Kidney stones prevention with low-oxalate diet and healthy eating guidelines

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Kidney Health | Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 02:30 PM

Kidney stone prevention with low-oxalate dietKidney stones are described as one of the most painful medical conditions one can have. Kidney stones are caused by oxalate, which is commonly found in humans and plants. Oxalate is not necessarily required by the body, and too much of it can result in kidney stones.

In plants, oxalate helps remove excess calcium, hence their high oxalate content. For humans, oxalate may work as a “prebiotic”, meaning it contributes to good bacteria within the gut.

When oxalate is ingested with the food, it gets broken down by the digestive system and released through our stool or urine. On its way through the intestines, oxalate can bind with calcium and get excreted through our stool. But when high levels of oxalate continuously pass through the kidneys, this is when kidney stones can develop. Calcium oxalate kidney stones are the most common kidney stone variety.

Food sources high in oxalate

As mentioned, some food items, mainly plant-based, contain high levels of oxalate. Here are the most common foods that contain oxalate along with their oxalate levels.

Food Item Serving (oz) Oxalate Content (mg)
Beet greens, cooked 1/2 cup 916
Rhubarb, stewed, no sugar 1/2 cup 860
Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup 750
Chard, Swiss, leaves cooked 1/2 cup 660
Rhubarb, canned 1/2 cup 600
Spinach, frozen 1/2 cup 600
Poke greens, cooked 1/2 cup 476
Dandelion greens, cooked 1/2 cup 246
Kale, cooked 1/2 cup 125
Turnip greens, cooked 1/2 cup 110
Collard greens, cooked 1/2 cup 74
Broccoli, cooked 1 large stalk 6

Prevent kidney stones with low-oxalate diet

In order to best prevent kidney stones, it’s essential to consume a low-oxalate diet. Here is a chart that outlines the food and beverages to avoid, limit, and consume on a low-oxalate diet.

Foods to avoid

(High oxalate)

Foods to minimize

(Medium oxalate)

Foods to eat

(Low oxalate)

Dark or “robust” beer

Black tea

Chocolate milk

Cocoa

Instant coffee

Hot chocolate

Juice made from high oxalate fruits

Ovaltine

Soy drinks

Chocolate milk

Soy cheese

Soy milk

Soy yogurt

Nuts

Nut butters

Sesame seeds

Tahini

Soy nuts

Amaranth

Buckwheat

Cereal (bran or high fiber)

Crisp bread (rye or wheat)

Fruit cake

Grits

Pretzels

Taro

Wheat bran

Wheat germ

Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat flour

Blackberries

Blueberries

Carambola

Concord grapes

Currents

Dewberries

Elderberries

Figs

Fruit cocktail

Gooseberry

Kiwis

Lemon peel

Lime peel

Orange peel

Raspberries

Rhubarb

Canned strawberries

Tamarillo

Tangerines

Beans (baked, green, dried, kidney)

Beets

Beet greens

Beet root

Carrots

Celery

Chicory

Collards

Dandelion greens

Eggplant

Escarole

Kale

Leeks

Okra

Olives

Parsley

Peppers (chili and green)

Pokeweed

Potatoes (baked, boiled, fried)

Rutabaga

Spinach

Summer squash

Sweet potato

Swiss chard

Zucchini

Black pepper (more than 1 tsp.)

Marmalade

Soy sauce

Chocolate

Parsley

Draft beer

Carrot juice

Brewed coffee

Cranberry juice

Grape juice

Guinness draft beer

Matetea tea

Orange juice

Rosehip tea

Tomato juice

Black currant tea

Yogurt

Flaxseed

Sunflower seeds

Apples

Applesauce

Apricots

Coconut

Cranberries

Mandarin orange

Orange

Fresh peaches

Fresh pear

Pineapples

Purple and Damson plums

Prunes

Fresh strawberries

Liver

Sardines

Bagels

Brown rice

Cornmeal

Corn starch

Corn tortilla

Fig cookie

Oatmeal

Ravioli (no sauce)

Spaghetti in red sauce

Sponge cake

Cinnamon pop tart

White bread

Artichoke

Asparagus

Broccoli

Brussel sprouts

Carrots (canned)

Corn

Fennel

Lettuce

Lima beans

Mustard greens

Onions

Parsnip

Canned peas

Tomato

Tomato soup

Turnips

Vegetable soup

Watercress

Ginger

Malt

Potato chips (less than 3.5 oz.)

