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The importance of a balanced diet in preventing kidney stones and other kidney conditions

Kidney stones form when certain substances such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid accumulate and crystallize in the kidneys. A well-balanced diet helps prevent excessive buildup of these substances, reducing the risk of kidney stone formation. According to Dr. Rashmi SR, Consultant Nephrologist at Apollo Clinic, Marathahalli, “A holistic dietary approach includes staying adequately hydrated to flush out potential stone-forming substances in the urine. This also includes reducing sodium intake to reduce calcium accumulation. It also emphasizes controlling the “Increasing protein intake to avoid increased uric acid and calcium levels, and balancing calcium intake to prevent the formation of oxalate-based stones.”

What should be included in the diet:

Dr Shailesh Chandra Sahay, who is the director of urology at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj, said that aA balanced diet plays an important role in preventing kidney stones and maintaining overall kidney health.

He listed the foods that should be included:

  • Hydration: A balanced diet includes adequate intake of water, which is essential to dilute urine and prevent the concentration of minerals that can cause stone formation. Staying well hydrated helps flush out toxins and maintain optimal kidney functioning.
  • Controlled Sodium Intake: High sodium levels can increase calcium excretion in the urine, which contributes to the formation of kidney stones. A balanced diet focuses on moderate sodium intake, which helps regulate fluid balance and reduce stress on the kidneys.
  • Calcium Regulation: Contrary to common misconceptions, adequate calcium intake is important for kidney health. However, it is essential to obtain calcium from dietary sources rather than supplements. A balanced diet ensures the right amount of calcium, promoting bone health and reducing the risk of oxalate absorption, a stone formation factor.
  • Limiting oxalate-rich foods: Some kidney stones are formed from a combination of calcium and oxalate. A balanced diet includes moderate consumption of oxalate-rich foods like beets, nuts and chocolate, which prevents excessive oxalate build-up in the kidneys.
  • Moderate protein intake: High-protein diets can increase uric acid production, which can potentially contribute to kidney stones. A balanced diet that includes appropriate amounts of protein from a variety of sources promotes kidney health without overloading the organs.

Additionally, Dr. Govardhan Reddy, who is the principal consultant of urology and uro oncology at Aster CMI Hospital Bangalore, has listed 5 important vegetables to be consumed in moderation to maintain kidney health:

  • Spinak
  • raw tomato
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • mushroom

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