Every year nearly one million Americans suffer through the severe pain of kidney stones, yet most kidney stones are completely avoidable.
The Kidney Stone Diet will not only decrease your likelihood of taking a ride in an ambulance due to a kidney stone, but it may also help you with other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
The Kidney Stone Diet is a simple program consisting of 5 essential lifestyle changes that you can start implementing today.
Incorporating these simple lifestyle changes can have a major impact on your health. Nearly 80 percent of new kidney stones can be prevented with the right treatment plan.
Along with my mentor, Dr. Fredric Coe (Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago), I named this special lifestyle the Kidney Stone Diet. Although it is used specifically to lower your stone risk, it is also what the FDA suggests all Americans adhere to. Every physician and nutrition-based health educator should be advocating this diet. The difference with this diet, and why we named it The Kidney Stone diet, is the oxalate element.
The Five Elements of the Kidney Stone Diet
- Increase Fluid Intake
- Lower Sugar and Sodium
- Increase Calcium From Foods
- Eat Moderate Amounts of Protein
- Lower High Oxalate Foods
In this article, I break down these 5 elements of the Kidney Stone Diet and explain why it’s such an effective way to lower your kidney stone risk. Let’s get started.
1. Increase Fluid Intake
First and foremost, let’s talk about your fluid intake.
Increasing your fluids is one of the most important aspects of the Kidney Stone Diet. When we drink more fluids we are able to dilute the substances that lead to kidney stones. We drink more, we produce more urine volume per day.
It is recommended that kidney stone patients drink at least 2.5 – 3 liters per day so that they can produce 2.0-2.5 liters of urine/day.
I understand that this can seem like a monumental task. You’re busy at work, carpooling, weekend soccer games, etc. I get it. But starting out small and adding a cup of water a day until you reach your goal will help you and your bladder adjust to the new workload.
Other factors that play a part in how much one will urinate are climate, workout regimen, sweating, occupation, and dietary habits.
Climate plays a role in fluid intake in that we typically experience less thirst in the cold months. Reminding yourself to drink more by setting an alarm on your phone may help to get that water intake up during the winter.
In summer we tend to sweat more but forget to make up for the loss of fluids by reaching for our water bottle. We must drink extra in hot months to stay adequately hydrated.
The same advice goes for athletes and people who are very active. You will sweat more so you will need to hydrate more.
Occupation plays a part in one’s drinking patterns in that teachers, truckers, salespeople, pilots, mail carriers, and nurses (just to name a few) tend to drink less because they cannot access the bathroom as freely as an office worker. When we find it hard or too time-consuming to use the bathroom we typically curtail drinking.
Although water is the drink we recommend most, all fluids do count. However, I recommend that you do not overdo the other drinks—alcohol, tea, coffee, and juices—and make water your primary source of hydration.
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables will also increase urine output—another reason why you should incorporate more of them into your lifestyle.
I can hear you already, “Jill, I drink a lot of fluids, but I don’t seem to pee much.” Well, there’s a reason for this. You may be consuming too much sodium, sugar, or both. When we over-consume sugar and salt, our urine volume is lowered, meaning we tend to pee less, even though we may have had a high amount of fluids that day. Just another reason why lowering sugar and sodium are big parts of the kidney stone diet. And that leads us to the next important element of the Kidney Stone Diet.
2. Lower Sugar and Sodium
Many of you reading this article will think, “I was not aware that eating too much sugar would increase my stone risk. But it’s true. Americans eat way too much added sugar—almost 60 pounds per year! Surprising right?
What isn’t surprising is that the high quantities of food we eat combined with our sedentary lifestyles means the obesity epidemic continues to grow in our country. Much of that increased obesity rate has to do with eating too much sugar.
Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar per week!
I hear from my patients all the time that they are “addicted to sugar.” The more sugar we eat the more sugar we crave. However, once you start lowering your sugar intake you will crave it less. Hard to believe right now, but trust me, it’s true.
