Foods to Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones

Food and diet are a key part of the approach to prevent the formation of kidney stones. It's a rather painful condition, but there are ways to prevent it!
Foods to Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones

Last update: 09 September, 2021

Did you know some foods can prevent the formation of kidney stones?

Today’s article will tell you everything you need to know and take into account when it comes to your regular diet. This is a common condition, so it’s important to consider its prevention.

People with kidney stones don’t experience permanent damage but the pain during a characteristic stomachache is quite intense. The good news is you can prevent the formation of kidney stones through diet.

The role of food in the prevention of kidney stones

There are different types of kidney stones. The most common are made of calcium salts and uric acid.

Indeed, not all types of stones are due to the diet, it’s just the best way to prevent their formation.

Foods to avoid

  • Simple carbs and refined flours
  • Sugary drinks
  • Saturated fats
  • Preserves, canned foods, and excess sodium
  • Excessive animal protein
An illustration of the kidneys.
Kidney stones are rather painful but you can prevent them through a proper diet.

Discover The Right Diet for Kidney Stones

Things that can help prevent the formation of stones

Water

First of all, let’s talk about the role of hydration. Fluid intake is extremely important in the prevention of stones and in the elimination of stones that are already there.

This is because water dilutes the urine and prevents the crystallization of stone-forming minerals. Medical professionals recommended drinking two to three quarts of liquid daily to thin the urine.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

The increased intake of fruits and vegetables, excluding those with high oxalate content, are natural sources of citric acid and help increase urinary citrate elimination.

In fact, several studies reveal the potential of citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and lime) and non-citrus fruits (melon) in the prevention of kidney stone formation.

People tend to consume canned fruits and vegetables due to time constraints. The problem with these products is they contain a large amount of added sodium. In fact, this is the case with every type of canned good. Opt for those that say “no salt added sign” on the label if you must consume them.

Legumes

These aren’t only a source of complex carbohydrates but also of fiber and are highly recommended to incorporate vegetable proteins into the diet. In addition, they contain little fat.

Cereals

Oats, wheat flour, rye, and rice are sources of complex carbs. You may not be aware of it but large amounts of simple carbs such as refined sugars and flours are detrimental. Especially when it comes to kidney stone formation, as they promote the renal elimination of calcium and oxalates.

In addition, they increase calcium absorption at the intestinal level.

Fish

Fish are a source of protein and fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. Furthermore, these nutrients are anti-inflammatory and can prevent the formation of stones. As with everything, it’s always best to consume it fresh.

A fried fish.
Fresh fish can help prevent kidney stones.

Find out what Omega-3-Rich Fish You Should Start Eating Right Now

Seeds, nuts, and vegetable fats

These food groups are a great source of unsaturated fats and also provide protein and fiber and yet people don’t eat enough of them. One can add them to many dishes, in their oil form, in particular.

As for cooking oils, olive oil has the highest content of omega 9. Thus, it’s best to consume it raw and not in fried foods.

A well-balanced diet is the best treatment for the formation of kidney stones

Finally, the most effective way to prevent kidney stones is to adopt a wholesome diet following your nutritional needs. Kidney stones are extremely painful, but you can prevent them and maintain an optimal quality of life.

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  • Prezioso D, Strazzullo P, Lotti T, Bianchi G, Borghi L, Caione P, et al. Dietary treatment of urinary risk factors for renal stone formation. A review of CLU Working Group. Archivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia. 2015;105-120.
  • Taylor EN, Fung TT, Curhan GC. DASH-Style Diet Associates with Reduced Risk for Kidney Stones. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN.2009;20(10):2253.
  • Martín-Aragón S. El paciente hiperuricé mico. Farmacia Profesional. 2006;20(11):48-53.