Did you know that certain foods promote the formation of calcium oxalate crystals? The reason why is because they are high oxalate foods. The high oxalates in some foods can lead to these oxalates bonding with calcium to form calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys. However, calcium oxalate crystals are one of the four kidney stone types.
So you may be actually consuming these high oxalate foods thinking that you’re taking care of your health. In reality, some people are simply accelerating the formation of calcium oxalate crystals in their kidneys. Here is a handy list of high oxalate foods you should try to limit or even avoid depending on your susceptibility to forming kidney crystals. Also provided below are some low oxalate foods you can consume as alternatives.
List of High Oxalate Foods to Avoid
Some of the high oxalate foods you should limit your intake or avoid all together if susceptible to calcium oxalate crystal growth in the kidneys are various vegetables that are often recommended by nutritionists for their vitamins and other contributions to health. These include spinach, beets, okra, rhubarb, baked potatoes, and sweet potatoes. You may have been consuming several of these vegetables without even really knowing as many of these vegetables like beets, spinach, and sweet potatoes are utilized in many recipes.
From an overall health standpoint, limiting high oxalate foods like potatoes cooked in oils and butter, potato chips, french fries, hash browns is a good thing all together. It does not stop there! You will also have to avoid nuts and nut butters that contain high oxalates. This includes peanuts, almonds, cashews, and walnuts. When purchasing snacks, make sure that they do not contain large amounts of nut products, as many processed foods contain fair amounts.
Other miscellaneous high oxalate foods include bran cereals, wheat cereals, stevia, grits, miso, and cocoa powder. This means that you’ll have to be extra careful about what foods you eat for breakfast. You might have to switch to a breakfast that consists fewer processed foods and more whole and natural foods if susceptible to calcium oxalate crystal growth.
Low Oxalate Foods that Make for Great Alternatives
Fortunately, there are plenty of low oxalate foods you can consume as alternatives. For vegetables, the list includes asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, romaine lettuce, radishes, and squash just to name a few. In the fruit category, low oxalate foods include apples, avocados, cherries, melons, and peaches.
For low oxalate foods in the carbohydrate category, you should stick to white and wild rice for your source of carbs. And while you’ll be missing out on nuts, you can still consume coconuts, green peas, and flax seeds. These low oxalate foods can still offer that nutty and umami flavor that the other nuts often bring.
Reducing Salt Makes a Big Difference in Oxalate Build Up!
You shouldn’t just stop at consuming low oxalate foods. Low oxalate foods should be supported by reduced salt intake. Many people suffering from calcium oxalate crystals find that a high salt diet often leads to recurring calcium oxalate crystals.
It’s thought that sodium elevates the calcium in urine. This can lead to more calcium binding with oxalate to form calcium oxalate crystals in the kidney.
So if you have serious issues with calcium oxalate or any kidney stone types build-up in your kidneys, you should reduce sodium intake and you might see a big improvement. Overall, a diet consisting of protein (limit meat daily intake to six ounces) combined with the right carbs and vegetables will work the best.
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