The nutrition label is slowly changing to reflect how much added sugar is in the food you are eating because there is a difference between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar. Milk (unless chocolate) has naturally occurring sugar (lactose), jelly beans have added sugar. You know if sugar has been added to a product if you see sugar in the ingredient list. Sometimes added sugar is in the form of honey, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, etc. Here is an article I wrote for the University of Chicago that parses out all the ways in which sugar may be sneaking in to your food.
A woman should get no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day and men 37.5 grams/day. In stone disease, we want to lower your sugar consumption because sugar can decrease your urine output and increase your urine calcium. Also, too much sugar adds to weight gain and being overweight is another precursor for stone disease. Not to mention fatty liver, heart disease, and diabetes. To put this in perspective for you, one can of Coke has 37 grams of added sugar.
Too much sugar will temporarily raise our urine calcium and decrease our urine output throughout the day. These are two of the major risk factors in kidney stone formation. Therefore we ask you, as does the FDA, to lower your added sugar consumption.
On average Americans consume over 3,400 mg of sodium/day. We should be eating about 1,500mg/day though you should check with your physician to make sure this is right for you. Too much sodium causes calcium from your bone to spill out into your urine and increases your risk for bone AND stone disease. When too much calcium appears as a result of your urine collection, your physician may instruct you to lower your sodium consumption.
Salt is sneaky. It hides in foods unbeknownst to you. Olives, cereals, pickled foods, pizza, sauces, dressings, breads, condiments, and, of course, eating out! Look at every nutrition label to see how much sodium you are eating per portion.
One of the reasons your urine collection results may indicate your urine volume is low is because you are eating too much sodium. Lower sodium, increase urine volume. Lower sodium and LOSE weight. Lower sodium, and in most cases, you will lower your stone risk.
Many of my patients have a real eye-opening experience when they start reading nutrition labels. Those of us in our middle years were taught to only look at the fat and calories on food labels. When new patients come to me, I educate them to read the sugar and salt amounts on the food labels, per portion size. When you read the nutrition label in this new way you will be absolutely shocked by how much added sugar and sodium are in your foods. Even when the front of the product says, “less sugar, less sodium”, turn the package around to see what the nutrition label says. Less of a really high amount is still really high.
Some products will not have a label. Maybe your favorite place to go out to eat is Chipotle. You think that this is a relatively healthy choice, right? Can you believe that just the flour tortilla that wraps your burrito from Chipotle has 690mg of sodium? Go online to check your fav fast food joint so that you can be aware of just how much sodium is in your food.
The good news is that consumers are really getting the added sugar message and buying products with less of it and food manufacturers are taking note of this and making foods with less sugar. I want us to be just as demanding with buying food with less sodium. We have the power to encourage food manufacturers to change. What we buy, they make.
3. Increase Calcium From Foods
Most adults do not get enough calcium through their food and haven’t for years. Kidney stone formers must pay close attention to their calcium intake for two reasons.
- You need to nourish your bones and ward off osteoporosis.
- Getting enough calcium will help lower your urine oxalate.
Eating foods that supply your body with enough calcium is just as important as lowering your intake of high oxalate foods. The reason it is important for you is because the only way oxalate can leave your body is to bind with calcium in your colon and leave as waste through the stool. If you have not eaten any calcium-rich food or beverage along with the higher oxalate food then the excess oxalate has nothing to bind to and must be reabsorbed into the blood. This will create higher oxalate levels on your next urine collection.
To make sure you’re getting enough calcium (and that you’re not getting too much), have a look at the chart below to find your daily recommended intake.
When you choose to eat food that is higher in oxalate, pair it with a high calcium food. Maybe you want a few raspberries which are high in oxalate at 48mg/cup. The best way to eat them is in your dairy or non-dairy yogurt. You must eat both foods together as opposed to eating some raspberries now and then two hours later eating yogurt. The calcium from the yogurt can’t catch up to the raspberries in your digestive tract!
