Kidney Stones Diet
Kidney stones diet is formulated to inhibit the formation of stones in kidney. The function of kidney is to excrete the waste out of the body through urine. In some instances, the crystals are formed from the waste in the urinary tract and these crystals grow to form kidney stones. Dietary change along with prescriptive medication is the best way to prevent the formation of stones. In order to identify the ideal kidney stone diet for a patient it is very important to determine the type of stone formed in his/her kidney.
The most inexpensive and less–calorific prevention against formation of kidney stones is water. Fluids are highly required to stop crystals growing into stones. Various other nutrients and minerals such as sodium, protein and calcium also play major roles in the diet against kidney stones.
Kidney Stone Diet Recommendations
There are number of food items that directly affect the formation of kidney stones. Some of them are really helpful in inhibiting the stones, whereas many of them promote the growth of the formed crystals. Here is the list that includes the minerals and foods that affects the formation of kidney stones:
- Water and citrus drinks – water is indeed the most beneficial fluid to be consumed in order to protect kidney against stone formation. However, orange juice and lemonade are also extremely helpful in preventing crystal formation as they contain citrate. Though no clinical researches have been done to prove this fact, the calcium oxalate stones and uric acid stones can be prevented with these citrus drinks. Apart from these fluids, moderate intake of coffee, tea and beer may also prove beneficial in this situation. Grapefruit drinks, cranberry juice and dark colas should be avoided by the people with stones.
- Salt – The salt intake also largely affects the kidney stone formation. Sodium and chloride are the two elements that form salt which when excreted in the form of urine leads to the high concentration of calcium in urinary tract. This salt concentration mixes with oxalate and phosphorus to form kidney stones. Therefore, salt intake should be restricted to 2400 mg as per US RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). Processed foods, canned meat and soups and fast foods should be eliminated from the diet in order to reduce the sodium intake.
- Animal protein – Protein present in meats, fish and eggs are responsible for formation of uric acid stones as this protein contains purines that transform into uric acid in urine. Organ meats especially liver contain purines. The meat consumption should be 6 ounces per day for the people prone to uric acid stones formation.
- Oxalate – Spinach, nuts, rhubarb and wheat bran are some of the foods that should be avoided to reduce the level of oxalate formed in urine. Oxalate when combined with calcium in the urine is responsible for the formation of calcium oxalate stone.
- Calcium – This mineral is quite helpful in prevention of stone formation. It functions in digestive tract only and binds the oxalate and prevents it from entering in urinary tract. 800 mg of calcium is highly recommended everyday in kidney stone diet. Milk, yoghurt and other dairy products should be consumed to get enough calcium. Calcium supplements also provide the similar effects only when taken with meals.
- Alcohol – The production of purines is induced by drinking excess alcohol. 5 ounce of wine or 12 ounces of beer can be consumed daily. For hard liquor, only 1.5 ounce is specified per day.
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