Kidney Stone Diet: Kidney stones are a common, painful, and possibly recurrent issue for many individuals worldwide. Nevertheless, adopting a proper kidney stone diet can make a significant difference in managing their effects. A mindful approach toward your diet may help control and reduce the risk of developing the condition.
In this article, we talk about the nuances of the kidney stone diet and shed light on which foods you should consume and which ones you must avoid. Additionally, we provide delectable recipes to make your journey toward better kidney health both manageable and enjoyable. Keep reading to learn more about dietary aspects of kidney stone management and prevention.
Principle: A dietary approach aimed at preventing kidney stones by managing the intake of calcium and oxalate and increasing fluid intake.
Purpose: To lower the risk of kidney stone formation and promote overall kidney health.
Who It Is For: Individuals prone to kidney stones and those seeking to maintain kidney health.
Cons: May lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Kidney Stone Diet: What Is The Kidney Stone Diet?
Kidney Stone Diet, The kidney stone diet is a dietary approach aimed at preventing the formation of kidney stones or managing existing ones. The diet emphasizes adequate hydration through increased water intake to dilute urine and reduce the concentration of minerals that form stones. It also involves regulating your calcium, oxalate, and sodium intake to prevent excessive calcium excretion in the urine.
Kidney stones are solid, crystalline deposits of compounds of calcium, oxalate, and phosphate that form in the kidneys. These tiny, hard stones can be extremely painful when they move through the urinary tract. They are primarily composed of minerals and salts that can accumulate due to various factors, including dehydration, dietary choices, and genetics.
Kidney Stone Diet, According to the data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2015 and 2018, it was found that the prevalence of kidney stones in the sample population of 10,521 participants older than age 20 was 11.0%. The 12-month incidence of kidney stones was 2,054 stones per 100,000 adults.
There are several types of kidney stones, but the most common ones (about 70%) are made of calcium oxalate and uric acid. Calcium oxalate stones form when there is an excess of calcium and oxalate in the urine, leading to the formation of crystals. Uric acid stones develop when there is an overproduction of uric acid or insufficient production of urine to dilute it.
Note: As the type of kidney stones and the severity of the condition vary on an individual case-to-case basis, it is important to consult a registered dietitian or your healthcare professional. They would guide you and tailor your diet according to your needs to reduce the risk of kidney stone recurrence effectively.
Kidney Stone Diet, The dietician would analyze your nutritional risk factors through regular assessments and provide you with dietary recommendations to alleviate kidney stones. Keep reading to learn more about the possible foods that would be recommended to be added to your diet.
Foods To Eat When You Have Kidney Stones
Kidney Stone Diet, The following foods are recommended in the kidney stone prevention diet:
Kidney Stone Diet, Drinking plenty of water helps keep urine dilute, preventing mineral buildup that can lead to kidney stone formation. Aim for at least 8-10 cups of water daily to keep the urine dilute and stones at bay.
Maintain a record of your fluid intake. This water diary can be a helpful tool for both you and your dietitian to track your progress.
2. Citrus Fruits
Kidney Stone Diet, It is recommended to increase the proportion of citrus fruits and their juices in our daily consumption. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are rich in citrate, which can help prevent certain types of stones by binding to calcium in the urine. You can have 1-2 glasses of any of these juices per day.
3. Calcium-Rich Foods
Kidney Stone Diet, Calcium is one of the components that form kidney stones. But contrary to popular belief, experts actually recommend moderate calcium intake from food sources so that it can bind to oxalates in the intestines and reduce the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation.
Good sources of calcium include dairy products, fortified plant-based milks, and leafy greens. It is recommended to have about 1000 – 1200 mg of calcium per day.
4. Fruits And Vegetables
Kidney Stone Diet, Fruits and vegetables are generally excellent choices to reduce kidney stone formation, as most of them are low in oxalates and high in essential nutrients and fiber. It is recommended to eat at least 5 servings of ½ cup each. However, some high-oxalate foods like spinach and rhubarb should be consumed in moderation.