If you are lactose intolerant there are plenty of enriched foods or non-lactose alternative dairy and non-dairy milks. Here are some categories of Kidney Stone Diet-approved calcium sources by category:
- Collard greens
- Broccoli rabe
- Bok choy
- Low sodium sardines
- Ricotta, part-skim
- Swiss cheese
- Yogurt (lower sugar)
- Low-fat milk
- Lactose-free milk
Fortified foods and beverages
- Coconut milk
- Rice Milk
- Unsweetened flax milk
- Oat milk
- Pea milk
- Orange juice
4. Eat Moderate Amounts of Protein
Many of our modern-day diets promote eating high amounts of animal protein. And even if the diet isn’t a specifically high protein diet, (Keto, I am looking at you) my patients don’t always understand how to implement certain diets and, therefore, still end up eating too much protein.
When we take away one food group—carbs in this case—we tend to overeat the foods we are “allowed” to eat. Personal trainers, the diet industry, celebrities, etc, all espouse the benefits of a high protein diet. But we in the kidney stone prevention world and many other health professionals will tell you to eat the right amount for your healthy weight.
Eating too much meat protein can promote uric acid and calcium oxalate stones. If you eat a large amount of seafood and meat you can decrease your urine pH and increase your uric acid levels causing an increased risk of kidney stone formation.
What about milk and dairy products? You need your calcium and getting it from low-fat milk and dairy products is fine for uric acid formers. If you do not like or cannot drink milk, there are many dairy-free versions on today’s shelves (think unsweetened Flax milk or Pea milk).
How much protein should you be eating each day? To calculate how much protein is right for you, use this equation: 0.8 to 1.0 gm/kg/day. I can feel your math anxiety kicking up so let’s use me as an example.
My weight is 122 lbs. After I convert my weight in pounds to kilograms I weigh 55.4 kg. I got this number by dividing 122 lbs by 2.2 (2.2 pounds = 1kg). Therefore, if I were to eat on the low end of the equation it would look like this:
0.8 x 55.4 = 44.32 grams of protein a day.
If I wanted to eat on the upper end of the equation it would look like this:
1.0 x 55.4 = 55.4 grams of protein a day.
Based upon the equation above I can eat anywhere between 44.3 grams and 55.4 grams of protein per day. If I search “how many grams are in 3 ounces of chicken” I find this answer: “There are about 7 grams of protein in 1 ounce of cooked meat. So, for example, 4 ounces of raw boneless skinless chicken breast yields about 3 ounces of cooked chicken or 21 g of protein.”
To make it easier to calculate your protein my team and I have created this handy protein calculator.
Kidney Stone Diet
Calculating your daily protein requirement is simple! Just enter your weight in lbs below and the Kidney Stone Diet Protein Calculator will handle the rest!
5. Lower High Oxalate Foods
I hear it all the time from my patients, “Jill, there is nothing to eat.” This is the single most common myth amongst patients and I can be heard exclaiming throughout the day, “there is plenty to eat!” Many patients are given an oxalate list from their urologist with little or no direction on HOW to use that list to lower oxalate levels. This is where the confusion starts.
Dr. Coe and I, and many other health professionals, use the oxalate list published by Harvard. We trust it because we’ve found our patients do lower their urine oxalate by following it when they understand HOW to use it.
FREE RESOURCE: My team and I have made the first-ever searchable Harvard oxalate list which you can find here.
The one frustration I have with the Harvard oxalate list is it can confuse patients into thinking there actually is “nothing to eat.” That’s because, for each food Harvard studied, they include the portion size, the amount of oxalate, and then a qualifier, ex: Very High, High, Medium, Low, Very Low. Unfortunately, people only read the qualifier and think that because a food is listed as “high” they cannot eat it. This is not the case.
Most of the foods that are listed as “High” or “Very High” on the Harvard list can still be safely incorporated into your diet. Eating foods within the proper portion size is the key.
