Low Oxalate Diet (Kidney Stone)
Kidney stones are unpleasant and painful. They are hard masses formed from crystals present in the urine. The most common kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate crystals, which your doctor can help prevent by recommending a low oxalate diet.
What is a low oxalate diet?
An oxalate-reduced diet focuses on controlling oxalic acid intake, a compound that is naturally present in a lot of food and also produced by your body.
Individuals prone to developing kidney stones do not necessarily have poor kidney functions. On the contrary, kidney stones can be frequently linked to environmental and lifestyle changes or genetic inheritance. Some medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, gout, or recurring urinary tract infections, can increase the risk of kidney stones.
Therefore, a low oxalate diet can be instrumental in keeping risks low by reducing oxalate intake and increasing calcium-rich consumption. It is important to appreciate that some levels of oxalate and calcium are naturally present in the urinary tract and do not lead to problems.
What can a low oxalate diet achieve?
Doctors warn that while a low oxalate diet can prevent the formation of kidney stones, other factors can trigger mineral buildups:
- Loss of water through excessive sweating, from physical activities, or exposure to a hot environment will reduce urine production. The less you urinate, the more likely minerals can settle in the kidneys and the urinary tract.
- Not keeping hydrated. As a rule of thumb, you should drink around 2 to 3 quarts of liquids (or 8 to 12 cups) in a day to maintain a good urine production.
- Excessive sodium in your diet will increase calcium loss in the urine. Indeed, kidney stones form when excess oxalate and low calcium levels combine.
It is essential to prevent kidney stones to focus on maintaining high levels of hydration and calcium at all times, as well as reducing oxalate-rich foods.
High oxalate foods to avoid
A low oxalate diet will exclude the following foods:
- Soy products
- Chocolate and cocoa
- Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
- Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, cashews
- Brown rice, couscous, cornmeal, millet, bulgur
- Chocolate-based drinks, tea, tomato juice
- Rhubarb, kiwi, dates, oranges, tangerines, raspberries
- Spinach, chard, potatoes, beets, turnips, yams, okra, carrots
- Navy beans, fava beans, kidney beans, refried beans
Instead, we recommend favoring proteins such as poultry and fish, dairy products, and coffee.
To learn more about oxalate and kidney stones, call 713-352-0903 or book an appointment online with Kidney360 today.