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What foods affect my risk of developing kidney stones?

There are no global must-avoid foods, although sugary things tend to be bad for everything, including kidney stones. You may have been given a list of 100 foods to avoid, but you really need to pinpoint which mineral is causing your particular kidney stones and address that. Until you know exactly what is out of balance, you cannot know what to avoid. If you have recurrent kidney stones, a 24-hour urine test often helps.
Alberta Scruggs
Nutrition & Dietetics
A tailored nutrition assessment that compliments medical care is most beneficial in the prevention of kidney stone formation. Dietary interventions should include:
  • Increased fluid intake (approximately three liters with half coming from water).
  • Limiting calcium intake between 800 - 1,000 mg/day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Limiting high-oxalate containing foods such as spinach, beets, nuts, chocolate, strawberries, beans/legumes and vitamin C in excess of the RDA (75 mg/day for female, 90 mg/day for male).
  • A reduction in grapefruit juice intake.
  • Moderate intake of protein (0.8-1.0 grams per kilogram of body weight).
  • Substituting vegetable protein intake in place of animal protein, periodically.
  • Reduction in sodium intake.
Some low-oxalate foods include:
  • Veggies: Squash, cabbage, red pepper, cauliflower, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, water chestnuts and turnips.
  • Fruit: Apples, lemons, cherries, melons, nectarines and mango.
  • Grains: Wild and white rice, cornflakes, egg noodles and rye bread.
  • Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, fish, poultry and shellfish.
  • Drinks: Cola, ginger-ale, cider, milk and water.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.