The first and most important step when starting a low oxalate diet is to get a copy of an accurate low oxalate food list. Unfortunately, the internet and even well-meaning doctors often supply inaccurate, out-of-date food lists that can prevent healing on a low oxalate diet (see Why are the Low Oxalate Food Lists so Inconsistent?). Luckily, there is an easy, free way to get a comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate low oxalate food list–usually in less than 48 hours!Asparagus — Just one of the many low oxalate veggies you will find on your up-to-date and accurate low oxalate food list.
The Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group is a dedicated group of low oxalate dieters, led by oxalate researcher Susan Owens. They keep a current and accurate low oxalate food list on file, which contains the oxalate content of all foods that have been tested with the newer, more accurate techniques. To access this list for free, just follow these nine easy steps.
1.) Click on this link, Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group, to go to Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group website.
2.) At the website, you will see a short description of the group, plus an option to join. Click on the “join this group” icon on the upper right-hand side of the page.
3.) Yahoo will first ask you to sign into your Yahoo account or to create a Yahoo account. If you need to create an account, they will ask you for information like your name, email address etc., plus you will be given a lot of privacy options. Once you have created your account and are signed in, a short application will pop up for the Trying Low Oxalates Group (if not go back to their webpage and click on the “join this group” icon again). Be sure to click on the option to view posts on the website, NOT the option to receive individual emails (which can be as many as 200 a day). You can change this later if you wish, but for right now all you want is access to an accurate low oxalate food list (and maybe some of the group’s other fabulous resources.) My application only had four questions and ended with a CAPTA code (one of those codes that tests to see if you are a person).
4.) After you’ve submitted the application, sit back and wait. If you are a person, not a spammer, you will be accepted into the group within about 24-48 hours (it took a few days for me to get access to this group, but some people report being instantaneously approved). You may also want to use this time to preview the short but accurate low oxalate food list at the Autism Oxalate Project’s Recipe and Food List Page.Low Oxalate Pumpkins are often mislabeled as high oxalate on out-of-date low oxalate lists.
5.) Once you are accepted into the Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group, follow the instructions supplied in the welcome email to access the website. (Alternatively, sign into yahoo and go click on the link to the group. You should get access.)
6.) Once you’re back at the website with full membership access, find the box in the top left corner which says “home” “messages” etc. Click on “File.” Scroll down a little until you see “Information about Foods.” Click on this. Scroll down a little bit more until you see “Oxalate Spreadsheets.” Click on this, and you have arrived!!!
7.) Once you are in the oxalate spreadsheets section, you will find 2 versions of the most current, comprehensive and accurate low oxalate food list available anywhere (Note: sometimes an extra trial version is available–you may have to compare or ask). One list is a monster PDF file (194 pgs at last count!). One is an Excel File. You will eventually want both (I’ll tell you why in an upcoming post). For now we’re going to start with the PDF file. Double click on the file (its the one with the reddish icon that ends with .pdf) . When the list comes up, move your cursor over the bottom center of the page until the options box becomes visible. The first icon is the “save a copy” command. Click on this (or type Shift + Ctrl + S) and save a copy to your computer or disk. I like having the low oxalate food list icon on my desktop for easy reference, so if you are unsure where to put it, try saving it to your desktop first. You can always move it later.
8.) Once you have saved the low oxalate food list to your computer, it becomes much more usable! Click on “edit” in the top left-corner, then scroll down to “find.” Click on “find” and a nifty little search box pops up in the top right hand corner of your screen (you can also just type control + f to get the search box). This is why I LOVE the PDF version of the food list. Type in a food like “beans, kidney,” hit enter, and Bam! It takes you right to the kidney beans entry, and you now know kidney beans have 11.1 mg. oxalate per half cup. (Note: It takes a little practice to learn how to use the find feature and how the table is organized. For example, if you type kidney beans into the search box, it will take you to the substitution chart repeatedly, but never to the entry for kidney beans.)High oxalate carrots are often mislabled as medium oxalate on out-of-date low oxalate lists.
9.) Congratulations! You now have the most comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate low oxalate food list available! And you are now an official member of the Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group. When you get tired of looking up the oxalate content of your favorite foods, go on back to the group’s website and get acquainted with the other fabulous resources they have available in the file section, data base, links section etc. You will find a incredible wealth of information! You may also want to start looking at the messages on the message board and if you like, post a question to the list. We are a friendly bunch and are always ready to help newcomers.
Did you enjoy this post? Were you able to access the list without too much trouble? Let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems accessing your list by leaving me a comment in the comment section below.