• Aging Well Denver

Kidney Stone Prevention Diet

Updated: Feb 12, 2018

This information was provided by a medical professional. ALWAYS consult your doctor before making any changes.

The foods you choose each day can affect your risk of recurrent kidney stone formation. This diet considers several common dietary influences of stone formation. Use the guide below as a guide to changing you diet.


Consuming adequate fluid on a daily basis is very important to reduce your risk of kidney stone formation. Be sure to consume 2-3 liters of fluid daily and drink at least 8 ounces of fluid before going to bed at night. Consider the following points when working to increase your fluid intake.

Your goal is 2-3 liters of non-caffeinated fluid each day. A large soda bottle is 2 liters. Anything that is liquid at room temperature contributes to your total fluid intake. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated but you may also consider drinking lemonade, limeade, or adding fresh lemon to your water. These fluids contain citrate, which helps prevent some forms of kidney stones. To increase your daily fluid intake, keep a bottle of water with you at all times.


When trying to prevent kidney stones, it is important that you consume a normal amount of calcium. Both low and high calcium diets can cause kidney stones. Adequate calcium intake is 1,000 mg/day for those age 19-50 and 1,200 mg for those ages 50 and over. As a general rule, consume 3 servings of low-fat dairy every day.

Food labels will give you a more accurate report of the calcium content per serving of food consumed. Remember that food labels use 1000mg of calcium as the reference intake. If a food offers 20% of the Daily Value for calcium it provides 200mg per serving .


Most Americans consume over two times the amount of sodium they should on a day-to-day basis. When trying to prevent kidney stone formation it is important to limit your salt intake (goal: <2,400 mg/day) To limit your daily sodium intake try the following:

Use fresh or dried herbs, spices, and lemon juice to season foods. Avoid seasonings that have salt in them such as garlic salt or celery salt. Read labels carefully. Some words to avoid include : salt, sodium chloride, monosodium glutamate (MSG), cured, brined, corned, pickled, and smoked. Limit your intake of luncheon meats, cheeses, frozen dinners, canned soups, and fast foods. These food items contain large amounts of sodium. Watch your use of condiments, as many are high in sodium including : marinades, soy sauce, tarter sauce, teriyaki sauce, gravy mixes, salad dressings, barbeque sauce, hot sauce, and steak sauce. Avoid obvious sources of concentrated sodium such as highly salted snack foods, salted crackers, and salted nuts.


Excess intake of animal protein can contribute to kidney stone formation. When trying to prevent stone reoccurrence, you should limit your intake of animal protein to 6 ounces daily.

Helpful Hints:

A portion of meat, the size of a deck of cards or the size of a woman's palm is approximately 3 ounces of protein. A checkbook is the size of 3 ounces of fish. Breakfast meats ad luncheon meats need to included in this daily quota. In general, a slice of luncheon meat or one slice of cheese is equal to 1 ounce of protein. Restaurant entrees will usually provide more than 6 ounces of meat. Be sure to take home leftovers.


We are asking that you limit foods that contain high amounts of oxalate. Oxalate is found in a variety of foods. You will not be able to determine the oxalate content of a food item from the food label or ingredient list. Use the list of "high oxalate foods" below as a guide.


Beverages - Beer (dark robust), black tea, chocolate milk, cocoa, coffee (instant), hot chocolate, juice made from high oxalate fruits, Ovaltine, soy beverages.

Dairy - Chocolate milk, soy cheese, soy milk soy yogurt

Fruit - Blackberries, blueberries, carambola, concord grapes, currents, dewberries, elderberry, figs (raw and dried) fruit cocktail, gooseberry, kiwi, lemon peel, lime peel, orange peel, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries (canned), tomarillo, tangerine.

Vegetables - Beans (baked, green, dried, kidney) beets, beet greens, beet root, carrots (raw and cooked), celery, chicory, collards, dandelion greens, eggplant, escarole, kale, leeks, okra, olives (black and green), parsley, peppers (chili and green), pokeweed, potatoes (baked, boiled, fried), rutabaga, spinach, summer squash, sweet potato, swiss chard, zucchini.

Breads/Starches - Amaranth, buckwheat, cereal (bran or high fiber), crispbread (rye or wheat), fruit cake, grits, pretzels, taro, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, whole - wheat flour.

Fats - Nuts, nut butters, sesame seeds, tahini, soy nuts.

Condiments - Black pepper, chocolate, marmalade, parsley, soy sauce.