In this episode, I talked to Melanie Betz, a registered dietitian who is board certified in renal nutrition and works in the nephrology department at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Melanie is passionate about helping people with kidney stones and Chronic Kidney Disease understand that healthy eating does not have to be complicated and can be delicious! Her research interests include ways to increase patient knowledge and adherence to healthy eating, frailty and ways to reduce risk for poor health outcomes in older adults, and plant-based diets. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, wine tasting and cheering on her Michigan State Spartans! She also volunteers with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and the Healthy Aging Dietetic Practice Group. Check out Melanie’s blog here or connect with her on InstagramFacebook or Twitter! Melanie and I talked about the effects of dietary protein on kidney stone formation, as well as the effects of sugar intake. In addition, Melanie also took the time to answer some questions from the Low Oxalate Kitchen Facebook group. If you liked this episode, please let us know!


[02:03] How Melanie got into nutrition and dietetics [05:05] Transitioning into nephrology [07:20] Research that Melanie is involved in [09:14] Urine chemistry basics – supersaturation and pH [13:25] Recommendations for daily water intake [16:23] “Alkaline diets” and Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) [21:01] Protein and the formation and prevention of kidney stones [30:00] Recommendations for not overdoing it on dietary protein [32:42] Protein and oxalate production in the liver [33:03] Protein, purines, and kidney stones [38:30] Sugar and kidney stone formation [44:50] Low oxalate lists [48:39] Low oxalate snack ideas [52:46] How dietary phosphorous affects blood and urine phosphorous [53:41] What is glomerular filtration rate (GFR) [54:34] Vitamin D’s affect on urine calcium and kidney stones [57:10] General recommendations for protein with PKD, MSK [62:40] Tips for maintaining a low oxalate diet



The Kidney Dietitian – Melanie’s Blog Melanie’s Instagram Melanie’s Facebook Page Kidney Healthy Recipes Michigan State University Rush University Dietetics University of Chicago Medical Center Melanie’s Publications and Presentations What is supersaturation? What is PRAL & How Does it Affect Kidneys? 24 Hour Urine Collection – LithoLink Harvard Oxalate List Melanie’s version of Harvard Oxalate List Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) Medullary sponge kidney (MSK)

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