If you are suffering from kidney stones, you want to do everything possible to manage the condition and prevent stones from forming or growing in the future. People often wonder what is the best diet for kidney stones. There are quite a few factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right foods and beverages for kidney health.
Foods to Avoid With Kidney Stones
Before discussing the top foods for lowering calcium oxalate in your diet, it’s worth looking for the best diet to avoid kidney stones. It’s well known that it is especially important to avoid high oxalate foods. This category includes various fruits and vegetables, such as spinach and many other leafy greens, beets, almonds, dates, soy products and even raspberries. Consult a kidney stone diet chart for a complete list of fruits and vegetables containing oxalates and also for other high oxalate foods.
When you are prone to kidney stones, you should also be careful to limit your intake of protein, especially animal protein. You should limit your daily allowance of protein to 3 oz a day. A high-protein diet reduces levels of urinary citrate, the chemical in urine that helps prevent stones from forming.
The Best Diet For Kidney Stones
In general, the best way to manage and avoid kidney stones and other kidney ailments is to eat a balanced diet and minimize processed foods, sodium, sugar, alcohol and junk foods. For the kidneys, you also have to watch for high oxalate foods which might otherwise be considered healthy. So what should you eat? The following are 5 of your best choices.
- Egg Whites For Protein. Although egg yolks are very nutritious, they contain high amounts of phosphorus, making egg whites a better choice for people following a renal diet. Egg whites provide a high quality, kidney-friendly source of protein.
- Calcium and Salt: Low-salt or unsalted products are recommended, and calcium consumption is best if consumed when eating oxalate containing foods. It is best to consume calcium so that it can bind with oxalate in the stomach and intestines before it moves to the kidneys. Eating foods with calcium is a good way for oxalates to leave the body and not form stones. The best way to get calcium into your body is through the foods you eat. Have only 2 or 3 servings a day of foods with a lot of calcium, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, oysters, and tofu.
- High Citrus Fruits: Eat lemons and/or drink fresh lemonade. Citrate in these foods helps prevents new stones from forming.
- Low Oxalate Vegetables such as arugula, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, kale, cabbage, mustard, turnip, watercress and collard greens are all good choices.
- Low Oxalate Fruits such as bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, apples, apricots, lemons, peaches are good choices.
It’s important to do your research and make sure you’re following the diet that’s best for your needs. The above are just a few recommendations to start with. Keep in mind that you can use these and other kidney-friendly foods in many ways, such as in salads, juicing and including them in main dishes.
Lifestyle Tips For Managing Kidney Stones
Here are some diet and lifestyle guidelines to help you manage kidney stones and avoid their recurrence.
- Consult a diet chart for kidney stone patients. You can find these online or in books. You should be able to quickly reference high oxalate foods so you know what to buy and what to avoid.
- Be sure to drink enough water. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to flush out kidney stones naturally.
- Research the best supplements. In addition to eating a diet that supports kidney health, there are various supplements on the market that can help you manage and prevent kidney stones. Chose those that have actual science to support their claims.
- Get the right amount of activity. If you have kidney stones, you should be careful about overexerting yourself. However, gentle exercises such as walking, yoga, tai chi and light cardio can help keep kidney stones at bay.
Kidney stones are a serious issue and it’s important to monitor your kidney health. However, if you follow medical advice and are willing to make the appropriate changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can learn to manage this condition.