Why Are The Low Oxalate Food Lists So Inconsistent?

by Heidi on March 15, 2012

One of the biggest frustrations newcomers to the low oxalate diet have is figuring out what they can or cannot eat.  It seems like everywhere you turn, some person, organization or doctor has posted a list of low oxalate or high oxalate foods which is totally different from some other list of low oxalate or high oxalate foods.  It’s enough to make even the most determined low oxalate dieter want to cry (or at least scream!). The most important explanation for these inconsistent low oxalate food lists is that new testing techniques for oxalate content (since the 1990’s) are much more accurate than earlier testing techniques1.

Low Oxalate Blueberries

Low oxalate blueberries are often given a bad rap on out-of-date oxalate lists.

Low oxalate food lists (even those given to patients from well-meaning doctors) can often be out-of-date and do not reflect the newer, more accurate techniques.  For example, many people on a low oxalate diet are told not to eat blueberries or strawberries.  You can’t surf the internet more than a few minutes without at least one oxalate food list or authority incorrectly telling you that berries are high oxalate (15 mg. oxalate or more per serving is usually considered high oxalate).  I unfortunately gave up blueberries for almost 12 years thinking they were harming my body.  But thanks to the dedication of many scientists (and the people who fund their research!), we now know that blueberries are low oxalate (4.0 mg. oxalate per half cup) and strawberries are medium oxalate (7.8 mg. per half cup).  Hurray!  I now eat lovely low oxalate blue berries almost every day.

The second explanation for some of the variation in the low oxalate food lists is that individual plants, even those of the same species, vary in oxalate content.  Granted, some plants are going to be high oxalate no matter how they’re grown.  There’s little hope for spinach (365 mg. oxalate per ½ cup, steamed), and don’t even think about eating rhubarb (702 mg. oxalate per half cup, stewed).  But the oxalate content of other plants, like apples, varies greatly depending on factors such as the length of the growing season, harvesting practices, plant maturity (green vs. red bell peppers), plant variety (granny smith vs. gala apples), plant part (leaf vs. root), soil chemistry, fertilization and soil moisture2.  For example, green beans are usually listed as a high oxalate food (half-runner beans have 23.8 mg. per half cup) but one bush variety of green beans, Roma beans, are a medium oxalate food (8.4 mg. per half cup, boiled).  Variety and growing conditions really do matter!  (Find Roma bean seeds for your low oxalate garden here).

Bush Green Beans

Bush green beans, like medium oxalate Roma beans, are easy to grow without poles or support. You can even grow them in a container on your porch!

Since oxalate content varies from plant to plant (and especially variety to variety), it’s important to remember that the oxalate contents reported in the food lists are approximations for the oxalate content of the foods you are actually eating.  It’s also important to remember that commercial products and brands can change recipes or can change the variety of fruit or vegetable used in their recipes at any time.  For that reason, I like to think of listed oxalate values as a snapshot of the oxalate content of a food at a particular time that is best used as a guideline, not an absolute, when making decisions about how much of some food I should consume.   For example,  Kinnikinnick Kinni Kritters animal cookies (gluten-free) were tested by the Autism Oxalate Project in 2011 and at that time had 1.3 mg. oxalate per 8 cookies (buy Kinni Kritters animal cookies here).  Glutino Pretzel Twists (gluten-free) were tested by the Autism Oxalate Project in 2011 and had 2.6 mg. per 24 pretzels (buy Glutino Pretzel Twists here). Chaokoh coconut milk was tested by the Vulvar Pain Foundation in 2010 and contained 0 mg. oxalate! (buy Chaokoh coconut milk here).  However, product formulas do change and these oxalate values may no longer be correct.  One way to be sure is to call the company and ask if the product formula has changed.  If it hasn’t changed, obtain a list of ingredients and keep it for your reference.  If you ever notice something is different, try to figure out if the new ingredient is low oxalate or not.  You can then make a better choice about that whether or not to eat that product, knowing that you no longer have exact information on the oxalate content.

