Diet & Kidney Stone Development

Diet plays an important role in the development of kidney stones, especially in patients who are predisposed to the condition. A diet high in sodium, fats, meat, and sugar, and low in fiber, vegetable protein, and unrefined carbohydrates increases the risk for renal stone disease. Recurrent kidney stones may form in patients who are sensitive to the chemical byproducts of animal protein and who consume large amounts of meat.

High doses of vitamin C (i.e., more than 500 mg per day) can result in high levels of oxalate in the urine (hyperoxaluria) and increase the risk for kidney stones. Oxalate is found in berries, vegetables (e.g., green beans, beets, spinach, squash, tomatoes), nuts, chocolate, and strong tea. Stone formers should limit their intake of cranberries, which contain a moderate amount of oxalate.

Publication Review By: Stephen W. Leslie, M.D., F.A.C.S., Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 10 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 02 Dec 2011