Diet for kidney stones

Drinking 8-10 glasses of liquid daily helps keep the urine dilute – which reduces the concentration of stone forming minerals in the urine.

Reducing the salt (sodium) in the diet helps reduce the amount of calcium in the urine. Avoid foods high in sodium such as processed meats, canned soups, noodle and salty snacks.

Studies have shown that the inclusion of at least two servings of high calcium foods per day in the diet reduces the rate at which calcium-containing kidney stones form. A cup of low-fat milk contains 300 mg of calcium.

Oxalic acid or oxalate is found mostly in foods from plants like spinach, strawberries, wheat bran, nuts and tea. Avoiding these foods may help reduce the amount of oxalate in the urine.

The body converts vitamin C into oxalate that increases kidney stone formation. A person who has a tendency to form kidney stones should consult a doctor or dietician before taking large doses of vitamins or minerals.

Sugar may also aggravate the development of calcium or calcium oxalate stones. People who get kidney stones should avoid sugary packaged foods.

Meats and other animal proteins – such as eggs and fish – contain purines, which break down into uric acid in the urine. Non-dairy animal proteins may also increase the risk of calcium stones by increasing the excretion of calcium and reducing the excretion of citrate into the urine.

Insoluble fibre found in wheat, rye, barley, and rice help to reduce calcium in the urine. It combines with calcium in the intestines, so that the calcium is excreted with the stool instead of through the kidneys.

In case of calcium oxalate stones, very large amounts of dairy products or foods high in oxalates like tea and chocolate should not be consumed.