Intelligent Dieting

Intelligent Dieting

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Kidney stones are often the result of having had a somewhat unhealthy lifestyle: Joe Cosgrove has pointed out in previous posts the possible causes that might lead people to suffer this unpleasant experience. Nonetheless, it is also important to mention that, although the appearance of kidney stones is to some extent preventable through lifestyle changes and medications, there are indeed other causes that simply are outside our reach. Since people cannot control the latter ones, they ought to pay special attention to those over they can effectively exercise control.

Simply put: the prevention of kidney stones comes down to a mixture between lifestyle changes and the use of specifics medications. Actually, multiple studies have proven that lifestyle changes result in much greater good that bringing on medicines in hopes to prevent the appearance of kidney stones. As time has passed by, humans have become lazier: technological developments have drawn their attention to everything but their own health: they drink less water, they eat non-nutritious food, and they drink too much soda and binge on salt and sugar. As a result, people who have suffered from an episode of kidney stones are more likely to go through another one in five to ten years, as they will not adopt a healthier lifestyle. There are plenty of things people can do for the betterment of their diets, especially if they have already had kidney stones:

Water is key

People who have suffered from kidney stones ought to drink up to 2.5 liters of water a day, so they can excrete the same amount. Doctors seem to have agreed upon the fact that passing such amount of urine assists in the prevention of kidney stones. Every human should drink plenty of water and assess whether they are getting enough or not. For people who have had kidney stones, it is advisable to evaluate their urine output. Bear in mind that weather conditions and activity levels also play a crucial role in determining the amount of water: people who exercise on a daily basis, or people who live in warm areas might need to drink even more to excrete enough urine. The easiest way to determine whether somebody is drinking enough water is by assessing the color of their urine: the clearer, the better.

Improve your diet

Some patients might be prone to develop calcium stones. If that were the case, a physician might recommend putting aside foods rich in oxalates: a vast majority of carbohydrates and vegetables, amongst others: beets, okra, potatoes, chocolates and soy-derived foods. Following the same logic, patients should follow a diet low in salt and animal protein, since reducing the amount of salt and giving non-animal protein a chance (such as legumes) has proven to be highly efficient; and they should still keep their calcium ingestion normal, although they ought to prevent themselves from binging on calcium supplements: it is important to point out, that calcium (found in foods) does not have any effect on the formation of kidney stones whatsoever, the use of supplements, nonetheless, has been linked to the appearance of kidney stones.

Image courtesy of 强 石 at Flickr.com

And even though a physician may prescribe medications depending upon the kind of kidney stone, the idea is to prevent their appearance through a healthier diet. Bear in mind that the only way to reduce the acid levels, sodium levels, uric acid levels, oxalate levels, citrate, and creatinine is through the ingestion of healthier foods, which is why Joe Cosgrove always stresses the importance of assessing people’s diet: as mentioned, eating less salt is key, especially if someone has already had a kidney stone. Mexican and Chinese food, as well as processed foods, is often high-salt meals, therefore, it is highly advisable to reduce their ingestion while looking for a substitute. As mentioned, people in general can meet their calcium requirements in regular food, as it was already mentioned that calcium supplements might result in the development of kidney stones: milk, cheese, yogurt, and even oysters are rich in calcium, and a much better option than calcium supplements.

Other recommendations include eating oranges and drinking lemonade more often, as the citrate therein prevents the formation of kidney stones. Besides, and this is something all people can relate to, it is highly advisable to reduce the ingestion of fat and fatty foods; and pay special attention to what kind of fruits and veggies seem to be bad, depending on whether the person needs to reduce the ingestion of oxalate. Fruits that have proven to worsen such condition are berries, grapes, rhubarb and canned fruits salad. Beets, pumpkin, tomatoes and sweet potatoes are not the best choice if the idea is to lower the risk of kidney stones formation, just as much coffee and tea are not the best beverages. There are plenty of substitutes, however, should people still experience difficulty in finding such substitutes, remember to keep water ingestion high.

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