In this episode of the Kidney Stone Diet Podcast Jill Harris answers a listener question about meat protein, eggs, and egg whites.
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Who is Jill Harris?
Jill is a nurse and health coach that specializes in educating patients on kidney stone prevention. For more than 20 years she’s helped patients understand that kidney stones can be prevented with the right treatment plan. It’s one thing to be told to lower oxalate or drink more water, but HOW do you do it? That’s where she comes in. Through the educational resources at kidneystonediet.com, stone formers can learn everything they need to know to significantly lower new stone risk.
Who is Jeff Sarris?
Jeff’s co-founder of SPYR, a branding agency based out of Chicago, where he and his business partner Dave help awesome people like Jill create online platforms that make an impact. He’s also a certified health coach, Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary Minimalism, and host of the Starting Now podcast.
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Welcome back to the Kidney Stone Diet Podcast, the show about reducing your kidney stone risk and living your best life. I’m your host and fellow student, Jeff Sarris.
And I’m Jill Harris, your kidney stone prevention nurse.
So we’re here with another listener question this week. And I think we’ll be talking about egg and egg whites
Eggs and egg whites. Okay, let’s go.
Hi, this is Donna. I’ve been following Jill for many years. I have kidney stones—uric acid as well as oxalate. I wanted to know if egg whites are considered an animal protein. I’m supposed to keep my animal protein and oxalates low, thus I have high cholesterol. So it’s a balancing act. Thank you.
Okay, egg whites and eggs. Yes, they are animal products, obviously. But when we’re talking about protein, particularly in the kidney stone diet, we’re really talking about meat protein, because that’s what can increase uric acid levels.
So if you wanted to use the egg whites, that’s perfectly fine. Look, one day eggs are the best damn thing in the world, the next day, “holy shit, we’re having eggs? We can’t! Our cholesterol, Marge!” Recent studies say they are okay. But, again, that doesn’t mean you can have a carton of eggs a day. When someone tells you that a particular thing is good for you, ask the person, “What does that mean? It’s Okay? Can I have as much as I want? Can I have just one? How about two? What’s the portion size for ‘Okay’?”
I think we who work in the diet industry sometimes aren’t as clear as we should be when we’re saying something is “okay”, or that something is “low”, or something is “high”. Ask your doctor or nurses these questions. What’s high? What’s low? Where should I be?
Eggs, protein, will not impact your uric acid levels, so you can certainly have them. As far as your cholesterol, the egg whites are great.
My cholesterol can run a little high (right around 200) so just to play it safe, I usually eat egg whites, not egg yolks. Once in a while, when I feel like a little vixen, I’ll have the egg yolk, but I pretty well stick to egg whites. They do not bother your uric acid level, so you don’t have to worry about that.
For uric acid levels, it’s high amounts of meat protein that you have to worry about. Alcohol will also increase your uric acid.
Many people who eat Paleo or Atkins or keto tend to eat as much meat as they want because they can’t eat carbs and sugar. Typically when we take away one food group, we overeat the other ones.
Here’s, Donna, and she said she has calcium oxalate stones, uric acid stones, she has cholesterol issues, and she may have other things. The kidney Stone Diet will positively impact all of those things. So the Kidney Stone Diet is for ALL stones.
Of course, the diet aspect will work for all stones, but some people may also have to go on medications. It doesn’t mean “Okay cool, I don’t have to worry about Jill’s stupid diet.”—diet is still critical because some of those medications will be less effective unless you watch what you eat.
But if you have uric acid stones, you have to lower meat protein. That just means you have to eat normal amounts of meat protein, and you can find out how much you can have on my website at kidneystonediet.com where you can calculate your protein needs.
And now we have the calculator too.
Oh, yeah, so we have the calculator. It’s very easy to use, they figure it all out, these men who work with me, God bless them, they put all this handy dandy stuff on the site. So go there to find out how much meat protein you can have. And again, the kidney stone diet will hit all of the stones you’re getting. Kidney stones can be prevented with dietary lifestyle changes and or medications as well.