One thing I like to do is compare two seemingly similar products to see if I can figure out what ingredients cause the difference in oxalate contents.  For example, Tai Kitchen coconut milk has 6.5 mg. oxalate per half cup compared to Chaokoh coconut milk with 0 mg. oxalate per half cup.  The only differences in their ingredients is that Tai Kitchen coconut milk contains guar gum, but no preservatives, while Chaokoh coconut milk contains preservatives, but no guar gum.  Otherwise, both are made from pure coconut by similar processes.  This is something to keep in mind when comparing other brands that may be available at your grocery store.  I recently stopped purchasing my store’s generic brand because its ingredient list matched the Tai Kitchen ingredient list and I prefer to use a lower oxalate coconut milk in my cooking.

How do I get an Accurate Low Oxalate Food List?

The easiest way to insure that you have access to the most up-to-date, accurate list of oxalate values currently available is to join the Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group.  I give you step-by-step instructions on how to join and how to find and make a copy of the list in my post, How to get an Accurate Low Oxalate Food List.

Are the Oxalate Values on This Site Accurate?

All oxalate values reported on this site were tested using the new, more accurate testing techniques or were reviewed for publication in the Low Oxalate Cookbook 2 by Dr. Michael Liebman, oxalate scientist at the University of Wyoming{buy the Low Oxalate Cookbook 2 from the Vulvar Pain Foundation here (recommended way!) or on Amazon.com here}   Most of this testing was funded by the Vulvar Pain Foundation or the Autism Oxalate Project.  Please consider contributing to their testing funds or organizations, so their important work can continue.

References:

1.)  Libert, Bo, and Vincent R. Franceschi. 1987. “Oxalate in crop plants.” Journal Agriculture and Food Chemisty 35(6):926–938.

2.)  Rahman, M. and O. Kawamura. 2011.  Oxalate Accumulation in Forage Plants: Some Agronomic, Climatic and Genetic Aspects. Asian-Aust. Journal of Animal Science. 24(3): 439 – 448.

Photo credits:  Blueberries by Mullica and A Green Bean by Wanko.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle March 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

Heidi, Thank you sooooooooooo much for posting about blueberries. I have been avoiding them for about 5 years now!!! I can’t wait to have some blueberries, and I am so excited because they are VERY good for you. My mom will be very happy, she always worries about the nutrients I am missing out on! This just made my day!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle

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Heidi March 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

You are welcome, Michelle! This was a biggie for me, too. So many wasted years without blueberries . . . Sigh. It’s one of the reasons I feel compelled to keep working on this blog. There’s so much bad information out there about oxalate and the oxalate content of foods. And I keep meeting and reading the stories of so many women who have “tried the low oxalate diet” for vulvar and bladder pain without relief, only to learn that they were eating lots of high oxalate foods on their diet and skipping so many healthy low and medium oxalate foods. My heart goes out to these women. I’m definitely not saying that the low oxalate diet will help everyone, but it helps so many when it is done properly and given enough time.
BTW, I had blueberries with Stonyfield full-fat, plain organic yogurt for breakfast this morning — divine!!!

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Jim March 24, 2012 at 3:18 am

Thank you for your explanation. I’m glad someone is trying to keep up with latest test results and willing to be an information source for the rest of us.

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Heidi March 24, 2012 at 3:50 am

Thanks, Jim. I really hope everyone who needs a low oxalate diet finds an accurate oxalate list and really gives this diet a chance. The more of us who get the word out the better.

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Joanna May 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Thanks for this post! I got one of those short, out-of-date low oxalate lists from my doctor, and I felt so limited and confused when I started trying to find low oxalate recipes on the internet. I printed out the list from the Low Oxalates Group and showed it to my doctor and she was impressed. Her office is going to update their list to give more accurate values and they are going to include all the new fruits and veggies that have been tested (the list is way too long to add all the products!). Thanks again. I’m feeling more confident now.
Joanna

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Heidi May 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Wow! Good for you, Joanna. I’m sure that will help lots of people. I think most doctors really want to hand out accurate food lists; they just don’t realize that oxalate testing methods have changed so much and that foods are being retested. For the most part, really high oxalate foods are still testing really high, but the low and medium categories (and “lower high”) have changed a lot in the last ten years.

