Food can influence the formation of kidney stones, particularly in those who have had kidney stones in the past. To complicate matters, there are different types of kidney stones depending on the mineral involved. These include calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid, cysteine and struvite stones. Specific diet recommendations vary depending on the type of stone involved. Talk to your doctor if you require more information on specific kidney stones.
Dietary intake of animal proteins such as meat, fish and chicken may need to be moderated in certain “at risk” individuals. Everybody is different, so see your doctor and dietitian regarding your individual requirements, but rest-assured, we will make sure you can still enjoy your favourite foods.
Restricting high sodium (salt) foods is often recommended in conjunction with certain drug treatments for kidney stones. This includes avoidance of salted snack foods, salted and/or processed meats, stock cubes, commercial sauces and spreads, commercial ready-made foods, takeaway foods. Use of salt in cooking and at the table is also discouraged. Over 80% of the salt in our diet comes from packet/canned/processed foods, so try to minimize your use of these for one of the easiest ways to reduce the majority of your usual salt intake.
People with a history of calcium oxalate stones are encouraged to avoid foods that raise oxalate levels in the urine. Although many foods contain oxalate, not all need to be restricted. The foods that should be restricted for these certain individuals include –rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, chocolate, wheat bran, nuts, beets and tea.
Too much and too little calcium and vitamin C in the diet can be harmful. Consult your dietitian for your specific requirements if you have or have had kidney stones.