• Low-Oxalate Diet

    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 Oxalate Foods 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 Oxalate Foods 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 Foods Foods 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 Foods Foods 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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