Human kidney Stones Medical Concept

Proper Diet and Hydration to Avoid Kidney Stones

 

Proper Diet and Hydration to Avoid Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are more than just painful inconveniences. They can significantly impact your overall well-being. The experts at Midwest Nephrology Associates are here to help you understand the causes of kidney stones and how your diet can help prevent them.

GHuman kidney Stones Medical Concept

Hydrate and Celebrate

One of the easiest ways to prevent kidney stones is to hydrate! A helpful guideline is to drink 2-3 quarts of liquids daily.

This includes water or coffee, both of which have proven benefits. For an additional stone-stopping boost, squeeze a lemon into your water or enjoy some homemade lemonade. The citric acid in lemon prevents the formation of stones and can dissolve existing ones.

Avoid grapefruit juice and soft drinks, as they have been linked to a higher likelihood of developing stones.

Be Conscious of Calcium

It’s a common misconception that calcium causes stones. However, eating calcium in moderation can actually prevent stones from forming.

We recommend incorporating three servings of dairy into your daily diet to lower the risk of calcium stone formation. So go ahead, sprinkle some grated parmesan on your whole grain pasta or indulge in a creamy yogurt parfait.

Now, you may be thinking: What about supplements?

Please be cautious with supplements. Excessive intake of minerals like Vitamin C and Calcium can lead to increased oxalate production in the body, potentially resulting in stones.

It's best to prioritize a balanced, whole-food diet over additional supplements. When considering supplements, including Vitamin C and Calcium, it's important to seek personalized guidance from your physician and a registered kidney dietitian.

Sensible Sugar Intake

Consuming too much sugar can also lead to an increased risk of stones. With moderation and creativity, however, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Rather than sugary drinks and desserts, indulge in fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruits like bananas, melons, and peaches not only taste great but are rich in nutrients like potassium that optimize kidney health.

A Little Give and Take

There are a few food groups you will want to limit, including high-oxalate foods, which increase the chances of developing stones. For optimal kidney health, reduce the consumption of foods like:

  • Almonds, cashews, soybeans/milk
  • Beets
  • Black Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Fast foods or processed meats
  • Rhubarb and most berries
  • Spinach
  • Wheat bran

However, you don't have to completely avoid high-oxalate foods. You can enjoy them in moderation, especially when combined with high-calcium foods. So add some almonds to your kale salad or indulge in a rhubarb crisp, just make sure to counter it with a glass of milk or some yogurt.

Maintaining a low-salt diet is also crucial for stone prevention and combating high blood pressure. Choose fresh, whole foods and flavor your dishes with herbs and spices instead of salt.

Whole grains and potassium-rich, cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale are fair game. They reduce calcium loss, prevent stone formation, and offer antioxidant benefits that can prevent bladder, prostate, and kidney cancers.

Prudent Protein

A juicy steak might sound irresistible, but eating too much red meat can increase the uric acid that causes stones.

Instead, choose leaner proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, or beans. Tweaks like this can maintain your kidney health while keeping you satiated and aiding in muscle growth.

Midwest Nephrology Associates Can Help

Whether you need guidance on hydration, calcium intake, or balanced nutrition, your nephrologist is your best resource for tailored advice to keep your kidneys healthy.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact the team of Midwest Nephrologists. We can help diagnose and provide you with the kidney stone treatment you need.

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