Most of you, unless otherwise directed by your doctor, can safely eat up to 100mg/oxalate per day. If you stop looking at the qualifiers and just look at the portion size of the measured food and how much oxalate it contains you will see there is a bigger variety of food you can eat. If you decide to have about 50 pistachios you will ingest 14mg/oxalate. So 100 minus 14 is totally doable and you still have many other withdrawals you can take for the day before you are overdrawn. But if you read the list and saw that Harvard describes pistachios as “very high”, you most likely would never go near a pistachio nut again. I actually spend much of my day teaching patients how to bring healthy foods BACK into their lives.
FREE RESOURCE: You can download a free copy of both the Harvard Oxalate List and my Safe Oxalate List below. The Safe Oxalate List shows only foods you can safely eat without the qualifiers.
Free Oxalate Food Lists
Enter your email to download both my Simple & Safe Oxalate Food List and the original Harvard Oxalate Food List for FREE
Keep in mind that lowering oxalate is not just done by using the Harvard list or any other list. There is more to it—the HOW I’ve been talking about. Adding calcium to your diet and lowering the highest oxalate foods are the main reasons patients are successful in lowering their urine oxalate.
Also, although this is not listed as one of our elements of the Kidney Stone Diet, I teach this to all of my patients. Portion is key in all we drink and eat. Many of you had to pay me a visit because you overate healthy foods like almonds and spinach. Even healthy foods should not be overeaten and eating a variety of foods should be your goal. Each week buy a new low oxalate fruit or veggies either frozen or fresh. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone and explore all different foods and recipes.
There you have it. The Kidney Stone Diet!
If you would like to learn how to safely implement this healthy lifestyle, consider joining me in my online Kidney Stone Prevention Course. Not only will you learn everything you need to help prevent kidney stones, but you will learn many tips on eating healthier in general.
Besides lifetime access to my self-guided video course, when you join you’ll also get 1 month of immediate access to my live group calls. These calls are where you work with me directly so we can discuss your unique concerns and hurdles. I hold these calls 5 days a week with 2 of them being at night and I’d love to see you there!
Jill is almond milk OK I drink it everyday
Since almonds are so high I would not suggest you drink it at all. Why not flax or coconut milk as a dairy substitute? Or Pea milk?
Hi Jill! Is oat milk high in oxalates?
My patients drink it and keep their oxalate low (based upon follow up 24 hour urine collections)
Oats are low, so one can assume the milk is as well.
It’s my 2nd reading, but after 2 per cutaneous surgeries ( each kidney), stones are growing back. I have asked dr. for genetic testing, but no one is doing this research. Taking another look at diet …. I found the info. helpful, in a 2nd. light., especially the reference to oxalate expellsion through the colon. I have long suspected a relationship between colon and kidney stones. Thank u
Can you get a urine collection ordered from your doc?
This is a great resource. Can you tell me how many egg whites I can eat daily without risking kidney stones? I weigh 160 lbs. THANKS!
I ask all my patients that they don’t overeat any food and to vary their foods in general. I have no limit to eggs, but having said this, why would you want to eat more than two and not every day. Tell me about your thoughts.
Did you know current RDIs are too low for protein intake and it should be more like 1.6g/kg to ward off sarcopenia? That’s what all the latest studies are saying. How do you weigh that up with controlling kidney stones?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
We differetiate between total protein and meat protein. In the KSD we are asking patients to not over consume meat protein but get the rest of their protein needs from non meat sources like eggs, beans (watch portion) lower sodium cheese, and dairy.
Jill, great reading! Loved it! I notice you mentioned Orange as a calcium alternative. On your list of foods, orange juice appears low oxalate but an orange as high? Why is this? Is this store OJ, or freshly squeezed? Also, what breads are a low oxalate alternative?
The actual orange has more because it is not diluted like the juice. That being said, make sure you read the article that explains how to use the Harvard oxalate list. You get 100 mg/oxalate per day so you can easily have an orange! Bread, unless made with a high oxalate flour like almond flour will never have more than 5 or so grams of oxalate, so again, can easily fit into your diet. When choosing bread I am more interested that you choose ones that have lower sugar, lower sodium, and higher fiber.
