kidney stones

Kidney stones are usually composed of calcium salts, uric acid or struvite. Calcium salts make up the majority of stones with uric acid or struvite being less likely. Years ago those with kidney stones were told to stay away from calcium. The recommendations have changed.

Kidney stones come from a diet made up of low fiber combined with a high intake of refined flours (white/processed flours), alcohol, animal protein, and fat. The most important thing you need to do is drink water. Stones will not form if the urine is diluted. Drink between eight and twelve eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Avoid high oxalate foods. Oxalate, not calcium, encourages stone formation. An abundance of oxalates are found in spinach, leeks, walnuts, chocolate, tea, beets, rhubarb, Swiss chard, and peanuts. Water is critical to drink in order to dilute urine.

If these are calcium-oxalate stones you need to cut back on sugar and increase potassium rich foods such as apricots, cantaloupe, bananas, avocados, peas, potatoes, trout, halibut, and tomatoes. You may eat calcium-rich foods such as milk, almond or coconut milk, low-sodium cheese and yogurt. Luckily, calcium foods combine with oxalates and carry them out of the body. Do not take calcium supplements. Do not take vitamin C supplements, either, since studies are looking at the connection between large doses of vitamin C and kidney stones due to oxalate being a by-product of vitamin C metabolism.