If you have kidney stones, your doctor or dietitian may talk with you about an eating plan to help prevent new stones. The most common types of kidney stones are calcium and oxalate. Each type may require a different eating plan.
- If you had kidney stones before, you are more likely to get them again. But by following the eating plan your doctor or dietitian suggests, you may prevent new kidney stones.
- Drink plenty of water if your doctor says it's okay. Drinking enough fluids, especially water, can help keep new stones from forming.
How can you help prevent kidney stones?
The following tips may lower your chance of getting kidney stones or from getting them again.
- Drink more fluids, especially water, if your doctor says it is okay.
This is the most important thing you can do.
- Change your diet if you've had a calcium kidney stone.
- Eat less salt and salty foods. One way to do this is to avoid processed foods and limit how often you eat at restaurants.
- Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much calcium you need every day. Try to get your calcium from food, rather than from supplements. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all good sources of calcium.
- Limit certain foods if you've had an oxalate kidney stone.
Your doctor may ask you to limit certain foods that have a lot of oxalate, such as dark green vegetables, nuts, and chocolate. You don't have to give up these foods, just eat or drink less of them.
- Change your diet if you've had kidney stones in the past.
- Eat a balanced diet that is not too high in animal protein. This includes beef, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs. These foods contain a lot of protein, and too much protein may lead to kidney stones. You don't have to give up these foods. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much protein you need and the best way to get it.
- Increase how much fiber you eat. Fiber includes oat bran, beans, whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, cabbage, and carrots.
- Avoid grapefruit juice.
- Drink lemonade made from real lemons (not lemon flavoring). It is high in citrate, which may help prevent kidney stones.
- Talk to your doctor if you take vitamins or supplements. Your doctor may want you to limit how much fish liver oil or calcium supplements you take. Also, do not take more than the recommended daily dose of vitamins C and D.