The best kidney stone diet is one that targets the specific type of stone a sufferer has already experienced without negatively affecting that person's health. These types of diets generally focus on removing certain foods from daily intake. Anyone who struggles with persistent kidney stone formation should consult a doctor before altering his or her meals drastically. Not all forms of this condition may be treated by diet alone.
The kidneys serve to filter unusable minerals and wastes out of the blood stream. These waste byproducts are dissolved by urine produced in the kidneys and removed from the body via the urinary tract system. Kidney stones can form when urine becomes overly inundated with one particular mineral and can no longer filter it properly. This mineral crystallizes and forms small stones, which can cause urine to become blocked. These stones may form anywhere along the urinary tract system and are typically very painful to pass.
Not every kidney stone is the same, and a balanced kidney stone diet will be dependent on the type of stone an individual has already passed. Uric acid kidney stones, for example, can form from an abundance of animal proteins in the urine. Those who have suffered from this type of stone should generally avoid consuming more protein during the course of a day than is needed by the body. Other protein sources that are more easily absorbed by the blood can include beans and some legumes.
The most commonly occurring stones are calcium oxalate stones. These form from an excess of calcium and oxalate minerals in the blood. Someone who has passed this type of kidney stone should begin limiting his or her calcium and oxalate intake. These minerals are found in most dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and certain fruits. A full list of foods that are high in these minerals is available on the Internet or from a physician.
This type of stone may also be dissolved by increasing the amount of insoluble fiber ingested during the day. This type of fiber has been known to bond with calcium in the blood. The mineral is then diverted from the urinary tract system and carried out of the body with the waste through the stool. Barley, rice, and wheat contain a great deal of insoluble fiber and are valuable ingredients in a healthy kidney stone diet.
Water is also a key component in any good kidney stone diet. This liquid helps the body dilute the urine so it does not become saturated with any one particular mineral. The recommended water intake for individuals trying to prevent kidney stones is one glass for every hour that person is awake. Anyone who has already experienced multiple kidney stones may wish to increase his or her fluid intake to include one to two glasses during the night as well.