Looks at eating plans for those who have had kidney stones. Explains what kidney stones are. Offers tips for preventing kidney stones, including drinking more water. Lists foods you should avoid.
Kidney Stones: Preventing Kidney Stones Through Diet
If you have kidney stones, your doctor
or dietitian may talk with you about an eating plan to help prevent new stones.
The most common types of kidney stones are calcium and oxalate. Each type may
require a different eating plan. There are certain foods you can have, and
other foods you should avoid, to reduce the chance that you will get kidney
If you had kidney stones before, you are more
likely to get them again. But by following the eating plan your doctor or
dietitian suggests, you may prevent new kidney stones.
of water. The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough fluids,
tips may lower your chance of getting kidney stones:
The most important thing you can do is drink
more fluids, especially water if your doctor says it is okay. Try to drink 8
to 10 glasses of water a day. If you don't already drink that much, slowly
increase how much you drink. For example, add one more glass of water each day
until you are drinking 8 to 10 glasses a day. This slow increase will give your
body time to adjust to the extra fluids. You are drinking enough water when
your urine is clear or light yellow. If it is dark yellow, you are not drinking
If you had a calcium kidney stone, it may help to:
Eat less salt and salty foods. One way to
do this is to avoid processed foods and limit how often you eat at restaurants.
Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much
calcium you need every day. Try to get your calcium from food, rather than from supplements. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all good sources of
If you had an oxalate kidney stone, your doctor
may ask you to limit certain foods that have a lot of oxalate, such as dark green vegetables, nuts, and chocolate. You don't have
to give up these foods, just eat or drink less of them.
If you have had kidney stones in the past, it may also help
Eat a balanced diet that is not too high in animal protein. This
includes beef, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs. These foods contain a lot of
protein, and too much protein may lead to kidney stones. You don't have to give
up these foods. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much protein you
need and the best way to get it.
Increase how much fiber you eat. Fiber includes oat bran, beans, whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, cabbage, and carrots.
Avoid grapefruit juice.
Drink lemonade made from real lemons (not lemon flavoring). It is
high in citrate, which may help prevent kidney stones.
Talk to your doctor if you take vitamins or supplements. He or
she may want you to limit how much fish liver oil or calcium supplements you
take. Also, do not take more than the recommended daily dose of vitamins C and
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.