According to a new study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, added sugars are connected to kidney stones and should be included on the list of risk factors. This is supported by data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which shows limited sugar intake can prevent kidney stone formation.
This article will examine this claim and how you can protect your health.
The Connection Between Added Sugars and Kidney Stones
After adjusting for risk and lifestyle factors, the NHANES data showed that participants who got more than 25% of their total energy intake from added sugars had a higher chance of kidney stone development. This was higher than those who derived less than 5% of their energy from added sugars.
How Eating Added Sugars May Contribute To Developing Kidney Stones
Kara Burnstine, MSRD, LSRD, CDCES, a dietician and diabetes educator at Pritikin Longevity Center, said a diet high in added sugars could boost the levels of certain substances in your urine, such as calcium and oxalate, which are key components of kidney stones. She also said these substances can crystalize and form kidney or urinary tract stones if they become
concentrated in your urine.
Amy Bragagnini, MS, RD, CSO, an oncology nutrition specialist at Mercer Health Lacks Cancer Center in Michigan, said eating too much sugar can also create acidic urine, which is a favorable environment for uric acid stone formation.
How To Reduce The Amount Of Added Sugar In Your Diet
There are multiple ways to reduce your added sugar intake, including:
Check Nutrition Labels
Pay attention to the ingredient list and look for added sugars in products while avoiding sugar within the first 3 to 5 ingredients.
Limit Sugary Beverages
You should reduce sugary drinks like fruit juices, soda, and sweetened teas. Instead, choose water or unsweetened herbal tea.
Add Whole Food Snacks
By increasing your intake of naturally-sweet foods like fruit, you can reduce your overall added sugar intake and also fill your body with disease-fighting antioxidants.
Experts Discuss Other Ways Of Reducing Kidney Stone Risk
Experts say you should increase your water intake by consuming 3 liters of fluid a day. You should also reduce your calcium intake by consuming no more than 2,300 mg daily.
By consuming lots of added sugar, you can increase your chances of developing kidney stones. However, you can reduce this by limiting sugary beverages from your diet and eating more whole-food snacks.