Stone Diet

Drink more fluid

Try and drink enough fluid during the day to keep the urine as transparent as possible. This is the most effective way to reduce the risk of stone formation. Ten to 12 cups (3 litres) per day may be necessary. Drinking should be spread during the day. Remember to drink 2 hours after meals and at night (eg midnight or 2am or when you go to bed). About half the fluid should be water. Try not to drink too much alcohol.

Reduce table salt intake

Table salt (sodium chloride) increases the chance of stones. Reduce that risk by avoiding adding salt at the table and don't add salt when preparing and cooking. Some food is rich in sodium such as:

  • processed meats (ham, hot dogs, sausage, luncheon meat)
  • convenience food (regular, canned or boxed soups, noodle or rice mixes)
  • snack food (crisps, crackers, pretzels, popcorn)

Try and pick food without salt supplementation or low salt alternatives.

Avoid Red Meat

Protein in red meat has been shown to increase the risk of stones so choose white meat alternatives where you can. Try to eat less than 2 servings of meat per day.

Minimise food that can increase 'oxalate' and uric acid production in the urine.

These include:

  • chocolate
  • rhubarb
  • greens (spinach, collard, beet and turnip greens)
  • berries
  • peanuts
  • asparagus
  • tea
  • anchovies
  • caviar
  • herring
  • scallops
  • mussels
  • organ meats (liver, kidneys, brains)
  • meat extracts (broth, bouillon, consomm√©, gravy)

For more details, download this PDF on a low oxalate diet from the University of Pittsburgh.

Eat normal or reduced amounts of calcium each day

The amount of calcium that should be consumed in a day depends on the amount of calcium present in the urine. This is determined by collecting a 24 hour sample and determining the amount present. Contrary to what you might think, reducing calcium intake alone results in more not less stones unless oxalate in the diet is reduced also.

If the amount of calcium in the urine is more than normal, then decreasing the amount of consumed calcium and oxalate is helpful.

If the amount of calcium excreted in 24 hours is normal, eat a normal amount of calcium a day. Don't aim to increase calcium intake as that may make matters worse.

Do not use vitamin C and vitamin D supplements

Excess vitamin C and vitamin D supplements increase the chance of new stones, so please don't use these.

Drink orange or grapefruit juice in preference to cranberry or lemon juice

Orange juice is the most effective way to keep stones from forming. This is because it increases the alkalinity, and so the potassium and citrate content of the urine. Grapefruit, pineapple, and apple juice also help, but not quite as much as orange juice. Cranberry and lemon juice do not increase the citrate content, although they may reduce the rate that stones form.