The diet to reduce kidney stones also includes limiting certain foods. Keep scrolling to learn more about them.
Foods To Avoid When You Have Kidney Stones
The following foods are to be avoided or limited in the kidney stone prevention diet:
1. Oxalate-Rich Foods
Kidney Stone Diet, It is advised to limit consumption of foods rich in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, beets, and nuts, as they can increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones.
2. Sodium-Rich Foods
Kidney Stone Diet, High sodium intake can lead to increased calcium excretion in urine, potentially promoting stone formation. Thus, avoid consuming highly processed and salty foods.
3. Animal Protein Sources
Kidney Stone Diet, It is recommended to reduce the intake of red meats, organ meats, and certain seafood, as they contain purines that may form uric acid stones. Try to eat one small portion each day or opt for plant-based meats instead.
4. Carbonated Beverages
Kidney Stone Diet, Some research suggests a potential link between soda consumption and kidney stones, likely due to their phosphoric acid content. It is advised to opt for non-acidic beverages when possible.
Keep these food groups in mind while preparing a meal plan for the kidney stones diet. Keep scrolling to discover a recommended diet chart that you can follow on this diet.
7 Day Kidney Stone Diet Chart
Kidney Stone Diet, Here is a sample 7-day kidney stone diet plan that you can follow:
Keep an eye on portion sizes, especially for foods that are high in oxalates or purines. This can help you manage your intake effectively.
Before beginning any new diet plan, you should speak with a registered dietitian or any healthcare provider. They can help you personalize the meal plan as per your specific needs.
Read on to learn more about two simple yet scrumptious recipes you can make while on the kidney stone diet.
Kidney Stone Diet Recipes
1. Chia Quinoa Muffins
Serving Size: 2 Muffins
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of all-purpose flour
¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup of almond milk
⅓ cup of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
How To Prepare
Preheat the oven to 350℉.
Cook quinoa according to package directions and set it aside.
Mix quinoa, chia seeds, wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Whisk eggs, yogurt, milk, honey, and vanilla extract in another bowl.
Slowly add these wet ingredients to the quinoa mixture and stir until combined.
Grease the muffin tins and pour the batter into them.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
2. Chicken Tacos
Serving Size: 2 Tacos
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 corn tortillas
2 teaspoons of chili powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
¼ teaspoon of paprika
¼ teaspoon of cayenne
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 red onion
½ cup of diced tomatoes
½ cup of diced avocados
½ cup of fresh cilantro
2 lime wedges
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
How To Prepare
Heat oil over medium flame in a large skillet.
Chop the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Add the pieces of chicken into the skillet and cook them until golden brown.
Season them further with chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Layer the chicken pieces on the tortilla, and add sour cream, tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro as per your liking.
These aforementioned recipes might help you out when you are in a pinch. Additionally, consider these tips to simplify your journey toward a successful kidney stone diet.
Tips For A Kidney Stone Diet
Kidney Stone Diet, The following tips can help you adopt the kidney stone diet effectively:
Opt for vegan or vegetarian-based meals and meat food options.
Avoid frequent consumption of marinated, fermented, salted, preserved, or cured foods as they may have high salt levels.
Take note of added sugar levels in beverages and opt for 100% natural fruit juices instead.
Avoid dehydrating foods and drinks like alcoholic beverages.
Kidney Stone Diet, Be mindful of supplements, especially calcium-based ones, as they might lead to an imbalance of nutrients in the body and increase the risk of stone formation.
Kidney Stone Diet, Adopting a kidney stone diet can be a proactive and effective way to manage and prevent the recurrence of kidney stones. You can significantly reduce the risk of stone formation by carefully selecting the right foods and beverages, staying well-hydrated, and consulting with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional.
While this dietary journey may involve making thoughtful choices, the long-term benefits in terms of kidney health and overall well-being are well worth the effort. With the right knowledge and commitment to a kidney-friendly lifestyle, you can take control of your health and enjoy a life free from the discomfort of kidney stones.