Hello Jill, I drink Ripple pea protein milk for calcium and protein. Do you have any idea what the oxalate level is in an 8 ounce glass; I can’t find it on any list. I can only have 50 mg of oxalates per day, so I have to account for everything I eat and drink. Thank you.
Peas are low so we can assume Ripple is a lower oxalate product. I do have patients that choose this product as their calcium source and their urine oxalate remains low.
Hi. Quick question. Do you have a mechanism to request that things be added to the list? Couple things I’ve been looking for but are either not on or are not all that clear… macadamia nuts, and a comparison to milk vs. dark chocolate. Let me know. Thanks Jill.
Remember, when foods are not on the list have it, once a week, in normal portion size. Getting your calcium is even more important!
12mg oxalate per ounce
Macadamia nuts are a great low oxalate nut choice.
Hi Karen and Michael,
I would be careful for all nuts. Portion is key. Getting your daily calcium is even more important.
Jane F Zepp
I am so glad I found you on Facebook and enjoy all your articles and videos. This article is very rewarding. I have learn so much from you I can’t believe how I though I was doing the right things and eating the right things. Thank you!
Organic sourdough hand made no salt added, only ingredients water, flour and starter. I read that the fermentation lowers the oxalate do you know if this is true and if so is it safe to eat?
Having a piece of sourdough is not going to make a stone. Eating an overall diet of high oxalate foods along with not getting enough calcium over time does. I do not know the exact numbers when foods are fermented. I find that the boiling of food and the fermentation and all the other cooking methods people want to say lowers oxalate levels are not worth it. Eating a diet that lowers oxalate overall by just eating foods within normal portion size and eating varying foods- not the same ones over and over- makes the most sense for people.
Nancy L Westbrook
I have kidney disease, kidney stones, esophageal ulcer and colon polyps. With diet restrictions on all these conditions, it appears I only have about 5 food choices (a bit exaggerated but you get my point). I had a para-thyroid tumor removed about 20 years ago and apparently I’ve been making stones for over 20 years. The doctors removed my tumor but never checked my kidneys for stones even though I complained of severe pain for this long. Finally, I found a new doctor who listened to me and found that I had massive amounts of stones in both kidneys. My kidney surgeon told me that if she had put all my stones in one place, it would have been the size of a large persimmon. There were so many, she had to go through my back to remove them. All of this took place less than a year ago. After a recent scan, it showed I have many stones still remaining in both kidneys. I don’t believe I made these stones in just a few months, I think they are left over from my recent stone surgeries. What do you think? Also, my doctor has asked me to take 3600 ml of sodium bicarbonate tablets per day. Isn’t this an awful lot of sodium? Oh, and I weigh 105 pounds and am 5’3″ tall. I’ve never been overweight. I’m so frustrated.
I am so sad to hear about all your stones. Has your blood and urine calcium been checked? Have you done a 24 hour urine collection? The sodium bicarb- I would assume it is being used for the ulcer or for keeping your urine pH up for the kidney disease? Not sure. Getting all your docs on board with your varying treatments needs to be done. Does each know what the other is prescribing and is it all being monitored?
Let me know-
Hi! Just found you through FB and I’m so glad to get the reasons why I’m making kidney stones. I have a 2-3 mm stone in my left kidney, which is new, and a 2.25 cm stone in my right kidney that my Urologist is going through my back to take out on Oct. 13th. I am 62, almost 63 next month, have been obese most of my adult life and have lost and regained 150 pounds. I now weigh 232. My first Urologist wouldn’t do lithotripsy on me when I had a 1 cm stone. 4 years later it is now 2.25 cm. I also have osteopenia and am at risk for a fracture. My doctor put me on 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 but not calcium. Is it because of my kidney stones, which she knows about? Do I still need to get my calcium from food vs. a capsule? Thank you so much for all your help!