Strawberry jam/preserves

Thyme

 

 

Apple cider

Apple juice

Apricot nectar

Bottled beer

Cherry juice

Cola

Grapefruit juice

Green tea

Herbal teas

Lemonade

Lemon juice

Limeade

Lime juice

Oolong tea

Pineapple juice

Wine

Herbal tea

Cheese

Buttermilk

Milk

Butter

Margarine

Mayonnaise

Salad dressing

Vegetable oil

Avocados

Bananas

Cherries (bing and sour)

Grapefruit

Grapes (green and red)

Huckleberries

Kumquat

Litchi/Lychee

Mangoes

Melons

Nectarines

Papaya

Passion fruit

Canned peaches

Canned pears

Green and yellow plums

Raisins (1/4 cup)

Bacon

Beef

Corned beef

Fish (except sardines)

Ham

Lamb

Lean meats

Pork

Poultry

Shellfish

Barley

Cereals (corn or rice)

Cheerios

Chicken noodle soup

Egg noodles

English muffin

Graham crackers

Macaroni

Pasta (plain)

White rice

Wild rice

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Chives

Cucumber

Endive

Kohlrabi

Mushrooms

Peas

Radishes

Water chestnut

Basil

Cinnamon

Corn syrup

Dijon mustard

Dill

Honey

Imitation vanilla extract

Jelly made from low oxalate fruits

Ketchup (1 tbsp.)

Maple syrup

Nutmeg

Oregano

Peppermint

Sage

Sugar

Vinegar

White pepper

Gelatin (unflavored)

Hard candy

Jell-O

Lemon balm

Lemon juice

Lime juice

Healthy eating guidelines to prevent kidney stones

Aside from eating a low-oxalate diet, there are other measures you can take in order to reduce your risk of kidney stones. Here are some healthy eating guidelines in order to prevent kidney stones.

  • Drink plenty of water – carry around a refillable water bottle, add lemon to your water for flavor, set reminders to drink water.
  • Avoid sugary beverages like soda or fruit juices.
  • Limit animal protein – dietary guidelines recommend two to three servings of animal protein a day, opt for plant-based protein like beans.
  • Limit sodium in your diet.
  • Eat calcium-rich foods rather than taking supplements – adults over the age of 51 need 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium, which can be obtained through dairy products and some dark leafy greens.
  • If you’ve previously had calcium-oxalate stones, limit high oxalate foods from your diet.
  • Limit vitamin C supplementation to 1,000 mg a day and opt for food sources with vitamin C as opposed to supplementation.
  • Avoid alcohol or limit your consumption to recommended guidelines of 10 drinks a week or no more than two drinks a day for women, and 15 drinks a week with no more than three drinks a day for men.
  • Consume insoluble fiber as it helps reduce calcium in urine.

Tips to increase your fluid intake for kidney stones

How much sodium and water does the body need?Drinking enough water is a great prevention method and can make passing of kidney stones easier, so ensure you are getting enough. For many of us, it’s difficult to get the proper amount of water, but these tricks can help you increase your hydration levels:

  • Drink a large glass of water during specific times of the day, for example, when you wake up or after you urinate.
  • Keep a large water bottle or mug near you at all times – at your desk, on your night stand, on a coffee table near the TV.
  • Drink through a straw as it may help you drink more.
  • Drink one glass of water each hour.
  • When you have a food craving, drink water first as you may actually be thirsty not hungry.
  • Add lemon or orange slices to your water for flavor and added health benefits.
  • Drink two full glasses at each meal – one prior and one after.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle with you, so if you run out of water you can just refill your bottle.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with a high water content like watermelon.

These tips can help you consume more water throughout the day, which will not only help prevent kidney stones but can improve overall health as well.


Related Reading:

Kidney stones caused by excess zinc level toxicity in the body

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Natural home remedies for kidney stone removal

Often compared to a pain far worse than that of giving birth, kidney stones are no laughing matter, so knowing natural remedies to combat them can offer great relief and prevention. With no one cause for kidney stones, they can affect anyone at any time. Typically, kidney stones are the formation of uric acid, calcium, and oxalate into crystals. Continue reading…


Sources:
http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/what-is-a-low-oxalate-diet#1
http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/what-is-a-low-oxalate-diet#2
http://www.belmarrahealth.com/unusual-causes-of-kidney-stones/
http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/Pages/low-oxalate-diet.aspx
http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating/kidney-stones.html
http://gicare.com/diets/kidney-stone-diet/
http://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/urology/stones/diet-and-lifestyle-advice-for-the-prevention-of-kidney-stones.pdf


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