Oxalate Foods

Dr. Sumaiya Khan Mar 24, 2019
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Oxalate foods are those foods that are high in oxalates and should be avoided by people that are affected by kidney stones. Here is a list of the high-oxalate foods and the low-oxalate foods, that might prove beneficial.
Oxalates are naturally occurring substances that are found in plants, animals, and humans. Chemically, they are organic acids and there are many oxalate foods that are a source of this chemical molecule. These are important molecules in metabolism because they tend to react with calcium in the body and crystallize.
Thus, although this can be helpful to regulate the amount of calcium in the body, these crystals can form and get lodged in the body tissues, causing pain and inflammation. These crystal can especially be painful, if they are obstructive in nature due to their location.
On most occasions, the gastrointestinal tract does not absorb much of the oxalate from the diet. Thus, the oxalate that is ingested will either be metabolized by the flora of the gut or will be passed out through the feces. However, in certain conditions, like leaky gut syndrome, oxalates may be absorbed into the body, causing problems.

High-Oxalate Foods List

There are many reasons why a person needs to be wary of taking in foods that are high in oxalates. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, oxalate tends to bind to calcium in the body. Calcium plays a vital role in the body, like in forming bones, hence, one needs to ensure that there is adequate amount of calcium in the body.
If a person has such a diet, then this oxalate may bind with the calcium in the gut, preventing it from being absorbed into the body. Hence, for the people who have a tendency to have calcium deficiency in the body, these are the high-oxalate foods to avoid:
  • Okra
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Concord grapes
  • Redcurrants
  • Bean
  • Gooseberries
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Lemon peel
  • Lime peel
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Tangerines
  • Orange peel
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Dewberries
  • Parsley
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate
  • Tofu
  • Nuts like peanuts and pecans
  • Wheat germ
  • Beer
  • Cocoa

Low-Oxalate Foods List

One of the most common type of kidney stone in the body are calcium oxalate kidney stones. These constitute for about 80% of all kidney stones seen in humans. These are calcium oxalate crystals that have precipitated and can get lodged anywhere along the course of the urinary tract.
Contrary to what was believed, that an increase in the intake of calcium can lead to kidney stones, it is actually a decrease in the intake of calcium that can lead to an increase in the tendency to form kidney stones. As there is no calcium to bind with the oxalates in the intestinal tract, they are absorbed into the body, leading to kidney stones.
Hence, to prevent the formation of kidney stones, what is advocated is a diet that is moderate in calcium and low in oxalate. Hence, it is best to avoid high-oxalate foods for kidney stones prevention. Here is a list of foods that are low in their oxalate content and so, are highly recommended as a part of kidney stones diet:
  • Berries
  • Avocado
  • Grapefruit
  • Mangoes
  • Melon
  • Peach
  • Cauliflower
  • Plums
  • Cabbage
  • Sprouts
  • Mushroom
  • Onions
  • Potato
  • Green Peas
  • Skim milk and buttermilk
  • Bacon
  • Mayonnaise
  • Bread
  • Jelly
  • Lemon
  • Macaroni
  • Rice
In the end, moderation is the key. However, if one is affected by kidney stones, then it is best to avoid foods that are high in oxalates.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.
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