If you want to prevent kidney stones from forming, there are foods you should and shouldn’t consume. While there are a lot of different causes of kidney stones, diet can play a key role in their development.
So, if you’re looking to prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place, below you’ll find some eating do’s and don’ts.
Do: Keep Hydrated
If there is just one rule you decide to follow when trying to prevent kidney stones, make it this one. A lack of fluids is one reason kidney stones can form. So, ideally you’ll want to drink lots of water throughout the day.
It’s a good idea to aim for 12 glasses of water a day. This is the recommended amount for kidney stone prevention. However, if you’ve never had kidney stones, you could get away with drinking a minimum of 8 glasses a day.
Don’t: Drink Fizzy Sodas and Caffeine
While staying hydrated is important, not all drinks are suitable. Caffeinated and fizzy sodas, for example, can increase the risk of kidney stones. This is because they can dehydrate the body.
So, if you drink a lot of sugary, caffeinated drinks each day, now is the time to start seriously cutting back.
Do: Indulge in Calcium-Rich Foods
In terms of what you should be eating, foods high in calcium are a good start. This is because if your calcium levels drop, it can cause oxalate levels to increase. High oxalate levels have been linked to the formation of kidney stones.
While you can get calcium supplements, these won’t typically protect you against kidney stones. Instead, you’ll need to focus on foods rich in calcium. These include milk, cottage cheese, yoghurt and dark green vegetables.
Additionally, you’ll want to increase your consumption of vitamin D. This really helps to absorb calcium into the body. Unfortunately, the main source of vitamin D isn’t found through diet. You’ll need to increase the amount of time you spend outdoors to top up those vitamin D levels.
Don’t: Eat Too Many Animal Proteins
Although it may be tough, it’s important to limit the amount of animal proteins you are consuming. This includes eggs, red meat, poultry and fish. The trouble with a high animal protein intake is that it increases uric acid production. At the same time, it reduces the amount of citrate, a chemical responsible for preventing kidney stones.
So, if you currently eat a lot of meats and fish, you might want to cut back a little. The key is to focus on a balanced, healthy diet.
These are some of the top do’s and don’ts when it comes to eating to prevent kidney stones. While a healthy diet isn’t a guarantee you won’t develop them, it does greatly reduce the risk. Ensuring that you eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water can significantly cut the risk of kidney stones from developing.