Best Indian Diet for Kidney Stone Patients
Kidney stone is a painful condition that affects approximately 5 to 12% of the population globally. An Indian diet, rich in spices and flavours, gives way to the preparation of a variety of meals in each home. But with kidney stones, it is crucial to narrow down your options and choose food items that can benefit your condition.
This article highlights some dietary changes you can make if you have or have had kidney stones in the past. Before delving into the diet for kidney stone patients, let's first understand some basic facts about kidney stones.
Table of Contents
What are kidney stones, and how are they formed?
Kidney stones are also known as renal calculi, where renal stands for 'kidney' and calculi stands for 'stones'. Kidney Stones can also be described as nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis, based on where the stones are situated.
- Nephrolithiasis is when stones are present in the kidney.
- Urolithiasis is when stones are present in the ureters, bladder or urethra.
Kidney stones refer to hard deposits of salts and minerals lodged in the kidney or elsewhere in the urinary system. The urinary system mainly consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra. Kidney stones can get lodged anywhere from the kidney to the urethra. They won't cause permanent damage, but passing them can be difficult and painful.
Kidney stones are formed from substances that are naturally present in the urine. When urine becomes highly concentrated, the minerals present in them may crystallise and stick together, giving rise to small stones. If not treated on time, these small stones can grow and cause urinary obstruction, leading to severe complications.
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Role of diet in kidney stones
One of the main functions of the kidney is to filter and absorb nutrients needed in the body. As most of these nutrients come from the diet, the role of diet in kidney stone patients becomes vital.
The minerals that can give rise to kidney stones are:
- Uric acid
As these minerals are ubiquitously present in the diet of most people, modifying the diet can immensely help in the treatment and prevention of kidney stones. Therefore, doctors widely recommend diet charts for kidney stone patients. The diet of a kidney stone patient revolves around including and avoiding certain food items.
Indian diet for kidney stone patients
An Indian diet is a constellation of many flavours and tastes. It includes a variety of dishes consisting of many nutrients and chemicals. As the kidney filters these nutrients and chemicals, any discrepancy in their intake or removal can lead to kidney stone formation.
For example, lower calcium consumption can cause an increase in the risk of the formation of kidney stones. But it is less commonly observed in people residing in the stone belt region of India as their diet is rich in calcium-rich cereals like ragi, soybeans, and rajma. Hence, Indian food habits have been considered a significant risk factor in the formation of kidney stones.
A well-balanced Indian diet chart for kidney stone patients should involve the following elements:
- Less salt consumption. Indian households tend to have a diet rich in salt. Sodium in salt can cause a buildup of calcium in the urine, resulting in the formation of kidney stones. Therefore, restricting salt intake in the Indian diet for kidney stones becomes essential in managing them.
- Switching to brown rice, oats, wheat, ragi, and other healthy cereal options.
- Taking protein from plant sources instead of vegetable sources. Plant protein sources include bitter gourd, dark green vegetables, chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, etc.
- Avoiding eating tomatoes when following the Indian diet for kidney stone patients, as they might increase uric acid production.
- Avoiding coffee and alcohol as they may cause dehydration making it conducive to stone formation.
|Foods to include in Indian diet chart for kidney stone patients||Foods to avoid in Indian diet chart for kidney stone patients|
|Lemons, Amla, Oranges, Bananas||Salty food like pickles|
|Cereals like Ragi, Soybean, Rajma, Brown rice, Oats||
Red meat, Eggs, Chicken, Pork
|Bitter gourd, Kidney beans, Chickpeas||Sugar, Refined carbohydrates, Sugar syrups|
|Green vegetables like Broccoli and Kale||Tomatoes and Spinach|
|Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt||Carbonated drinks and Alcohol|
Food items to eat during kidney stones
Diet plays a crucial role in preventing and treating kidney stones. Overall, the diet chart for a kidney stone patient should be rich in:
Staying hydrated is a vital step in treating kidney stone patients. It remains a cornerstone in the management of kidney stones. Water helps dilute the urine, thus preventing the crystallisation of minerals. At least six to eight glasses daily are recommended in the diet for kidney stone patients.
Citrus fruits are enriched with citrate, which prevents the formation of stones. Amping the citrus intake by consuming fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapes forms an important component of the diet chart for kidney stone patients.
Calcium plays a role in maintaining oxalate levels in the body. It binds to oxalate, interrupting the stone formation. If the body has low calcium stores, the oxalate levels may rise, leading to stone formation. Therefore, it's essential to increase calcium intake.
Make sure to take all the calcium from the diet, and not supplements, as supplemental calcium is linked with kidney stone formation. Rich sources of calcium are milk, cheese, yoghurt, fish, etc. Vegetarian sources of calcium include legumes and green vegetables like broccoli, kale, etc. Calcium is also available in fortified cereals and fruit juices.
- Vitamin D
Increase vitamin D intake along with calcium, as vitamin D helps in calcium absorption. Good sources of Vitamin D are animal liver, fatty fish, and cheese.
Some doctors may also recommend a DASH diet as a part of a diet chart for kidney stone patients. The DASH diet is usually recommended to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It is also recommended in some cases of kidney stones as it reduces the content of stone-forming minerals in the urine.
The components of the DASH diet for kidney stone patients include:
- Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water every day.
- Eating citrus-rich foods such as oranges, lemons, etc.
- Eating meals rich in calcium at least thrice a day.
- Restricting salt intake.
