I wanted to share a complete high oxalate food list for people suffering from kidney stones. If you are suffering from kidney stones, it is best to consume a low oxalate diet. Oxalate occur in almost all foods but in varying amounts. The surprising thing is many foods that are termed super foods like berries and spinach are high in oxalate so it is important to get to know the oxalate content of foods. Try to limit or eliminate high oxalate foods completely and start including low oxalate foods in your diet regularly.
What Is Oxalate?
Oxalate also called oxalic acid is an organic compound found in many plant sources. It is an anti nutrient and people who are sensitive to it will experience lot of problems when they consume oxalate rich foods in excess. Our body can make it’s own oxalate too which is normal. But when we also consume oxalate rich foods in excess, we will start experiencing many problems. When we consume oxalate rich foods, it binds to minerals forming compounds like calcium oxalate and iron oxalate.
What Is Low Oxalate Diet?
Low oxalate diet is a diet in which the amount of oxalate in the food should not exceed 50 grams per day. If we plan our diet properly, we can easily achieve this easily. The trick is to exclude very high oxalate foods that have more than 10 mg of oxalate per serving from the diet completely and include foods with low amount of oxalate in them on a regular basis.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Oxalate Diet:
One of the main side effects of high oxalate is kidney stone formation. Calcium oxalate is the common type of kidney stones formed in our body when oxalate binds with calcium. Kidney stones are a common problem that many people face. Kidney stones are small stone like formations that are formed in the urine and consuming high oxalate foods is one of the main reasons apart from consuming foods rich in uric acid. Some people are more susceptible than others in getting stones.
Usually the kidney stones are passed out in the urine but some times if the stones are big, they won’t get excreted through the urine. This is when kidney stones start causing problems like fever, severe pain, passing blood in the urine, cloudy and smelly urine, etc. High amount of oxalate in the food can also bind with minerals and make it hard for the body to absorb it. This is especially significant with calcium as it can lead to calcium deficiency especially in women leading to osteoporosis.
Who Will Benefit From Low Oxalate Diet?
People who have a tendency to get kidney stones will definitely benefit from reducing oxalate in their diet. Women who have calcium deficiency will benefits limiting high oxalate foods as they bind with calcium making us calcium deficient. If you are suffering from gut inflammation or leaky gut syndrome which is usually the case after an illness, consuming low oxalate diet will help as the bacteria in the gut cannot break down the oxalate properly.
List Of High Oxalate Foods To Avoid:
1. High Oxalate Drinks:
Black tea, all chocolate drinks (hot cocoa, chocolate milk, hot chocolate), instant coffee, soy products (soy milk and soy yogurt), nut milks like almond milk and fruit juices made with high oxalate fruits are rich in oxalate so it is best to avoid them completely.
Cranberry juice, carrot juice, filter coffee, tomato juice, grape juice and orange juice are moderate oxalate drinks and can be had in moderation. But for best results, instead of drinking these, try to drink low oxalate drinks mentioned below.
2. High Oxalate Nuts:
All nuts including almonds, sesame seeds and peanuts should be avoided or the quantity should be reduced. Also nut and seed butters got by grinding the nuts and seeds into a paste like tahini, almond butter and peanut butter should be reduced or completely eliminated from the diet.
In the seeds category flaxseeds and sunflower seeds have moderate amount of oxalate. If you want to consume nut butters, consume sunflower seed butter by dry roasting and grinding in mixer with a pinch of salt in moderation.
3. Grains & Seeds High In Oxalate:
Some of the foods considered super foods like amaranth and buckwheat are high in oxalate and should be avoided. Bran and high fibre cereals should also be avoided completely. Whole wheat products like whole wheat bread and cereals are rich in oxalate.
Oatmeal which is the staple breakfast food for many also is medium oxalate food and should be had in moderation. White bread, brown rice, corn meal also have moderate amount of oxalate.
4. High Oxalate Fruits:
In fruits, many berries are high in oxalates. Though otherwise very good for us as they are rich in antioxidants, most of the berries berries like blue berries, black berries, gooseberries and raspberries should be avoided. Along with berries, fruits like figs, kiwi and currents should be avoided too.
Apple, orange, pear, peach, pineapple, prunes and plums have moderate amount of oxalate. In berries, strawberries and cranberries have moderate amount of oxalate.
5. High Oxalates Vegetables & Greens:
All leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, beet greens should be avoided and though some times you can consume it cooked, try to avoid consuming them raw in juices and smoothies. Potatoes, ladies finger, sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, beans, beetroot, olives, peppers and summer squash should be had in moderation.
Tomatoes contain moderate amount of oxalates. Corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, artichoke, onions, tomato, peas, turnip, parsnip, lettuce, fennel all have moderate amount of oxalate.
Low Oxalate Foods To Consume:
- All varieties of dairy including milk, cheese, butter and buttermilk can be consumed but yogurt is considered a moderate oxalate food.
- Drinks like apple cider vinegar, green tea, apple juice and all varieties of herbal teas can be consumed.
- All meats are considered low oxalate foods but try to avoid processed meat and have liver in moderation.
- In fruits, avocado, banana, cherries, grape fruit, mangoes, lychees, melon, nectarine, papaya and passion fruit can be consumed.
- Grains like white rice and barley can be consumed.
Low Oxalate Diet Tips:
- Instead of consuming vegetables and greens raw, try to boil them and consume.
- Never add raw greens like spinach and kale to make green smoothies. Instead make the smoothies with low oxalate fruits like banana and mango.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Try to eliminate soy based products completely.
- Some of the oxalates are broken in the gut by certain type of bacteria but for that our gut microbiome should be healthy. Our gut microbiome is altered when we consume too much sugar, antibiotics and also stress can also play a major role. So keeping our microbiome healthy can also prevent stone formation to an extent.
- Try to increase the amount of calcium in your diet as oxalate binds to calcium making it hard for our body to absorb so try to include low oxalate calcium rich foods like milk, broccoli, etc.