I think that’s a great question, because we do talk about animal based protein a lot. I mean, because it is a key component. So animal versus meat. I mean, me as animal, but it’s a nice distinction to make, because I can’t think, offhand, can you think of any other animal based products that wouldn’t be meat?
Cheese. Milk. So yeah, those things. Even though I write it out, and I talk about it very clearly, I always say meat protein but it’s very confusing. I don’t know what else to do. I mean, it is just confusing. That’s why I never use animal protein. I always say meat protein, because I understand that people are trying to distinguish between the two? Because that is all animal products. Right? So, it can be confusing. And, you’re sick. Now you’re having to figure out all this cockamamie stuff, and nobody’s helping you. It’s very overwhelming. And it can be very confusing. Yes, indeed.
Well, I think that was a great question. Thank you so much. If have your own question you would like featured on the show in the future, that phone number is 773-789-8763.
If you want to deep dive, head over to kidneystonediet.com. There you can find the free weekly email newsletter where Jill will send you a little inspiration to keep you on track, you can find the Kidney Stone Prevention Course, the Kidney Stone Prevention Meal Plans, where every week you get a whole new set of meals to keep you on track and going on this journey. And this is not a list of what you MUST eat. This is inspirations.
People are like “Jill, I ain’t gonna cook.” Well, you’re gonna have a hard time with this. You’ve got to cook, people. Please. You have to learn how to cook. The recipes in my Meal Plans are very simple. Nobody’s busier than me, I can assure you, so I make this very simple.
They’re tasty, but they’re healthy. They’re all low sugar, very low added sugar, low salt, everything within portion size. And, one of the best things that I like about the Meal Plans is that it also gives you Kidney Stone Prevention tips. So I get to educate about WHY I chose the things I did on each recipe. You’re vegan? Do this instead. Don’t do this. Mix it up with this recipe. There are always educational tips.
But, people, you’ve got to cook some of your meals. Am I saying you can never go out with your wife again and have something? No! Go out to eat. I don’t care about that. What I’m saying is in order to live a healthier lifestyle, for those of you who need to lose weight, you’re going to have to start cooking.
I know people are like “Okay, bye bye. Unsubscribe. Get off this YouTube channel.” But it’s true. I’m not gonna lie. There’s nothing quick and easy about living a healthy lifestyle and the things worth getting require work. My dad taught me that when I was a little girl. God, he used to annoy me. “You want something, Jill? Ain’t nobody gonna be knocking on your door.” Oh, for Pete’s sake. But he was right. Everything is hard work. It’s not easy. Don’t you hate it when your parents are right?
But it’s not THAT hard of work. I mean, really? What are we talking about, people, we’re talking about habits. So, right now you’re not in the habit of making your food. Get in the habit. Some days you won’t be happy. What do you think, I’m giddy and the tooth fairy is coming to visit me when I go to my kitchen? No, sometimes I’m pissed. But never, never have I finished making a meal and said “Oh, I wish I didn’t make that home-cooked meal.” Never, not ever.
So what I’m always doing, and what I tell my students to do, is chase outcomes. So maybe I’m like, “I can’t believe I’ve got to cook. I’ve been on the phone for 12 hours today.” But I’m always grateful I did at the end because I made something that’s nourishing for my body, that will help me move my old bones, that will make me feel energized. One of the reasons I am so peppy is I eat well, I exercise, and I’m looking at almost 60 years old. I’ve got to take care of myself, right? It is our responsibility to take care of this machine that we have, because it does so very, very much for us.
I love that you said chasing outcomes. Because outcomes is such a valuable perspective. Because that’s long-term thinking. We want an outcome. It’s not going to be an outcome right this second. We want to reduce our oxalate, reduce these things that will help us in the future as we move forward to live a better life. It’s a beautiful way to look at it. It’s chasing an outcome.
Yes, I love it and it helps me greatly.
Well, thanks again for listening to the show. Be sure to subscribe wherever you’re listening. Tell your friends if you know anyone who can use help and guidance on reducing the risk of kidney stones. But that’ll do it for this week. We’ll see you next time.
Enjoy your egg white omelet, Donna. Thanks for the question.