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.
A low-oxalate diet usually limits oxalate intake to about 50 milligrams (mg) per day. Because oxalates are found in many different foods, it’s 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
The below chart categorizes by food group and the amount of oxalates per serving. Serving sizes are equivalent to 3.5 ounces (100 grams), unless otherwise specified.
|Food Category||Foods Recommended (less than 2 mg oxalate/serving)||Foods to Limit (2-10 mg oxalate/serving)||Foods to Avoid (more than 10 mg oxalate/serving)|
Meat and Beans
- 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).
American Dietetic Association
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation
Dietitians of Canada
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
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.
The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ohf.org . Accessed April 19, 2007.
Last reviewed May 2008 by Dianne Scheinberg, MS, RD, LDN
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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