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List of Foods that Cause Kidney Stones You should Avoid

Kidney stones are one of the most common ailments of the kidney and can be successfully reduced and eliminated by taking medical supervision. So today, in this article, we will know the list of foods that cause kidney stones.

The term kidney stones refer to different stones that are formed due to the deposition of various salts.

The salts which form kidney stones are calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, uric acid, and cystine. Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stones formed from calcium and oxalic acid or phosphate.

Once you had kidney stones, it is important to take adequate measures to prevent stones’ subsequent formation.

The precautionary measures to reduce the formation of stones include medicines as prescribed by the doctor, diet, and adequate intake of fluid to dissolve and remove the stones.

List of Foods that Cause Kidney Stones

Here is kidney stones foods to avoid list when you have been diagnosed with kidney stones.

1. Calcium Oxalate-rich Diet

The foods rich in oxalate such as spinach, rhubarb, almonds, cashews, miso soup, grits, okra, raspberries, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes with skin, beets, etc. can put you at risk of developing kidney stones.

If you have an appetite for such foods, do increase the intake of dairy products. These products are rich in calcium, and a proper balance of calcium and oxalate-rich food allows easy expulsion of the formed salt, preventing the formation of kidney stones.

2. Animal Protein-rich Foods

These foods are responsible factors for the development of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate kidney stones.

Meats of beef, pork, eggs, cheese, and fish should be avoided as they predispose individuals to develop kidney stones.

Especially organ meats of the liver should be avoided. The meat increases the amount of uric acid and decreases the production of citrate. 

Citrate is responsible for preventing kidney stones, and its decrease significantly increases the deposition of salts to form stones. 

Cystine is another important element naturally excreted by the body, but in certain circumstances, this cysteine can form stones in the body.

Acidic urine acts as a catalyst for the formation of Cystine stones. Meat is one of the significant contributors to the formation of it.

You have alternate meat options such as quinoa, tofu (bean curd), hummus, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt that are rich in proteins and will help you in meeting your protein requirement.

3. Ascorbic Acid

High intake of Vitamin C is related to the production of oxalate, which then accumulates, resulting in kidney stones.

Alkaline juices such as vegetable juice and molasses make the urine alkaline acting as a catalyst for the deposition of calcium and the formation of calcium phosphate stones in the kidney.

4. Alcohol

It increases uric acid levels in the blood. Therefore, when the uric acid level is high in urine, uric acid stones form.

5. Reduce Intake of Salt

Salt is rich in sodium, and high sodium levels cause’ calcium buildup in the urine. Increased sodium levels cause a proportionate increase in the calcium levels; the calcium and the oxalates in the body get deposited to form stones. When buying canned food, check the label for the amount of sodium.

Avoid excess intake of salt in your food. The foods that are rich in salt are French Fries, canned soups, packaged meats, etc. Processed food also contains phosphorus, another ingredient that can cause kidney stones. 

6. Soft Drinks

Soft drinks are rich in phosphates, which are responsible for the formation of kidney stones. [source]

7. Reduce Intake of Added Sugar

Sugars, syrups, sucrose, fructose, agave nectar, cane sugar, honey, processed foods, drinks, etc., are generally not good for health, especially in people who are at risk of developing kidney stones.

Lemonade, limeade, and fruit juices are rich in citrate and help prevent kidney stones. But make sure these juices do not have high sugar levels.

We have discussed the common food that can predispose you to develop kidney stones; it is equally important to know that few foods are also helpful in preventing kidney stones.

List of Foods that Cause Kidney Stones depending upon the salt of kidney stones

1. Calcium Oxalate Stones: Foods not to eat with kidney stones are 

  • Rich in oxalate
    Fruits that cause kidney stones are (rich in high oxalates)- Raspberries,Orange, Grapefruit,Avocado, Kiwi, Tangerine.
  • High in sodium
  • High protein diet (beef, chicken, and pork, especially organ meats, eggs, fish and shellfish, milk, cheese, and other dairy products)
  • Controlled intake of calcium

2. Calcium Phosphate Stones: Foods not to eat with kidney stones are 

  • High in sodium
  • Limit animal proteins
  • Increase intake of legumes (beans, lentils, and peanuts), soy foods, nut and nut products, sunflower seeds, etc

3. Uric Acid Stones: Avoid foods that contain

  • High animal protein

4. Cystine Stones

  • Increase the intake of water 
  • Replace your protein requirement from meat with plant-based proteins

ALSO READ: How to Pass a Kidney Stone in 24 hours

General food guidelines to prevent kidney stones

  • Irrespective of the type of salt, drink plenty of water as it helps in eliminating the salts. You can also add beverages such as coffee and lemonade as it increases the volume of urine.
  • Increase the intake of calcium in the diet and avoid overeating of calcium supplements. Calcium-rich foods should be given preference over calcium supplements.
  • Eat proteins in moderation.
  • Avoid high salt intake.
  • Avoid excess Vitamin C supplements.

Kidney stones can be very much prevented with proper intake of diet and a high amount of fluids. Animal proteins are a strict no-no as it disturbs the normal salt balance causing deposition of salts.

As a thumb rule, increase water intake and reduce the amount of animal proteins (especially organ meat). Watch on the quantity of sodium, calcium, sugary, and processed food as it increases the formation of kidney stones.

If you have had a stone, it is important to keep a check to avoid stone development in the future.

There are healthy alternatives to animal proteins to prevent kidney stones. Avoid an oxalate-rich diet as calcium oxalate stones fall under the most common type of kidney stone salt.

So, friends, we hope that after going through the above list of Foods that Cause Kidney Stones will surely help you. Eat right and stay active for good health!

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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