Have you done a 24 hour urine collection? If not, you really should ask your doc for one so you can see what is causing your stones. You should be getting calcium from food. The article that explains the kidney stone diet your wrote from talks about calcium. You esp need it because of the bone disease.
Let me know what you get that collection done. The fact that you also have bone disease is the reason I esp want you to get one done.
Please get a 24 hour urine collection ordered and done if you have not. Esp since you also have bone disease. You will be able to see what is causing your stones if you do one. They are imperative in stone prevention. Stick with the kidney stone diet as I have helped many patients lose weight as well. The kidney stone prevention course is on sale. Take advantage of that and join me if you can. kidneystonediet.com/course
Sarah M Gordon
Informative article. I read a few months ago about consuming no more than 100 mg oxalates, but 50 would be ideal. Forgot about that until I read this article, then I learned how to use the oxalate values in the Harvard food list. You’re right, Jill, many ppl aren’t using this food list correctly, me too! Now I have to go back and erase all the foods I crossed out thinking I could not eat them at all. It makes so much more sense. I’m so grateful for this article. I have one question…on the list, mashed potatoes serving size is 1 c. I don’t need 1 c. When I divide that amount to 1/4 c., wouldn’t that also mean that the 29 oxalate value would also get reduced to 7.25 mgs? Thank you so much, you are the greatest! I’m so grateful I found you in my research.
Eat less of the higher oxalate food and you will get less oxalate. You can def fit mashed potatoes into your lifestyle here and there. Remember to get your RDA of calcium too.
I am glad you found me too. Thanks for writing!
Hi Jill, your information has been so helpful to me.. I am 52 I have never been overweight. I recently had horrendous pain and needed to go to AE. They found a 7.5 mm kidney stone.. I have had one lithotripsy another arranged for next week. I have been given leaflets!.. No one has suggested a 24 hour urine collection..or to look at diet. Using your site has helped me understand so much and I’m more prepared for my future appointments.. I never want this experience again.. Thank you for all the information.
Congrats on taking matters into your own hands. Make sure to get the collection ordered so you can prevent further stones. Most of my patients don’t make new stones bc they advocate for themselves and get on the proper treatment plan.
Let me know how everything turns out and know I am here to help in any way I can-
I have a 2 cm stone in my right kidney, surgery is urged. I also have had Stage IV kidney cancer, a large tumor on the left kidney. I am now at 0 stage cancer, with no surgery, no chemo and no radiation. Long story. I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to reduce or remove the stone, without surgery. Diet? Anything? I am 76, 127 pounds, walking 1/2 mile 3–4 times a week, new to your diet, with severe osteoporosis . Ideas?
If surgery is “urged” might be wise to listen. If the stone is in a place where it won’t bother or budge, then the surgeon typically states that there is no rush to remove it. If you have a stone, moving can sometimes help to release it but that is only if it is ready. Drinking plenty of water and eating the kidney stone diet will help it not grow.
Hope that helps a bit in making your decision-jill
Mary Louise Whitlow
I have learned a lot from your website, list and now this Facebook page. Thank you!
My eyes popped out when I saw figs listed under high calcium foods. I LOVE figs (have several fig trees in my garden:)! I thought that figs were high oxalate and their intake should be very limited. Please let me know if figs go under the guilty pleasures (one, two or three a day during the season) or if I can eat more of them.
Hi Mary Louise,
They are higher in oxalate. Check my online searchable oxalate food list here to see what their values are:https://kidneystonediet.com/oxalate-list/
Jill, from much of the literature I’ve read it seems that lemon juice helps prevent and dissolve kidney stones, so each morning I’ve been drinking a glass of iced tea with lots of concentrated lemon juice in it. Then I wait a good hour before I eat breakfast and have my coffee. Is there any truth to my lemon theory? Still not sure what oxalates are, but intend to research them soon. Would appreciate a reply on the above.
Lemons are used to help pH and or raise citrate. But only if those two values are just a bit off. Lemons will not dissolve stones. I would suggest getting a urine collection done so you can see what is causing your stones. I have some good articles on the blog about oxalate and the kidney stone diet in general. Check them out!
