Aug. 14, 2009 -- Following the DASH diet may cut down on kidney stones as well as improve high blood pressure.
That news comes from a study published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Data came from more than 241,700 U.S. health care workers who completed surveys about their diets every four years for up to 18 years.
Based on those dietary surveys, the researchers calculated a "DASH" score for each participant.
The highest scores went to participants whose diets most closely matched the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which is widely used to lower hypertension (high blood pressure).
The following eating habits boosted DASH scores:
- Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.
- Eating a diet low in sodium, sweetened drinks, red meat, and processed meats.
People with the highest DASH scores were the least likely to develop kidney stones, regardless of age, sex, BMI (body mass index), hypertension, diabetes, use of medicines called thiazides, and intake of calories, fluid, caffeine, and alcohol.
"Consumption of a DASH-style diet is associated with a marked decrease in kidney stone risk," write the researchers, who included Eric Taylor, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.