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Nancy July 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

How high are the oxalates for ground flax seed?

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Heidi July 20, 2012 at 12:19 am

Flax seed is relatively low. Bob’s Red Mill ground flax seed has only 1 mg. oxalate per 2 tablespoons. You can easily use it in your smoothies or to replace some of the flour in muffin or pancake recipes. In fact, some people make bread just with ground flax seed and no flour.

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Stephanie August 22, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hi Heidi,
I’m a little confused about ground flax seed? There are 4 listings in the Low Oxalates Group and they range from very low to medium. You mentioned that Bob’s Red Mill ground flax seed has only 1 mg. oxalate per 2 tablespoons. Can you please clarify?

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Heidi August 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

Hi, Stephanie. Thanks for your comment.

If you look carefully at the spreadsheet in the Trying Low Oxalates Group you’ll notice that the four different listings are for different serving amounts and different brands of ground flax seed. The listings range from 0.5 mg. of oxalate for one tablespoon of an unspecified brand of GF ground flax (very low oxalate) to about 6.58 mg. of oxalate for one half cup of an unspecified brand of regular ground flax (medium oxalate). Bob’s Red Mill is the brand I use, so I always remember it has about 1.0 mg. oxalate per 2 T.

The list can be confusing because many people like to think of foods as being either low oxalate or medium oxalate. This was how I was taught to think about oxalate when I first started the low oxalate diet. But brands, cooking methods, growing conditions, plant variety and serving size all affect oxalate, and this is reflected in the table. That’s why the same food can be listed as very low oxalate. low oxalate and medium oxalate. The nice thing about ground flax is that the four values are all quite consistent and we can be pretty sure that 1 T of ground flax has somewhere between 0.5 and 0.9 mg. oxalate. Unlike some foods which are all over the place (such as carrots, which were considered low when I started the diet, then high for a while, and now range from low to medium depending on cooking method. Egads!)

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Rose July 30, 2012 at 4:27 am

Hi……..Lots of oxalate related problems here and at the moment I’m trying to find an apple that is low in oxalates and that I can grow here where I live in NZ. Are Gala apples low oxalates?

Also I just want to add a little piece of info I picked up on my travels across the internet. The thyroid regulates gut porosity. If you have leaky gut, it might be because your thyroid levels are too high. Leaky gut allows oxalates into the blood stream. Many doctors are still out of date as to what is normal thyroid function and are still using old charts that state that up to 5 is normal for TSH levels. There is newer info out that TSH levels should be no higher that 3 and in fact 2.5 is better. Anthing below that is best IMHO. I am not a doctor, but I know when my TSH levels are not low enough, because I get awful head burning 2 or 3 hours after eating foods with high oxalates. When I increase my thyroid medication, thereby lowering my TSH levels, the burning goes away.

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/testsforthyroid/a/labs2003.htm

Hope this helps.

Many thanks!

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Heidi August 10, 2012 at 2:01 am

Hi, Rose.
Sorry for the late reply – I’ve been in Colorado for the last two weeks and away from the internet (lovely!). All apple varieties that have been tested so far have been below 6 mg. oxalate per medium apple, so you are probably safe with whatever variety works best in your growing conditions. Most apples tested (known and unknown varieties) have been between 2.2 and 3.5 mg. per apple. Of these, Gala is one of the lowest at 2.7 mg. per “medium” apple.

Thanks for the thyroid information. Oxalate is often stored in the thyroid when excess is absorbed into the blood stream, so it’s common for people with oxalate-related symptoms to also have thyroid symptoms (and vice versa). Seems like the two processes make a vicious circle of disease, each reinforcing the other. I hope you find healing as you learn to balance your oxalate intake and thyroid medications. If you’re on the Yahoo Group, you’ll find some women have had great luck healing their thyroid function using a Paleo diet or specifically the Leptin Reset (which incorporates the Paleo diet into a stricter diet protocol). I encourage you to reach out to them if you haven’t already.

