining the intake of these foods is beneficial for healthy adults.

As this will reduce the risk of kidney stone occurrence. The list of foods is given below:

Oxalate-rich foods

Foods that are high in oxalate are:

  • Spinach
  • Black tea
  • Almonds
  • Soy
  • Raspberries
  • Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Legumes
  • Dates
High calcium foods

Foods that contain high calcium are:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Chia seeds
  • Soy products
  • Almonds
  • Tofu
  • Kale
  • Canned salmon
  • Figs

All of these above-mentioned foods are a great source of calcium and oxalate. High consumption of these foods can increase the risk of kidney stones.

Controlling the intake of these foods can reduce the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.

Uric Acid Stones or Urate

Uric acid stones are observed in 3 to 10 percent of cases. A chemical compound called purines is associated with the production of uric acids.

That’s why a surplus intake of purine-rich foods can promote kidney stones. These purines are mainly observed in high animal protein foods.

Due to this avoiding animal protein foods can reduce the risk of uric acid stones. Foods to maintain intake are:

  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Tuna
  • Salmon

Furthermore, alcoholic beverages, sugar-sweetened foods, and soft drinks can also increase uric acid. That’s why by restricting these foods people can avoid urate or uric acid kidney stones.

Sodium-Rich Foods Can Cause Kidney Stones

Sodium is another contributor to kidney stones. Surplus intake of sodium can trigger kidney stones in healthy adults. Studies have shown that too much sodium consumption can boost stone risk by reducing renal tubular calcium reabsorption and increasing urinary calcium (3).

That’s why reduction of high sodium intake can reduce the risk of kidney stones. To get rid of kidney stones you should maintain your intake of the following sodium-rich foods:

  • Salted meat
  • Canned fish
  • Canned seafood
  • Salted nuts
  • Pizza
  • Chicken
  • Bread
  • Table salt
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pickled cucumber

Kidney Stone Diet Chart

A proper kidney stone diet chart contains foods that are low in calcium, oxalate, sodium, and purines. The following foods these criteria:

  • Collard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Kiwifruit
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe

Final Thoughts

Several people throughout the world face kidney stones. The painful stones make people’s life miserable. However, controlling the intake of high sodium, calcium, and oxalate purines can help to get rid of kidney stones.

A proper kidney stone diet chart should be followed by every healthy adult. As kidney stone is associated with several other health disorders, reducing the intake of kidney stone prone foods can save people from other diseases also.