Do you have any insight on the Crohn’s disease and kidney stone connection? I’m just reading your articles and on the FB group. Just had a PCNL surgery for a 2 cm stone and another smaller in right kidney. I’m a 70 yr old female wo was diagnosed with Crohn’s 47 yrs ago and had 2 bowel resections back in the 80’s. Thanks!!
There certainly is a connection and I have helped many who suffer from both. Bowel disease can cause malabsorption issues which in turn can lead to an increased risk of stones. Feel free to look at my services to see if any might suit your budget.
Is multigrain bread high in oxalates? Which bread is best to eat for sandwiches? It seems like wheat bread is not a good idea. Is white bread a good idea? Are walnuts high in oxalates? I like them in my cereal.
You can eat bread. It is a portion game. Here are all the free resources you need to get your oxalate numbers: kidneystonediet.com/start
Hi Jill, I listened to one of your recent podcasts where a listener asked about the oxalate content of quinoa. You mentioned that your reference list for oxalate content is the Harvard list which was compiled before foods such as quinoa and others were popular in this country. Do you think there’s any possibility that the Harvard list may be updated to include foods that have increased in usage over the years since the compilation of the original Harvard list? Thank you for your reply and always extremely helpful information.
I do not know. I always hope but too, this diet is so less about oxalate. Once you take away the highest few foods and learn to eat all foods in normal portion size and get your calcium ,high oxalate levels go away.
Thanks a lot.
I got Kidney Transplant 15 years ago and I am getting kidney stones for the last five years. No family history of stones. My stones are Calcium Phosphate. I am doing my 24 hours urine test every 6 months. My Urine Calcium is 353 Mg and Ph is 6.680. I am drinking minimum of 3 liters of water every day. What food you suggest me to eat and what to avoid to control my stones formation?
My PTH is around 100 and endocrinologist suggested to check my Thyroid Glands but result came normal.
You should be following the kidney stone diet which is what I am promoting. The low sodium and low added sugar will benefit you bc it will help your high urine calcium. Please read the articles in my blog on this site for more info. For personalized help, book an appt.
Any thoughts on Chanca Piedra ?
Go to my YouTube channel at The Kidney Stone Diet with jill Harris and you will see a video on just this!
I like to do baking experiments, and I’d like to see what I can do with low-oxalate flours. I know oat flour is low-oxalate. Barley malt flour is listed as low on this site, so I thought I’d mix them together and see what I can create.
However, I’m puzzled by Harvard’s designation of barley malt flour as low oxalate. Is this an error? Most of the research I’ve seen on barley malt (oxalates are apparently an issue with beer-making, not just kidneys!) – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.2050-0416.2011.tb00445.x figures 2-4 for example – show the oxalate content of barley malt as medium to high. Where can I find more information about how the foods on this list were tested? Are the original test reports published anywhere? I’d like to see the original source rather than a derived list.
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Dear A. Matulich,
Here is the link to Harvard link:https://regepi.bwh.harvard.edu/health/Oxalate/files
Thanks Jill. It looks like I’m going to have to figure out how to contact Harvard about this.
Hello Jill! My Ca is 11.2 as of my 7/9/21 24 hour urine catch ( 1-1/2 months after going into septic shock and kidney stone removal). HyperpArathyroidism. It has hovered between 10.8 and 10.9 for about 10 years. Doctors keep saying that it is no problem. Isn’t this related to kidney stone development? Should I still increase my calcium intake through food even though my parathyroid is over producing calcium?
Thank you for listening to me and caring about me.
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
I am assuming you are talking about your blood calcium? If so please read this article from my mentor, Dr. Coe. You will find it important. Watch the video as he is an excellent teacher and I asked him to do a video from this particular article bc many need help:https://kidneystones.uchicago.edu/chapter-six-primary-hyperparathyroidism/
I haven’t had a chance to review all your resources yet so perhaps this is already covered somewhere. Do you have a recommendation for food tracking app? Clearly it won’t include oxalate (long-term goal?), but for the other categories? I have used My Fitness Pal but it won’t let me keep the daily goals for fiber and sodium meeting your recommendations. Additionally, it doesn’t separate out added sugar vs intrinsic.