Take care,
Heidi

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nena December 2, 2012 at 3:44 am

Thank you for your website. Where have you seen that blueberries are low in oxalate? The website, http://www.lowoxalate.info, you suggested says they are very high. I would love to eat them but, I’m hesistant to try.

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Heidi December 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

Hi, Nena.

I believe you must have read The Low Oxalate Diet website’s tables wrong. They do not list an oxalate content for blueberries, but they do list the salycilate content as very high. That website is maintained by oxalate researcher, Susan Owens, with the Autism Oxalate Project, and it is very accurate.

Blueberries were re-tested in 2007 by oxalate researcher, Dr. Michael Liebman, and were found to have 4 mg. oxalate per half cup. This value was published by the Vulvar Pain Foundation in their 2007 newsletter. They funded this testing, so hop on over to their website and give them a big thank you! You can also find this value published in the “master list of oxalate values” kept by the Autism Oxalate Project folks who run the Yahoo Group, Trying Low Oxalates. Learn how to become a member of the group and get this list for free at How to get an accurate low oxalate food list.

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Marie January 7, 2013 at 4:19 am

I’m new to low oxalate and unfortunately just thew out a big bag of frozen, hand-picked blueberries before I read this. :( On the upside, my brother owns a blueberry farm, so this is good news. :)

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Heidi January 11, 2013 at 2:37 am

Yay for blueberries! Too bad you threw out the bag of frozen berries, but hopefully your brother will be able to replace them summer. Glad to hear you have a ready source.

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Nicole January 11, 2013 at 2:20 am

Thank you for all the great info! I was just diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosus a few days ago and man, is my head spinning. I thought I was a healthy, 33 year old female with 4 kids so this has knocked me back a few notches. My main concern is that I will have to eat like this forever. In your opinion, does one’s body ever adjust to be able to have oxalates again? I just love food of every kind and I feel so discouraged being so limited. Cooking and baking has always been a passion of mine, so this was far from good news.

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Heidi January 11, 2013 at 2:47 am

Hi, Nicole. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Learning that you have to change your diet to heal can be devastating news. But being able to play an active role in improving your health is also good news. It can be very empowering to know there’s something you can do.

Whether you’ll be able to eat higher levels of oxalate again depends on lots of factors. Some of us are on the low oxalate diet for life. Some find that after they heal their oxalate-related symptoms that they can eat a little more oxalate. Most encouraging, however, are the people who heal their leaky, inflamed guts (the number one reason most of us have oxalate issues and also MUCH more common than you would believe) and are able to eat a lot more oxalate. So, the good news is if the reason you have trouble with oxalate stems from too much oxalate entering your bloodstream through a gut that is not doing it’s job properly there’s a good chance you could eat oxalate again. The bad news for you is that the number one reason people have inflamed leaky guts is gluten consumption, while the second most common reason is grain consumption (yes, all grains).

I hope you are able to slowly work through your diet and your relationship with food and find a new diet that is both healthy and satisfying for you. Many of us have done it or are working on it slowly. I feel like my diet is always a work in progress, but I am so much healthier and happier now. Here’s hoping you are too.

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Josie February 13, 2013 at 3:56 am

I also wanted to ask you about juicing. I have been juicing vegetables and fruit every day for past 2 weeks now and was following a “mean green” juicing fasting recipe consisting of some Very High in nutrition..kale, celery, cucumber, granny smith apples, ginger root and I have been throwing in a couple of carrots for added vitamins and nutrition. Unfortunately, I read that most of these veggies & especially the leafy greens are high in oxalates!! I like the thought that I’m getting a lot of nutrition every day from them but I’m also getting a lot of oxalates too which scares me…will the nutrition value change considerably if I substitute for other lower oxalate veggies/leafy greens, since it will make a completely different juice and I’m thinking possibly less or different nutrients? Maybe I’m just not informed well enough…Can you clear this up for me? Thanks!
Josie

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Heidi February 18, 2013 at 6:27 am

