Image Credit: Liji Jinaraj / Flickr

Do nuts and seed have a high acid load that could be bad for the kidneys?

Thank you for this informative video – have been cutting down on high oxalate foods in attempt to prevent another stone, but don’t want to cut out all those delicious dark leafys. Any idea where nuts/seeds/legumes fall along the LAKE scale?

ashelton / Originally posted in How to Treat Kidney Stones with Diet 


Great question! I had to look around a bit, but Dr. Greger and I found some information about the Load of Acid to Kidney (LAKE) scores of nuts and seeds. I even asked the author, Dr. Alberto Trinchieri, that Dr. Greger cites in his video. On a side note, my old boss, Dr. Barnard, used to tell me researchers are just lonely people just waiting to engage with someone. I thought he was crazy, until I actually started doing research myself. Well, after helping publish a few papers and taking this role at NutritionFacts I now realize I’m just another lonely soul looking to talk to anyone interested about nutrition! Anyway, the point is researchers love discussing their work and I appreciate the time Dr. Trinchieri took to write me. With his permission to repost he kindly answered the question for us:

“I had a look to your beautiful video on and I thank you for the citation of my work. About nuts and seeds, firstly it should be pointed out that a serving has a limited weight (about 1 oz or 30 gr) and that the recommended daily dose is about 1.5 oz. In fact they are highly caloric for their lipidic content.There are different types of nuts that have different potential effects on the acid load. Basically they have an high content in protein (but vegetal!!), calcium and potassium. The sum of the effects of these nutrients give a “neutral” effect in term of acid load (LAKE = 0). By example a serving of 25 grams of hazelnuts implies an acid load of – 0.7, 25 gr of peanuts of + 2.0, 25 grams of walnuts + 1.7. A mix of seeds and nuts can imply a load ranging 0 to 1. In conclusions a daily serving of 25-30 gr of nuts and seeds has a limited effect on LAKE score, therefore we decided to skip them from final computation. To be more precise they could be assimilated to the Legumes Group (really peanuts are legumes by themselves).”

Here is a link to the study about nuts and seeds and LAKE scores. Again, I want to thank Dr. Trinchieri  for his input. 

For more information about why nuts and seeds may be super healthful check out: How Do Nuts Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death? and Which Nut Fights Cancer Better? and Nuts May Help Prevent Death

Thanks, ashelton!

Image Credit Liji Jinaraj / Flickr


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