Good eating habits to avoid kidney stones

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

We are going to take a close look at a problem that 10% of the population is familiar with, namely kidney stones. They appear from the age of forty, are twice as common in men as women, but I will give you the right reflexes to adopt to anticipate them.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

What exactly are kidney stones?

A kidney stone is like a small grain, which is formed from elements found in the urine.

Little by little, other elements clump together on this small grain which increases in volume and which will resemble a stone over time.

These stones, we call them stones, and are often small and fortunately, they can be eliminated spontaneously through urine.

kidney pain

How is this mechanism for producing calculations explained?

Often when it’s hot, we’re often dehydrated and we don’t drink enough, so you have small wastes that concentrate in the urine. And so if you don’t drink enough, you don’t eliminate and they stay in the bladder.

These small kidney stones are often painless, but when they grow, they can block the flow of urine and then it hurts. This appears in the early morning or late in the evening, when you are resting in a lying or sitting position and this causes many inconveniences such as fever and even bleeding.

In principle, the majority of stones crumble and disappear on their own within 6 weeks.

When they are too dense, they must be degraded, cut into pieces, and this, in a surgical manner.

How to avoid getting kidney stones through our diet?

Kidney stones are largely related to diet.

Recent studies also specify how a few simple habits can protect oneself from it and avoid recurrences.

And first of all, we must drink to allow you to better eliminate!

As I told you, excessive concentration of urine promotes the formation of kidney stones. The more you hold back from urinating, the more wrong you are.

You should drink throughout the day, including at night if you wake up. Care must be taken to eliminate.

Your urine should be clear, pale yellow, almost colorless.

On the other hand, regarding tea and coffee, limit yourself to 2-3 cups per day because despite the diuretic effect which helps eliminate them, these are still drinks which contain compounds which can promote stones. You can drink it but without excess.

Regarding tea, avoid over-steeping it or preferring green tea to black tea for example.
Concerning coffee, if possible avoid overusing soluble coffee specifically.

The same goes for sodas which contain a sugar that promotes the formation of stones (fructose) and alcohol, more precisely champagne, white wine and beer, also contain compounds that also promote the formation of these kidney stones.

So alternate as much as possible and favor tap water or lightly mineralized water like Evian, Volvic, or Cristalline.

Sparkling water rich in bicarbonates such as Badoit, Salvetat or Perrier will help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

fruits and vegetables to avoid kidney stones

Should we favor vegetables in case of kidney stones?

Yes, we must encourage vegetables AND fruits Besides! For what ? Quite simply because they are rich in water!

If you eat 3 fruits, it’s like drinking ½ L of water, that’s pretty good!

And thanks to the potassium in fruits, urine is less acidic, which reduces the risk of stone formation.

So plan a raw vegetable, a soup or a cooked vegetable for lunch and dinner and 2-3 fruits spread throughout the day and you’re good to go!

On the other hand, watch out for excess protein which increases the risk of stones.

So on the menu, no more than one minced steak or 2 slices of ham per day, alternating between meat, poultry, fish and eggs and strongly moderating offal and game.

Are there any prohibited foods?

I won’t go so far as to say “forbidden foods” but “to consume in moderation”, because these are foods which also contain compounds that promote the formation of stones.

Here are other foods to take it easy with:

  • cocoa and dark chocolate
  • tea
  • peanut, almond, walnut, hazelnut
  • asparagus, beetroot, chard, broccoli, spinach, sorrel, sweet potato
  • red berries, fig, rhubarb
  • And offal and game as I told you just before, as well as certain fish (herring, tuna, sardines in oil, anchovies, etc.) and seafood.

Again, I just say “don’t overdo it!” »

I also explain this to you in video:

Any last advice?

Yes: avoid salt.

In practice, when you buy industrial dishes, in supermarkets for example, they are often very salty like soups, chips, appetizer biscuits, cold meats, cheese… So these are once a year. maximum day.

And, above all, avoid salt at the table, which is added to the dish systematically!

To sum up

  • 2L of water per day, spread over the day and night;
  • No more than one meal of meat or fish per day (and favor fruits and vegetables);
  • Never add salt at the table.