Firstly, thanks for providing so much information on this site. I am so glad I found it. I’m currently trying to absorb all the information and am a bit overwhelmed with the dietary restrictions. I’m one of those people who switched to an animal-free diet a few years ago and am now suffering the consequences because of my alternative food choices. I have a few kidney stones. My doctor has not provided me with any information and the urologist said the biggest obstructing 6mm stone will pass at some point (ouch) so I consulted my naturopath. She has told me to take a product called Uri Litotriptic on the understanding that it will help to break up the kidney stones naturally. Have you heard of this product before and/or had any experience with it? Thanks
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
The only stones that can be broken up (by potions) are uric acid stones. Do you make uric acid stones?
After learning about the kidney diet, I switched and am very conscious of oxylates as well as sodium, sugar, and proteins. My area also has VERY high in calcium in tap water(approx 200-440 mg/liter) which I filter but not rev-osmosis. Since switching to Alhambra bottled water, my 24-hour urine test taken before and after yielded a reduction of Uric acidity (pH went from 5.5 to 6.4).
My new dilemma is this as I’m having another bout with stones: could this be due to taking zinc (500 mg) and quercetin (500 mg) supplements. What are / do you know the oxylate contents of those supplements?
Thanks for your help,
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
The best way to know is to do a urine collection to see what your urine oxalate levels are. I do not know the oxalate of those supplements. Is your urine calcium high on your 24 hour urine collection?
Audrey Healy Gallagher
My doctor prescribed blood pressure medication along with potassium citrate. I have seen your videos and I haven’t yet heard you talk about blood pressure medicine. What are your thoughts?
Thanks, glad to have found you.
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
I tend not to talk about meds too much as that is not my job as a nurse. But, there is a class of BP meds called the thiazide that are also used in stone prevention to help lower urine calcium. The dual pill ordered – pot citrate- is common too as the thiazide can lower potassium levels.
Hope this helps-
Thank you so much for this. I was excited to see my nephrologist recommended the same amount of protein. However he specified that the 0.8-1.3 would be animal protein – so I could still get to my nutrition goal of 30% cals from protein by supplementing non-animal protein.
Can you provide feedback on that please?
Thanks in advance.
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Yes is the answer to your question!
Thank you so much Jill!
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
I had gastric bypass surgery in the past and recently went into septic shock due to a kidney stone I didn’t even know I had. The path report came back as calcium oxalate, am I forming stone because of the lack of absorption in the intestine? Is that why everything I read says gastric bypass patients tend to form stones?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Yes, that is why. Gastric bypass patients tend to have lower citrate and pH, higher oxalate and lower urine volume. I have helped many thought reduce their risk. Make sure you get a urine collection so you can see your particular issues.
I am an extremely picker eater. From reading I know I need to get more calcium. Is taking a calcium supplement ok?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Calcium pills can increase your risk for stones. Can you use one of these non dairy or dairy sources:https://kidneystonediet.com/16-non-dairy-calcium-sources-for-kidney-stone-formers/
For those of us who get our 1200mg of calcium from food, chiefly dairy, would you please clarify if this counts toward the .8-1 g/kg/day protein target? I was advised by a nutritionist to count dairy intake toward the protein goal – but, for ex, that would mean 8 gms x 4 cups (nonfat) milk = 32 gms protein, leaving a 108 lb woman only 7-17 gms of remaining protein/day. Is this right?
Jill Harris, LPN, CHC
Since I do not know your medical hx, meaning not sure if you have CKD, I am not sure. All protein counts so yes you do count dairy protein, but we want your meat protein not to exceed a certain amount. Read this article.https://kidneystonediet.com/meat-protein-kidney-stone-diet/