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Diet and kidney stones

The most common type of kidney stones result from too much calcium and oxalate in the urine.
These minerals bind together as crystals, forming stones.
The following dietary guidelines can help to prevent kidney stones.

1. Drink plenty of fluid 2. Limit salt

¾ Drink more fluid, especially water ¾ Salt (sodium) increases the amount of
calcium in your urine. Limit sodium
¾ Drinking water helps to flush out the intake to less than 2300mg per day
kidneys and dilute stone-forming
substances, making stones less likely to ¾ To reduce salt /sodium:
form. buy fresh foods, or foods without salt -
fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh meats,
¾ Drink at least 2- 3 litres, or 10 cups, of chicken, fish, eggs, porridge, rice, pasta
fluid daily. At least half of this should be
water (soda, mineral, spring or plain tap ¾ most sodium (75%) comes from
water). processed foods. Limit processed foods
high in salt e.g. soup, Bonox, processed
¾ Have a cup of fluid (250mL) each hour meats, sauces, gravy, crisps and snack
during waking hours, and a large glass foods.
of water before going to bed. Drink a
glass of water if you wake up during the ¾ “low salt” or “no added salt” foods are
night. the best choices. Look for a sodium
content less than 150 mg per serve as
¾ Spread out your fluid intake during the a guideline. Note that some “reduced
day. salt” products can still contain high
levels of sodium.
¾ AVOID strong black tea and orange
juice, as these are high in oxalates. ¾ do not add salt at the table or in cooking.

¾ Avoid grape fruit juice, cranberry juice (if • What can I use instead?
more than 500ml/day) and sugary ¾ freshly ground pepper, dry mustard
drinks. Drinking large amounts of sugary powder
drinks (softdrink, cordial) can lead to ¾ lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar
weight gain. Choose diet or low joule ¾ a sprinkle of dried herbs or chopped
drinks to limit weight gain. fresh herbs
¾ garlic, curry, chilli, onion, fresh ginger,
¾ Lemon juice is a good source of citrate spring onions
which helps to prevent stones forming.
Drink 100ml of lemon juice daily (could
be added to water).

This is a consensus document from Queensland Health Dietitian/ Nutritionists Revised: April 2012
Disclaimer: For review: Mar 2014
3. Limit foods high in oxalate 7. Choose wholemeal and wholegrain
¾ Reducing oxalate in your diet helps to
reduce the amount of oxalate in your ¾ Eating foods higher in fibre can decrease
urine. the risk of stone formation by reducing the
Limit intake of : amount of calcium and oxalate you absorb
¾ rhubarb, spinach, silverbeet, beetroot, ¾ Choose wholemeal and wholegrain
eggplant, sweet potato, celery, leeks breads, flour, cereals, pasta, biscuits and
¾ nuts, peanut paste crackers
¾ strong black tea, orange juice
¾ chocolate
¾ wheat bran and wheat germ 8. Increase fruit and vegetable intake
¾ berries (eg strawberries, blackberries),
dried figs

4. Include adequate calcium in your

diet Notes
¾ Dietary calcium is important for your ______________________________________
bones and teeth. Adequate dietary ______________________________________
calcium intake is recommended. ______________________________________
¾ Include at least 2-3 choices daily from
the following list:
¾ 250mL milk (eg Trim, skim, full cream, ______________________________________
calcium-fortified soy milk) ______________________________________
¾ 200mL high calcium milk eg Physical ______________________________________
¾ 200g (small tub) yoghurt ______________________________________
¾ 40g cheese (2 slices) ______________________________________
¾ 3 scoops ice cream ______________________________________
5. Include only a moderate amount of  
animal protein  

¾ Limit protein from meat, seafood, fish,

chicken, eggs to a moderate serve (120
-150g) daily (cooked) (note 60g meat =
2 eggs).

6. Vitamin supplements

¾ Do not take Vitamin C supplements

(also known as ascorbic acid, calcium
¾ Do not take Vitamin D supplements or
cod liver oil.

This is a consensus document from Queensland Health Dietitian/ Nutritionists Revised: April 2012
Disclaimer: For review: Mar 2014