4

votes

How can I minimize oxalate intake?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 18, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Hi, I've been eating Paleo since October. In February I was found to have blood in my urine and am having other bladder/urine problems. The urology work-up came back fine but my bladder and urine are still not normal. I did some research and I believe the urinary problems may be caused by high oxalate foods. I had been eating a lot of sweet potatoes, carrots, nuts, beets, etc. I am so miserable right now that I started adding brown rice to my diet because I was not feeling good and my blood sugar was low in addition to these urinary problems. I'm not so sure the rice is helping either. My concern is how to do Paleo without eating high oxalate foods and what Paleo foods can I eat so that I stop losing weight and feeling so miserable? Thanks. Therese

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on March 14, 2012
at 08:02 PM

This is a very inaccurate, out of date list of the oxalate values of foods. It's description of the low oxalate diet is also inaccurate and will not cause healing for most people. Please do not go by this information. Please see http://lowoxalateinfo.com/ or http://lowoxalate.info for accurate, up-to-date information about oxalate.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:54 PM

I just posted an article on my blog about why the oxalate lists are so inconsistent/conflicting. http://lowoxalateinfo.com/why-are-the-low-oxalate-food-lists-so-inconsistent/ Hope this helps clear up confusion and points you to how to get an accurate list.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 21, 2011
at 02:53 PM

Oxalates can cause burning, itching, and pain sensations in the bladder, genitals, and rectum (among other places . . .). The sharp oxalate chrystals can also cause bleeding in the bladder, uretha, and genitals. If you are having a lot of pain or burning sensations that are not related to infection, you definitely may have an oxalate issue and you may be helped by a low oxalate diet. I had these symptoms (along with others) and a low oxalate diet helped me immensely.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 21, 2011
at 02:45 PM

If you need to watch your oxalate levels, make sure you find an accurate list of low, medium, and high oxalate foods. A lot of the lists on the internet or given my doctors offices are wrong because they either don't reflect the new, much more accurate testing methods for oxalate content or they don't reflect normal human serving sizes (e.g. black pepper is often considered high because 100 grams is high oxalate, but most people eat a small amount that is low oxalate.) Go to http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Trying_Low_Oxalates/ to get an accurate list or to http://www.lowoxalate.info/

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 21, 2011
at 02:35 PM

A really good resource to learn about oxalates is from the Autism Research Institute's Oxalate Project . . . http://www.lowoxalate.info/

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I like a lot of vitamin C

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Maj not really talking about vit c causing stones......its from the hfcs endpoint......uric acid and vldl. The uric acid levels are usually super high and cause hypertension,gout, and risk of stones

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:26 AM

Why brown rice sucks ? Just curious. Toxins ?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:25 AM

If Vitamin C was so harmful we have a lot of sick or dead animals laying all over the place because they produce their own Vitamin C in very High doses!"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:19 AM

Vit C is not risk factor for stones. Its theoretical and never observed in-vivo. For high risk people there is a solution in the form of Sodium Ascorbate. http://goo.gl/y1nqt

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on October 17, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Yah that's a good answer from you Quilt. I just recently decided to eliminate Sweet Potatoes because of the oxalates. I am also gonna add some Mag, which I've never taken. I am taking 500mg of VitC daily. I have often wondered if the weird feelings I get are from oxalates. I do have a history of producing calcium oxalate kidney stones (pre-paleo), but I'm not sure how that works and if it's related to oxalates in teh diet.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 17, 2011
at 03:36 AM

Nice post Quilt!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 09, 2011
at 01:58 AM

I've always not-minded the actual flavor of cooked brown rice, but I'd agree wholly that it's better to eat white rice than brown if going for rice. I lived in Japan for five years and indeed you hardly ever see anyone eating brown rice. You have to go completely out of your way to find it.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 09, 2011
at 01:56 AM

I'd agree: if eating rice, make it white rice.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I want no rice.....

