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Low-Oxalate Diet

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by Adams M

What Are Oxalates?

Oxalates are naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and humans. The kidneys excrete oxalates into the urine.

Why Should I Follow a Low-Oxalate Diet?

Eating a diet low in oxalates can reduce your risk of developing kidney stones . Kidney stones sometimes form when oxalates and calcium bind together. Decreasing the amount of oxalates that are present in the urine lowers this risk.

Low-Oxalate Basics

A low-oxalate diet usually limits oxalate intake to about 50 milligrams (mg) per day. Because oxalates are found in many different foods, it is important to become familiar with which foods are fine to eat in moderation and which foods should be avoided.

Eating Guide for a Low-Oxalate Diet

This chart from the American Dietetic Association spotlights foods that are either low or moderate in oxalates. If you have calcium stones, it is important to decrease your sodium intake, as well.
Foods Low in Sodium or OxalateFoods Recommended
Drinks
Coffee, fruit and vegetable juice (from the recommended list), fruit punch
Fruits
Apples, apricots (fresh or canned), avocado, bananas, cherries (sweet), cranberries, grapefruit, red or green grapes, lemon and lime juice, melons, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, oranges, strawberries (fresh), tangerines
Vegetables
Artichokes, asparagus, bamboo shoots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chayote squash, chicory, corn, cucumbers, endive, kale, lettuce, lima beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, zucchini
Breads, Cereals, Grains
Egg noodles, rye bread, cooked and dry cereals without nuts or bran, crackers with unsalted tops, white or wild rice
Meat, Meat Replacements, Fish, Poultry
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, egg whites, egg replacements
Soup
Homemade soup (using the recommended veggies and meat), low-sodium bouillon, low-sodium canned
Desserts
Cookies, cakes, ice cream, pudding without chocolate or nuts, candy without chocolate or nuts
Fats and Oils
Butter, margarine, cream, oil, salad dressing, mayonnaise
Other Foods
Unsalted potato chips or pretzels, herbs (eg, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder), lemon juice, salt-free seasoning blends, vinegar
Other Foods Low in OxalateFoods Recommended
Drinks
Beer, cola, wine, buttermilk, lemonade or limeade (without added vitamin C), milk
Meat, Meat Replacements, Fish, Poultry
Lunch meat, ham, bacon, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage, chicken nuggets, cheddar cheese, canned fish and shellfish
Soup
Tomato soup, cheese soup
Other Foods
Coconuts, lemon or lime juices, sugar or sweeteners, jellies or jams (from the recommended list)
Moderate-Oxalate FoodsFoods to Limit
Drinks
Fruit and vegetable juices (from the recommended list), chocolate milk, rice milk, hot cocoa, tea
Fruits
Blackberries, blueberries, black currants, cherries (sour), fruit cocktail, mangoes, orange peel, prunes, purple plums
Vegetables
Baked beans, carrots, celery, green beans, parsnips, summer squash, tomatoes, turnips
Breads, Cereals, Grains
White bread, cornbread or cornmeal, white English muffins, saltine or soda crackers, brown rice, vanilla wafers, spaghetti and other noodles, firm tofu, bagels, oatmeal
Meat/meat replacements, fish, poultry
Sardines
Desserts
Chocolate cake
Fats and Oils
Macadamia nuts, pistachio nuts, english walnuts
Other Foods
Jams or jellies (made with the recommended fruits), pepper
High-Oxalate FoodsFoods to Avoid
Drinks
Chocolate drink mixes, soy milk, Ovaltine, instant iced tea, fruit juices of fruits listed below
Fruits
Apricots (dried), red currants, figs, kiwi, plums, rhubarb
Vegetables
Beans (wax, dried), beets and beet greens, chives, collard greens, eggplant, escarole, dark greens of all kinds, kale, leeks, okra, parsley, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard, tomato paste, watercress
Breads, Cereals, Grains
Amaranth, barley, white corn flour, fried potatoes, fruitcake, grits, soybean products, sweet potatoes, wheat germ and bran, buckwheat flour, All Bran cereal, graham crackers, pretzels, whole wheat bread
Meat/meat replacements, fish, poultry
Dried beans, peanut butter, soy burgers, miso
Desserts
Carob, chocolate, marmalades
Fats and Oils
Nuts (peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts), nut butters, sesame seeds, tahini paste
Other Foods
Poppy seeds

Suggestions

  • Become familiar with serving sizes. Be aware of how many grams of oxalates you are eating.
  • Consider meeting with a registered dietitian to develop an eating plan.
  • Additional tips on preventing kidney stones:
    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids every day.
    • Do not take large doses of vitamin C supplements (limit to less than 1,000 mg/day).
    • Keep protein intake below 80 grams/day.
    • Eat a low salt diet (less than 2,000 mg/day).
 

RESOURCES

American Dietetic Association
http://www.eatright.org/

The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation
http://www.ohf.org/

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca/

The Kidney Foundation of Canada
http://www.kidney.ca/

 

References


Finkielstein VA, Goldfarb DS. Strategies for preventing calcium oxalate stones. CMAJ. 2006;174:1407-1409.


Limited oxalate diet. Ohio State University Medical Center website. Available at: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/pdfs/PatientEd/Materials/PDFDocs/nut-diet/nut-other/limit.pdf . Accessed April 18, 2007.


Low oxalate diet. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website. Available at: http://patienteducation.upmc.com/Pdf/LowOxalateDiet.pdf . Accessed April 18, 2007.


Nutrition care manual. American Dietetic Association website. Available at: http://nutritioncaremanual.org/auth.cfm?p=%2Findex.cfm%3F . Accessed January 3, 2009.


Nutrition care manual: urolithiasis/urinary stones food lists. American Dietetic Association website. Available at: http://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/vault/editor/docs//UrolithiasisFoods1.pdf . Accessed January 29, 2010.


The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ohf.org . Accessed January 3, 2010.

 

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