What Should You Eat If You Have Kidney Stones?

The right diet for a person with kidney stones depends on the type of stones present in the urinary tract, explains the National Kidney Foundation. Limiting foods with oxalates, purines or sodium may help prevent new stones from forming.

Kidney stones form when crystals build up in the urine, notes the National Kidney Foundation. Oxalate and calcium stones are two of the most common. For people with oxalate stones, limiting oxalate intake can reduce the amount of oxalate crystals in the urinary tract. Foods high in oxalate include chocolate, sweet potatoes, spinach and beets.

People with calcium stones should not limit their calcium intake, states the National Kidney Foundation. Instead, they should limit their sodium intake. This is because sodium increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine. Canned vegetables, luncheon meats, soups, salted snack foods and bacon are some foods that have high sodium levels, reports UCSF Medical Center.

Some people have kidney stones made of uric acid, according to the National Kidney Foundation. A substance called purine increases the amount of uric acid produced by the body, so limiting intake of high-purine foods can prevent new uric-acid stones from forming. Shellfish and red meats have high levels of purine in them. Because alcohol affects uric acid levels, people with uric-acid kidney stones should also limit their alcohol consumption.