Many low oxalate dieters who also follow the GAPS protocol (to heal the intestines) juice fruits and vegetables. I think there might be a few recipes in the Trying Low Oxalates recipe files. Anyway, the nutrition does change with different vegetables or fruits, but this doesn’t mean the nutrition is any less. Some of the low oxalate greens like turnip greens, arugula, mustard greens and cabbage are very nutritious, as are blueberries, apples, bananas, any squash variety, cucumbers and red peppers. I’m sure you can find plenty of yummy low oxalate vegetables to juice. You might try something mild to start with – maybe some combo of Romaine lettuce, turnip greens, cucumbers, red peppers, butternut squash, apple and banana? They are all sweet and mild — then branch out to some of the spicier greens and see what you like?

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Genesis March 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Hi Kelly,Sorry it’s taken me a little while to find your comemnt amidst the hundreds of spam I’m getting weekly now. I think I saw that you made it over to the TLO board, though (I remember a question like this coming through), so I hope you got some answers there!Anyway, for future reference, diarrhea (of many colors!) is not uncommon when dumping oxalates. If you’re fairly certain that it’s dumping which is causing the diarrhea, the easiest way to stop dumping in its tracks is to raise your oxalate intake. I’m not suggesting you go overboard, but eating a few baby carrots, or a couple nuts, or some other decent-size oxalate load (100mg or so) generally stops it for me.Then you can decide how to proceed. I’m sure you’ve seen advice to lower your oxalates slowly; going too low too fast is bad! (If not, check out my article on ) If you’re dumping too hard (and constant, worsening diarrhea would probably qualify), then when you go back to eating low ox, just make sure you’re eating at a higher level. Hope this helps,Michelle

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Jim June 15, 2013 at 8:10 am

where is the list?????????

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Heidi June 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

The master list is over with the Trying Low Oxalates Group under files. Once you join the group, you can get the latest copy free, plus you have access to numerous other helpful articles, recipes and files. I can’t publish the list here because of copyright issues.

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Orlando Nazario June 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm

May I please have a list for low oxalate diet, I’m so happy to find this website . I print one out with”" The Oxalate of food by Helen O’Connor,MS,RD” and I been so disappoint in the things I saw .Please sent me an updated list and what cook book you recommand for a better living with low oxalate healthy start . Thank you for this we site . I look forward in hearing from you.

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Heidi June 29, 2013 at 3:38 am

Thank you for your comment, Orlando. I don’t have a list I can send or publish on my site because of copyright reasons. But if you join the Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group, you can get a free copy of the most up-to-date and comprehensive list available. You might also want to check out some of their other files about oxalate, recipes etc.

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Sarah Plaugher November 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

Hi. I’ve just dealt with my first kidney stone ever. It was too big to pass and I had to have surgery. It’s been an awful experience. I recently became vegan (first vegetarian) to become healthier and lose weight and just feel like myself again. Well I feel like I brought this upon myself by eating so much black beans, spinach, potatoes, kale, tofu/soy, hummus etc. I thought I was eating so healthy! I’m so scared to eat anything now. I lost my job and insurance so I can’t afford to take the 24hr urine test either. I’m 29yrs old. I use to eat horribly so I don’t understand why now I get kidney stones when I’m eating real food. I’m really glad I found this site. I have some questions I hope someone can answer because my Dr. couldn’t.
Is sourdough bread ok (its vegan most of the time)? Wheat? I love raw tomatoes..are they low? Also was getting confused about kale.?? Green beans raw or canned? Should I take calcium citrate even with the moderate oxalate’s and if yes how much is enough? What about tortillas? I may still just be recovering but I feel very traumatized by the kidney stone experience. Oh also I have GERD I think caused by my hiatal hernia. I feel so helpless.

