Date Fruits & Kidney Stones

Dried dates
Make sure dates are right for you. (Image: baibaz/iStock/Getty Images)

Date fruits are sweet, tropical fruits that you can eat as snacks, with cereal, in yogurt or fruit salads, or even in meat or poultry recipes for extra flavor. They are high in potassium and fat free, but they may be an unhealthy choice if you suffer from kidney stones. If you are unsure about whether dates should be part of your diet, talk to your doctor.

Kidney stones are hard crystals in your kidneys. Small stones can be painless, but larger stones may be painful when they pass from your kidneys into your urinary tract, according to the Mayo Clinic. You are at higher risk for kidney stones if you have a family history of them or if you have already experienced kidney stones, if you are a male over age 40 or if you do not regularly drink enough water to stay hydrated. Your diet does not affect kidney stones that have already formed, but healthy choices can lower your risk for future stones. A high-sugar diet also puts you at risk for kidney stones, and each cup of dates provides 93 g of sugar.

High-Oxalate Food

Foods that are high in oxalates can increase your risk for calcium oxalate kidney stones, according to the University of Pittsburgh. A low-oxalate diet limits your intake to 40 to 50 mg per day. Dates are classified as very high in oxalates since a single date contains 24 mg, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Low-oxalate fruit choices include nectarines, watermelon, pears and bananas. If you prefer dried fruits, dried apples, dried apricots and dried cranberries all have only 2-3 mg of oxalate per cup.

Potential Advantages

A high-fiber diet may help prevent kidney stones, according to the Langone Medical Center. A cup of sliced dates provides 11.8 g of dietary fiber, or 47 percent of the daily value. The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting your sodium intake to lower your risk for kidney stones, and dates have only 3 mg of sodium per cup. Magnesium may be beneficial for kidney stones, and dates have 91 mg, or 23 percent of the daily value, per cup.

Weight Control

Obesity increases your risk for kidney stones, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dates are high in calories, with 415 calories in a cup of sliced dates. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn, and it is easy to overeat high-calorie foods such as dates. Fresh, frozen and canned fruits are better for weight control than dried fruits because of their higher water content and lower calorie density. For example, a cup of sliced apples has only 57 calories.

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