Kidney stones are hard deposits in the kidneys that are small in size. They appear when urine levels fall or certain substances, such as minerals and salts, rise. Dietary changes can help prevent them. Because kidney stones can form as a result of a buildup of several different minerals in the body, there is no single diet plan for all types of kidney stones.
However, for people with kidney stones, many dietitians and doctors who specialize in kidney diseases, known as nephrologists, recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. This diet has been shown to lower the risk of kidney stone formation as well as improve other aspects of overall health, such as lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The DASH diet encourages eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. The plan also recommends limiting your consumption of salt, sugar, and red meat. To support effective dietary choices, people should consult with their healthcare provider to determine the type of kidney stones they have had if any.
Extra water in the diet can help prevent kidney stones formation, which are often caused by dehydration. Every day, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends 6-8 glasses. It is acceptable to drink other fluids in addition to water. However, because many drinks have a high salt content, it is critical to check the sodium levels in the beverage.
It’s also a good idea to avoid sugary drinks like sweetened juices and sodas. It aids in the diluting of the chemicals that form stones. Consume at least 12 glasses of water each day.
2. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are necessary parts of any diet. Increasing the number of vegetables in a person’s diet can help them avoid stone formation. Fruits are available dried, frozen, or fresh. Citric acid-rich fruits, such as oranges and lemons, have also been shown to help prevent kidney stones formations, according to a research study.
People should learn about oxalate-rich fruits and vegetables like spinach and try to limit their consumption. Alternatively, they can be combined with foods that are high in calcium.
3 Foods high in calcium and oxalate
A person’s calcium intake should be increased, especially if they consume a lot of oxalate-rich foods like spinach. A low-calcium diet raises the likelihood of developing kidney stones. Calcium from food is preferable to calcium supplements, which have been linked to kidney stone formation. Calcium and oxalate bind together in the intestines, prevent kidney stones formation.
Good source of low-fat or fat-free milk products, calcium-fortified foods like cereals, bread, juices, beans, calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli, and seaweed like kelp. And also include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet on a daily basis. This vitamin is added to a variety of foods. It can also be found in fatty fish like salmon, mushrooms, and cheese.
4 Plant-Based Protein
In a kidney stone diet, dietitians recommend including plant-based protein as per a recent study. Although you may need to limit your daily intake of animal protein, you must still ensure that you get enough protein. Consider replacing some of your typical meat and animal protein with beans, dried peas, and lentils, which are plant-based foods high in protein and low in oxalate.
Protein requirements vary from person to person and should be discussed with a doctor or a dietitian.
5. Limit Your Salt Intake
High sodium levels in the body can promote calcium buildup in the urine. Avoid adding salt to food, and read the labels on processed foods to see how much sodium is in them. Fast food, like regular restaurant food, can be high in sodium. When you’re able, request that no salt be added to whatever you order from a menu. Every person is unique, and their needs and dietary requirements will differ.
Speaking with a doctor or dietitian is the most important aspect of managing diet when trying to prevent recurring kidney stones. They will be able to identify the type of kidney stone that is forming as well as methods to slow or stop its progression.
- Curhan G.C., Willett W.C., Knight E.L., Stampfer M.J. Dietary factors and the risk of incident kidney stones in younger women: Nurses’ Health Study II. Intern. Med. 2004.
- Meschi T., Maggiore U., Fiaccadori E., Schianchi T., Bosi S., Adorni G., Ridolo E., Guerra A., Allegri F., Novarini A. The effect of fruits and vegetables on urinary stone risk factors. Kidney Int. 2004.
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