- Limiting intake of animal protein.
- Avoiding sugars and carbonated drinks.
Please note: Stones differ in mineral composition; therefore, the diet for each type of stone might vary accordingly. Hence, it is advisable to talk to a doctor before changing one’s diet.
Food items to avoid during kidney stones
Some food items, when consumed with kidney stones, can lead to worsening of the symptoms. Hence, it becomes crucial to remove certain food items from the diet chart for kidney stone patients. These restrictions are as follows:
- Avoid salty food items
Use less salt in the diet. Limit the addition of salt in homemade food items and when eating out. Check nutritional labels on the food packaging before buying to see how much sodium content is present.
- Decrease animal protein intake
Animal proteins contain purines, which, when broken down, release uric acid as a by-product. (9) Uric acid, one of the components of kidney stones, can accelerate the formation of kidney stones when increased. Hence the doctor might recommend limiting the animal protein intake. Avoid eating red meat, fish, eggs, chicken, and pork. Instead, try other protein sources such as beans, dried peas, lentils, etc.
- Limit intake of oxalate-containing food items
Oxalate is one of the components of kidney stones. Thus eliminating them from the diet chart for kidney stones patients becomes of paramount importance.
Oxalates are found in:
- Sweet potatoes
- Avoid carbonated drinks
Carbonated drinks are high in phosphates and sugar. Phosphates and sugars both promote stone formation. Added sugars like sucrose and fructose should also be avoided. These added sugars are not only present in carbonated drinks but also in honey, corn syrup, etc. Therefore, you should avoid these food items as well while following the diet for kidney stone patients.
- Avoid dehydrating foods or drinks
Avoid alcohol, as it can decrease the water content in the body, promoting crystallisation and deposition of minerals. Avoid too much caffeine, as that can also result in dehydration.
Kidney stone pain is excruciating, but it can be treated by dietary modifications in some cases. These modifications encourage increasing the intake of certain food items and reducing others.
If you have kidney stones and are not getting better despite following the Indian diet chart for kidney stones, consult a doctor immediately. Get in touch with us right now! We have an excellent team of expert doctors at HexaHealth who will guide you every step of the way!
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods to avoid if you have kidney stones?
Avoid these food items if you have kidney stones:
- Salty food items, for example, pickles
- Red meat, chicken, eggs, pork
- Chocolates, nuts, tea
- Carbonated and sugary drinks, for example, cola drinks
What foods are good for kidney stones?
Foods rich in calcium and citrate are good for kidney stones. Calcium is found in milk, cheese, broccoli, and soybeans. Citrate can be found in citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and amla.
Which fruit is best for kidney stones?
Fruits rich in citrate are best for kidney stones as citrates prevent the formation of stones. These include lemons, amla, and oranges.
What vegetables are good for kidney stones?
Vegetables like kale, broccoli, lettuce and cabbage are great for kidney stones as they are good sources of calcium and protein. Other vegetables include bitter gourd.
Is rice good for kidney stones?
Yes, rice is good for kidney stones. It is low in oxalates which help prevent kidney stone formation.
Are bananas good for kidney stones?
Yes, bananas are good for kidney stones. They're low in oxalates and rich in other healthy nutrients like vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium.
What drinks cause kidney stones?
Carbonated and sugary drinks cause kidney stones due to their high phosphate content. Drinks containing sucrose and fructose can also lead to kidney stones. Hence, they should be avoided while following the diet for kidney stone patients.
Is milk good for kidney stones?
Yes, milk is good for kidney stones as it is rich in calcium. Calcium, although a component of kidney stones, lowers the level of oxalates. Hence, calcium can be great, especially for oxalate-containing kidney stones.
Is yoghurt good for kidney stones?
Yes, yoghurt is a good alternative to animal protein. It's rich in calcium which helps modulate the oxalates level in the body.
Which food destroys kidney stones?
Drinking plenty of water is the cornerstone of the diet for kidney stone patients. Besides that, you can try citrus-rich fruits and a low-protein diet to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Does a high sugar diet cause kidney stones?
Yes, a high sugar diet can cause kidney stones. Processed food items contain high amounts of refined sugar, which can harm your health and cause kidney stones. Foods rich in sucrose and fructose can also result in kidney stones.
Can I eat eggs with kidney stones?
Avoid eating eggs while following the diet chart for kidney stones patients, as they are a source of animal protein. Increased protein intake increases the level of uric acid in the body.
What is seven day kidney stone diet chart?
A 7-day kidney stone diet chart involves drinking plenty of water. It also includes consuming a low protein, high citrate, high calcium diet across seven days. Following this diet will help decrease the size of the stones and eventually get rid of them completely.
Are scrambled eggs good for kidneys?
No, eggs are a source of animal protein which increases the level of uric acid in the body. High uric acid levels promote kidney stone formation. Hence eggs in any form should not be included in the diet for kidney stones patients.
What are the worst foods for kidney stones?
The worst food items for kidney stones are:
- Foot containing excess salt
- Excess intake of red meat, eggs, chicken, pork, etc.
- Foods rich in oxalate, for example, chocolate, nut, peanuts, tea, etc.
- Carbonated drinks
- Sugary foods and drinks
What vegetables to avoid for kidney stones?
Avoid eating vegetables like beets, rhubarb, and spinach in excess, as it might lead to kidney stone formation. If you're eating these vegetables, make sure you drink a lot of water to dilute the stone-forming minerals.