Treatments & Procedures

Kidney Stones Nutrition Therapy

Diet can influence the formation and growth of kidney stones. Using diet to prevent kidney stones may mean changing what you eat. Your dietitian or doctor will give you personalized advice to manage your kidney stones.

Risk factors for kidney stones are different for each person and can change over time. You probably won’t need to follow everything on this handout.

Your dietary risk factors for kidney stone formation and growth are:

  • Low Calcium intake
  • High Salt intake
  • High calcium intake
  • Acid load of diet is high
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake
  • Low urine volume

INCREASE YOUR URINE VOLUME by drinking more fluids (usually 2 liters of urine or more is the goal)

  • Drink at least 3 liters of fluids per day is the best way to lower your risk for forming new stones. Drink more than this if you exercise a lot or are in hot weather for long periods of time
  • Spread your fluid intake throughout the day and night. All drinks count toward your fluid intake, including water, fruit juice, coffee, tea, milk, and soda
  • Drink more low-sugar, low-calorie beverages so you do not get too many of your calories from beverages.


  • If your urine calcium is high you need to reduce the foods that have a high acid load. A high “acid load” diet may cause your bones to release more calcium into the blood than they should. This can increase the calcium in your urine
  • Reduce the number of times you eat these foods in a week and eat smaller portions of these food.

The foods causing the highest acid load are

  • All meat, chicken, fish and cheese are high in acid. Organ meats, water fowl, game meats, and certain types of seafood (anchovies, sardines, herring) are especially high in acid.

Here are some tips for reducing acid load:

  • Make 2 or more days a week “non-meat” days (use dairy and eat non-meat protein foods like beans, lentils and chickpeas).
  • Limit yourself to one palm sized portion per day of seafood. meat, fish, poultry or seafood


  • Reduce sodium (salt) intake to reduce urine calcium. Most diets contain too much sodium. High sodium intake increases the amount of calcium your kidneys let out into the urine. Only about 10% of our salt intake comes from the salt shaker! The rest comes mostly from processed food.
  • Choose “no salt added” or “low-salt” foods as much as possible

High-salt foods to limit include:

  • Cheese (all types except cottage and areesh) Most frozen meals
  • Mortadella, salami, hot dogs Canned soups, vegetables, beans
  • Salty snacks (chips, salty biscuits) Certain salad dressings
  • Pickles and olives Dried and salted fish
  • Canned and bottled pasta sauces Soy sauce, ketchup, barbeque sauce
  • Packaged noodles (Indomi) and fast food Cheese manaeesh or pizza
  • Certain breakfast cereals (cornflakes) Pizza, lasagna


Eat moderate amounts of high calcium foods:

  • Eat or drink something with about 300 milligrams of calcium at each meal and snack.
  • The calcium binds the oxalate from your food in the stomach which then gets removed in the stool. This means less oxalate is absorbed and available to the urine. The below foods have 300mg per serving of calcium:
    • 1 glass of milk or Laban
    • ¾ cup of yogurt (170ml)
    • 2 slices of low-fat cheese

Limit high oxalate foods:

  • By reducing high oxalate food, less oxalate goes through the kidneys. This will help prevent calcium oxalate stones
  • Spinach, Malooqia, Sabanaq
  • Green peppers
  • Kasbara
  • Potato chips French fries
  • Okra
  • Kusa
  • Jarjeer
  • Beetroot
  • Bagdunas
  • Nuts and Nut Butter
  • Kurath
  • Eggplant

Stop taking vitamin C supplements.

  • When the body gets more vitamin C than it needs, some of the vitamin C breaks down into oxalate. The oxalate then goes to the kidneys and into the urine.

Increase the amount of oxalate-eating bacteria in your digestive tract.

  • Many different healthy gut bacteria eat oxalate, which reduces the amount of oxalate that is absorbed and reduces oxalate in urine. Eating foods with live cultures (healthy bacteria), such as yogurt and kefir, may help, but you may need a large dose of probiotics
  • Start a daily probiotic supplement. Choose a supplement with 3 or more different strains of bacteria to increase the chance that some of them will lower the level of oxalate.


  • If your citrate is very low, a medication may be prescribed to help increase it. In addition to medication. Add 60ml of pure lemon juice and lime juice to water twice a day can help.

© Copyright 2023 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the M42 group, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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