April 29, 2013

Special Diet for Kidney Stones

Kidney stones form because of mineral deposition in the walls of the urinary tract. They are caused by the high mineral content of the urine. Most stones are so small that they may pass out on their own; however, some stones may collect deposits and become large enough to cause pain and/or obstruction of the urinary tract. 

Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones and for people who have this type of stone, reducing the consumption of calcium and oxalate in the diet may help a great deal. In a low oxalate diet, the intake of oxalate should be limited to 40-50 mg per day.1

General dietary rules for prevention of kidney stones:

  • Intake of calcium and protein is restricted for persons who are prone to kidney stones. Foods like spinach, kale, ragi, and eggs are high in calcium and must be avoided.
  • Limit consumption of oxalate-rich foods for oxalate stones and purine-rich foods for uric acid stones.
  • Consume lots of fluids to reduce the concentration of urine and prevent formation of stones. The best fluids to consume are water, barley malt, coconut water, lime/lemon juice, and some fruit juices. Remember to reduce the salt in your beverages or avoid it completely.
  • Avoid consumption of vegetables with seeds like tomatoes, brinjal/eggplant, okra/ladiesfinger, capsicum etc.2

This list of
foods can help you plan your diet if you or someone in your family has kidney stones or is prone to getting them.

Avoid these calcium-rich foods:
  • Ragi
  • Chana dal
  • Matki beans
  • Rajma or kidney beans
  • Spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables
  • Coconut
  • Sesame seeds
  • All nuts and dry fruits like almond, figs, cashewnut, raisins
  • Mustard in all forms
  • All dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt etc

Avoid these high oxalate foods:
  • Chocolate and cocoa in any form
  • Instant coffee
  • Black tea
  • Soy products
  • Nuts
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Beetroot
  • Carrot
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato 

Include these foods in moderation: Limit the consumption of these foods to 2-3 servings per day, these foods have 2-10 mg of oxalate per serving.
  • Brewed coffee
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Pineapples
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

Include these low-oxalate foods in your diet freely:
  • Buttermilk
  • Green tea
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Mangoes
  • Papaya
  • Barley
  • White rice
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Lemons 
 If you have had kidney stones before, you can prevent recurrence by following these basic rules for diet. 


1. Low oxalate diet - University of Pittsburgh

2. Diet for kidney stones

Image courtesy thynkyr/Flickr CC


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