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Heidi December 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Hi, Sarah.
Sorry to hear about your health challenges. And sorry for the late reply. I’ve been out of town for the holidays and no access to a computer. Anyway, whole wheat flour and wheat germ is high oxalate. White wheat flour is also high oxalate but not nearly as high. Many people on the low oxalate diet eat a little bit of white wheat flour (such as in sourdough bread) or rye bread with white wheat flour. But a lot of us are gluten-free as a step in healing gut function (which helps our bodies to keep the oxalate in our digestive tract and out of our blood system!). Some kale is okay. Boiled dino kale is low oxalate. The rest is medium. Green beans are all high except for the roma variety of green beans which are lower medium oxalate. You may be able to find them at a farmers market, or you end up having to grow them yourself (many of us do). Tomatoes and tomato products range from low oxalate to high oxalate depending on the variety. Early girl, Big Beef, German Johnson, and Pink Girl are all okay to eat raw in moderate quantities (half cup chopped). White corn tortillas are low oxalate; yellow corn tortillas are medium. A good source of low oxalate vegetarian protein is black-eyed peas, green peas, split-yellow peas and lentils (brown and red). Chick peas and kidney beans are also okay in small quantities. Since I’m not a doctor I don’t give supplement dosing advice on this site except to say, yes, I would take calcium citrate before each large meal.

Hope this helps you get started.
Heidi

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Kathleen January 1, 2014 at 6:15 am

Hello Heidi!
On other lists, lentils are high oxalate. But you say brown and red are good? I have been eating large amounts of black beans and pinto beans, alternately, for lunch every day. And quinoa. Is quinoa ok as long as I don’t have kidney stone issues? Should I switch from black and pinto beans to lentils?

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Kathleen January 1, 2014 at 9:06 am

Dear Heidi,
What about dried prunes? I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis and I’ve been advised that if I eat up to 10 each day it can help build bone. But it won’t do me any good to do so if that many prunes per day is going to kick up oxalate level so that I don’t absorb calcium!

Advice? How do prunes really rate?

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Heidi January 3, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Prunes are medium oxalate with a 1.5 ounce serving of pitted Sunsweet prunes having about 12.7 mg. oxalate. I’m not sure how many prunes make 1.5 ounces (check the serving size on your package to get an estimate), but my guess is about 2. If you eat 10 a day, that’s a lot of oxalate!

Are you a vegan or vegetarian? If not, bone broth is a fabulous oxalate-free way to add bone and cartilage-building minerals to your diet.

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Kathleen January 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Thank you, Heidi. Yes, that would be a lot of oxalate. Studies are indicating that prunes have something in them that actually stimulates osteoblasts to build bone, and are saying that they are far superior to dairy in this regard because they are not about calcium, but about actually building bone. Think I’ll skip the prunes. I am not a vegan or vegetarian. Bone broth? Hadn’t occurred to me. Wonder if you can buy it, since I eat boneless skinless chicken or fish all the time.

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Kathleen January 4, 2014 at 4:55 am

I joined the group and got my list! Thank you!
I see Ezekial bread has just a line next to it. What does that mean? Not rated yet?

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Heidi January 5, 2014 at 7:21 am

Hmmm, I’m not sure what you’re seeing. Did you get the PDF or the Excel version? I use the PDF version and it shows whole grain Ezekial bread has about 14.7 mg. oxalate per slice.

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Kathleen January 4, 2014 at 4:58 am

So it would be better to substitute red or brown lentils, boiled, for black or pinto beans?

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Kathleen January 4, 2014 at 5:04 am

I promise I’ll stop asking questions! In the meantime, are green lentils taboo? Just brown or red are rated medium on the list? There is no mention of color on that list, so I just want to be sure to get the right thing. I’ve been eating black or pinto beans, about 1/2 cup, every day, with quinoa, for lunch. I assume I should switch from the beans to lentils (and maybe just every other day so I don’t overdo the lentils).
QUINOA also has no rating. Is it safe? medium, perhaps?

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Heidi January 5, 2014 at 7:36 am

Hi, Kathleen. I don’t mind the questions. Ask away.
Quinoa is crazy high oxalate, as are black beans and pinto beans. Brown rice is reasonable at about 6 mg. per half cup if you are looking for a whole grain substitute for the Quinoa. Black-eyed peas, yellow split peas, brown lentils and red lentils are low oxalate. Green split peas, chickpeas, pidgeon peas, kidney beans and mung beans are medium oxalate. All would be much better than the black or pinto beans. Don’t go for the black, ivory or green lentils –they’re all high oxalate although not anywhere near as high as pinto beans and black beans.

