Researchers have found another reason to eat well: A healthy diet helps prevent kidney stones. Loading up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, while limiting salt, red and processed meats, and sweetened beverages is an effective way to ward off kidney stones, according to a study in the Journal of the American Society Nephrology. Because kidney stones are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, increased body weight, and other risk factors for heart disease, the findings have considerable health implications.
Eric Taylor, MD, of Maine Medical Center, and his colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a large study to determine the effects of healthy eating habits on the formation of kidney stones. Taylor's team assigned a score to each participant based on eight components of a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) style diet: high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains and low intake of salt, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats. Individuals with higher DASH scores consumed diets that were higher in calcium, potassium, magnesium, oxalate, and vitamin C and lower in sodium.
Because a DASH-style diet may affect the development of hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases associated with kidney stones, the researchers also performed an analysis limited to study participants without hypertension or diabetes. Even among those individuals the DASH diet reduced the risk of kidney stones.Source: American Society of Nephrology