A common question from patients is, “what snacks can I eat on the Kidney Stone Diet?” Paying attention to sodium, sugar, and oxalate limits can make snack time a little challenging but it’s important to treat yourself here and there in order to stay compliant with a healthy lifestyle. Deprivation works for some, but not for most.
We often find ourselves hungry when arriving home from work because we likely ate too little during the day. Having healthy Kidney Stone Diet-Approved snacks stashed in your desk drawer will help you stay away from the unhealthy 3pm offerings at the vending machine or your neighbor’s candy jar.
I also recommend having a cooler in the car where you can keep healthy snacks for those on-the-go moments. Being prepared is one of the most important things you can do for yourself while managing a healthy lifestyle. Having a nibble on the way home usually keeps you from raiding your pantry the minute you shut the front door. I hear from patients all the time who say this is one of their biggest downfalls in maintaining long term compliance. You cannot starve all day and graze all night. Preparation is key!
To help you get your snack game in order, I’ve put together a list of Kidney Stone Diet-Safe snacks to keep handy. By “safe” I mean snacks with lower sugar, sodium, and oxalate levels per serving. Of course, I don’t endorse junk food, but I do recognize that most of us need our favorite snack on occasion.
The phrase to keep in mind here is “portion not perfection”. It’s perfectly fine to have a goodie but don’t let it curtail your healthy eating for the rest of the day. Consider it a treat and move on to a healthy choice for the meal choice. The portion size is key when it comes to snacking (and meals). If you find a snack that is too hard for you to limit, then don’t buy that snack. You will never find Cheez-Its in my kitchen as I am NOT to be trusted with them.
Kidney Stone Diet-Friendly Snacks.
- Fruit is a great option as you try to ween off sugary snacks. I like pears, apples, and blueberries or any other high fiber, low oxalate fruit.
- Yogurt is a tasty treat but you must look at the label. Many brands have a lot of added sugar. Find one that doesn’t and use fruit to sweeten it up. Finding brands that’ll deliver a good dose of calcium is ideal.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Unsalted sunflower seeds.
- Dang snacks.*
- Pea crisps.*
- Popcorn. But pop it yourself so you can control the sodium.
- Unsalted pretzels.*
- No salt tortilla chips.*
- Wheat Thins Hint of Salt with a little butter. Yum.
- A small portion of yesterday’s kidney stone friendly lunch or dinner (I do this often).
- No sugar added popsicles, I am obsessed with Outshine.*
- Baked kale chips. I make these myself because it’d so easy. They take 15 minutes and provide that satisfying crunch we so crave from chips.
- Dried fruit with no added sugar. You’ll want to watch the portion size with this. Even though the sugar is naturally occurring, there will be lots of it.
- Low oxalate veggies. Visit our Searchable Oxalate List or download a free PDF copy for yourself.
- Turkey roll-ups with swiss cheese. I choose swiss because it’s the lowest sodium cheese.
- A few Hint of Salt Triscuits with some swiss cheese is always satisfying.
- Low sodium cottage cheese and blueberries or another of your favorite healthy, sweet, toppings.
- Pistachio nuts. That’s right! Pistachios are safe and you can find them on the searchable oxalate list.
- I like to sauté veggies and use them throughout the week for a snack. Quick and easy.
- Homemade granola is another great option. I use unsalted pistachios, unsalted sunflower seeds, coconut chips and unsweetened cranberries for mine.
- Watermelon, feta, and mint. Can’t go wrong with salty and sweet. Just a cupful is all you need!
- Cucumbers (or any lower oxalate veggie) and hummus.
- Popcorners.* This is a snack I really love but have to be careful with portion. I could eat these all day, every day.
If you have other snack options you would like to share with me and your fellow “stoners”, feel free to let us know in the comments! Go to my private group FB page to find more kidney stone friendly recipes for each meal-type and snacks. We have hundreds to choose from and new ones are added all the time.
*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a tiny commission when you purchase through links on our site at no additional costs to you.
I’m confused about one item on the oxalate list, pistachios. I love them, but avoid them because they’re on the list as “high.” Yet, in your list of healthy, acceptable snacks, you say they’re safe to eat. So is it a matter of proportion size? And as long as I’m asking, are pumpkin seeds in the shell acceptable?
Please read the article that goes with The Safe Oxalate List. Very important to understand how the oxalate list works. Pumpkin seeds tend to be on the lower side. Portion is key. Read this:https://kidneystonediet.com/good-oxalate-list/
Jill L Gaddis
I thought cranberries were not safe
You can certainly have them within moderation. A couple in a muffin is not going to cause a stone. Remember, it is always important to note your portion size. I have found over the years that patients give up too many foods when lowering oxalate. It is much more important to get your RDA of calcium and just stay away from the highest oxalate foods.
Hope that helps,Jill
You can certainly fit cranberries into your life if you want them. Just don’t overeat them! Portion not perfection always applies.
I’m wondering about the portion for the cranberries. I put fresh/raw cranberries (1/2 C.) once or twice per week in my yogurt. I’m assumed to have calcium oxalate stones. Is this portion size potentially problematic?
Cranberries are listed on the oxalate list as 35mg/cup. So you are eating 1/2 cup for 17 mg/ox. You can fit that into your budget if you like-
Hello Jill – great FB group 🤩 I’m struggling with oxalates and potassium. What kind of flour do you suggest for baking? I was using almond flour and now have stopped. Also stopping almond milk.
Thank you ,
No nut flours. You can use white and wheat if you like, coconut, oat. It is the portion size of flour. But even more important is the sugar and sodium that goes into the things you are making with the flour!
Hi Jill, I have a problem with calcium oxalates stones and diverticulosis, so I follow your list but I don’t know how to balance having the both issues. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for all your hard work & effort in helping all of us.
Balancing multiple diets leads me to ask many questions and I do consults for these types of things. Schedule one if you can!
Treat all nuts with caution. If something is not on the list, I usually say to have that food once or twice a week in a normal portion size. Get your daily calcium (which is so very important to get rid of excess oxalate). But seeing as this is a nut, I would most likely not eat many of them.
Caron A Stevens
Are pretzels OK as a snack?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Most foods are perfectly fine in portion size. Portion not perfection is the name of the game here.
New to trying to eat to avoid kidney stones. My struggle is dairy and wheat flour. I cannot tolerate either without bloating or general digestive issues. I also do not like meat though will eat chicken/turkey sometimes beef. I used to eat tons of nuts, nut flour, almond milk, eggs, hummus, berries, brown rice gluten-free crackers, unsweetened ice tea, juice greens and miso soup. All of these are now off-limits and I am being asked to eat dairy and wheat products which I can’t. I can’t seem to figure out what to eat. My diet has been reduced to cottage cheese, bone broth soup with mushrooms, oatmeal apples and prunes. Seriously, is there an actual menu plan somewhere to get ideas of how to eat correctly while managing dairy and gluten intolerance on a mostly vegetarian diet?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Have worked with many people like you. Book a consult if you can-you can eat way more than you think. Just not in the amount you were eating everything.
How many mgs of oxalates can I have in a day?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Go to the start page to find out: kidneystonediet.com/resource-list
Hi Jill, appreciate you! Since this list is three years old, I’m wondering if you discovered any new snacks for us stone growers? Thanks in advance!
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
My blog has another article here:https://kidneystonediet.com/a-new-shortlist-of-grab-and-go-snacks/