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Kathleen January 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

Just so readers are aware, it says online that there are 7 sunsweet prunes in 1.4 oz. Still, there is sure a lot of sugar in them!

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Kathleen January 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

Hello Heidi

How odd…my downloaded PDF chart has lots of “no ratings” on it, where there is just a line for “unrated,” including blueberries and Ezekial bread.
I am so sad about quinoa and beans. I follow the Mediterranean Diet, pretty much, and had no idea these things were so high. I haven’t had any kidney stone issues, so I guess my system must be dealing with it? I’m getting so lentils to replace the beans. Sorry to hear about quinoa, as I say.
Thank you for the lentil info. And as far as the Ezekial bread, is that number per slice considered medium?

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Heidi January 12, 2014 at 6:49 am

Yes, that number per slice is considered medium. That is odd about your PDF chart. Did you go back to the site and try to re-download it, just in case something weird was going on that day?

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David February 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Hi Heidi,
I just turned 60 and had my first kidney stone.

Can you please explain if there are 0 oxalate foods. Is there a safe amount of oxalates that can
be consumed daily? What is a good source of 0/low oxalate vegetarian protein?
Your website will hopefully help me figure out what I can eat without worrying about kidney stones.
Thank you.

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Heidi February 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Hi, David.
There are some zero oxalate foods, such as eggs and most unprocessed meats. But most plant-based foods and many animal-based foods have oxalate. The goal of the low oxalate diet is to reduce exposure to oxalate, not to eliminate it. Most people on a low oxalate diet try to consume 45 – 60 mg. oxalate per day, although a few need to go lower and others can go a little higher. The only zero oxalate vegetarian (not vegan) protein source I can think of is eggs. Other low sources include cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, black-eyed peas, red lentils, brown lentils, green peas and yellow split-peas. Green split-peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, pidgeon peas, sunflower seed butter and mung beans are all medium and can be eaten in small quantities as well.
Hope this helps.

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Renee March 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

I’ve been on a low calcium oxalate diet for some years now due to repeated bouts with kidney stones. I’m confused about the consumption of dietary calcium or calcium citrate. Am I supposed to avoid or consume either? I read on another site that I should take calcium citrate daily. It was also stated that taking a cal./cit. tablet with each heavy meal proved to beneficial in reducing the oxalate from that particular meal.

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Heidi March 25, 2014 at 12:50 am

Hi, Renee.
Research shows that calcium citrate or magnesium citrate taken 20 minutes before meals can help bind the oxalate in the gut and keep it from reaching the bloodstream, thus helping it pass from the body without causing symptoms or pain in most people. Kidney doctors seem conflicted over whether to prescribe calcium citrate to their patients or to recommend restricting calcium. I would either do what your doctor suggests or possibly ask another doctor for a second opinion. Most of us who do not form stones do take calcium and/or magnesium if our bodies can tolerate it. I sure do.

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Karen March 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

I have been unsuccessful at getting in the Low Oxalate Yahoo group. I really need a listing of oxalate amounts in foods. My husband has had 5 kidney stones removed. We have just been told that they were caused by high Calcium Oxalate in foods. I saved the Autism Oxalate listing that you suggested. I think I must be putting in wrong information.

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Heidi March 25, 2014 at 12:54 am

Hi, Karen. The Yahoo group can be tricky. I’m not sure why, but sometimes people get in right away and sometimes they don’t. Are you or one of your family members on Facebook? If you join the Trying Low Oxalates Facebook group (very easy — just push the button asking to join and wait for a moderator to approve you), you can ask for one of the moderators to send you a copy of the list by email. You can communicate through Facebook personal messaging to arrange it. I wish I could help past this, but the list contains copyrighted material that I am not authorized to publish or distribute.

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