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What Foods Cause Kidney Stones?

The diet for people with nephrolithiasis (commonly known as kidney stones) should be low in salt and protein, and with a high intake of fluids to avoid the formation of stones and help to eliminate them through the urine. To check if you are ingesting enough water, pay attention to the color of the urine, which should be clear, and without a strong odor.

There are several types of kidney stones that can have a different composition, for example, they can be of struvite or calcium oxalate, so the doctor usually performs a series of tests to identify what is the composition and depending on the result some foods to be avoided can vary. However, in general, most recommendations remain the same.

What Foods Cause Kidney Stones?

What Foods Cause Kidney Stones?

The foods that should be avoided in the case of calcium oxalate kidney stones are those that contain high levels of oxalate in their composition, for example, spinach, beet, cocoa, chard, rhubarb, soft drinks, peanuts, coffee, chocolate and chocolate drinks, nuts and seafood. In this diet, you should avoid some foods like:

-The protein like red meat, chicken, fish, and eggs trying not to consume more than 100 g per day.

-Foods rich in vitamin C, which should not exceed 60 mg per day. This vitamin is present in foods such as oranges, tangerines, and papaya.

-Salt must be eliminated or reduced to 2.5 g per day of the kidney stone diet, because of the greater the salt intake, the greater the calcium passage through the kidneys.

-Dairy products should not be eliminated from the kidney stone diet but their consumption should be reduced, not exceeding the ingestion of 3 glasses of milk or yogurt per day.

A good advice to avoid the formation of kidney stones is to use a method called double cooking, which consists of cooking oxalate-rich vegetables twice, changing the water from the first cooking to reduce in this way the amount of oxalate that contains the food.

In the case of uric acid kidney stones, the diet should be low in proteins such as chicken, fish, meat and organ meats, it should also be low in seafood, spinach, alcoholic beverages and grains such as lentils and beans. The diet is as if it were for high uric acid.

In the case of struvite kidney stones, which are usually caused by the recurrence of urinary infections, the most recommended is to ingest 90 ml of pure cranberry juice or 15 g of dried cranberries or 1/2 cup of fruit daily, this it will help to avoid its formation.

And in the case of cystine kidney stones, which are very rare, only protein consumption should be decreased.

The most indicated doctor to treat kidney stones is the nephrologist, who can refer the affected individual to a nutritionist to adapt the diet according to the type of kidney stone and to avoid the formation of new stones.

Following strictly this diet for the aforementioned disease is essential to help eliminate the kidney stones and prevent the formation of new ones.

Foods That Are Allowed To Prevent Kidney Stones

The allowed foods in the diet to prevent formation and eliminate kidney stones are mainly water-rich, which increase the amount of fluid and dilute the urine, preventing the formation of crystals and stones.

The individual who has a stone in the kidneys should drink 2 to 3 liters of fluid per day. A good option is to add natural fruit juices to the diet, include soups both at lunch and dinner and drink water, helping to increase urine production, thus avoiding stone formation and, if they already exist, facilitating the displacement of them through the urinary tract to be eliminated with urine.


It is worth mentioning that people who have a family history of nephrolithiasis or who have already had this disease in their lives should have a very strict control, by maintaining a balanced diet guided by a nutritionist to avoid the formation of new kidney stones in the future.


  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2021). Kidney Stones. Mayo Clinic. Link

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 26, 2023

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