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:00 PM

vulvar pain comes from oxalates concentrating in Bartholins glands.....very painful condition

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:04 PM

Wow there's a Vulvar Pain Foundation...AND they put out a cookbook? Who knew? On their site (referenced in your link) they list squash as very low. Looks like that's actually a good choice. Full list is here: http://www.vulvarpainfoundation.org/lowoxalatefoods.htm

Af2ad65226384cedd4f5f08825a75b5d

(665)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:24 PM

"Brown rice sucks and no Asians will eat it." - Truly reason enough to go with white rice.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:12 PM

i dont think its high oxalic intake. i recommend food which is antiinflammatory. And a lot vegetables. Do you drink a lot. What is on water? Or leafy greens?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:41 PM

you like rhubarb melissa? why?... lol .. just kiddin

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I agree with Melissa!

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8 Answers

13
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Some key facts need to be remembered with oxalates. We usually get rid of 98 to 99% of the stuff in our stool provided our gut is not leaky! The biggest issue with oxlates is that if one has a leaky gut you can absorb over 50% of them from the small bowel via the paracellular transport pathway. This is where most large proteins and molecules get absorbed. Oxalate is present in a lot of plants and fruit that we eat. The oxalates act much like phyates and bind mineral metals at alarmingly high rates. That is why Magnesium is so low in the SAD diet and on blood tests. It also binds Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn, Cu, K. It is especially high in almost all seeds and nuts, but in some more than others. Ordinarily, the gut won't absorb much of the oxalate from the diet because most of the oxalate will be metabolized by the flora or pass with the stool. We also know those with celiac disease have the highest levels of oxalates in the blood and are especially prone to kindey disease from the high levels.

So anyone with a leaky gut really needs to fix it with dietary changes stat. That is the best way to avoid it. Most say avoid the foods with high levels of oxalates but that makes no sense if you have a good gut because we absorb a small amount. Fix your gut and you really only absorb small amounts. That is my medical advice and the advice of our nephrologists. One side note.....if you have a B6 thiamine or magnesium deficiency the body will make endogenous oxalates to offset that combination of dietary deficiencies to help functioning of the gut. Another scenario where we upregualte endogenous oxalate production is when there is excess Vitamin C from diet and high levels of fructose in the diet! Remember that fructose and vitamin C tend to be found in nature together often. And now that we mass produce HFCS we are seeing this issue raised in juices and sodas. Big issue.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 17, 2011
at 03:36 AM

Nice post Quilt!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 17, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Maj not really talking about vit c causing stones......its from the hfcs endpoint......uric acid and vldl. The uric acid levels are usually super high and cause hypertension,gout, and risk of stones

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on October 17, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Yah that's a good answer from you Quilt. I just recently decided to eliminate Sweet Potatoes because of the oxalates. I am also gonna add some Mag, which I've never taken. I am taking 500mg of VitC daily. I have often wondered if the weird feelings I get are from oxalates. I do have a history of producing calcium oxalate kidney stones (pre-paleo), but I'm not sure how that works and if it's related to oxalates in teh diet.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I like a lot of vitamin C

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:19 AM

Vit C is not risk factor for stones. Its theoretical and never observed in-vivo. For high risk people there is a solution in the form of Sodium Ascorbate. http://goo.gl/y1nqt

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:25 AM

If Vitamin C was so harmful we have a lot of sick or dead animals laying all over the place because they produce their own Vitamin C in very High doses!"

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 21, 2011
at 02:45 PM

If you need to watch your oxalate levels, make sure you find an accurate list of low, medium, and high oxalate foods. A lot of the lists on the internet or given my doctors offices are wrong because they either don't reflect the new, much more accurate testing methods for oxalate content or they don't reflect normal human serving sizes (e.g. black pepper is often considered high because 100 grams is high oxalate, but most people eat a small amount that is low oxalate.) Go to http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Trying_Low_Oxalates/ to get an accurate list or to http://www.lowoxalate.info/

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 18, 2011
at 07:25 PM

I'd suggest taking a look at the Perfect Health Diet. To be honest, besides some seasonal rhubarb, I'm not a big oxalate eater. Never much liked those sort of foods. Brown rice has some oxalates. I use a white rice + meat diet to keep my weight up. Some of my favorite white rice dishes are congee, arroz caldo, idli, and dduk. Google those for some ideas. Brown rice sucks* and no Asians will eat it. I guess you could try fermenting it, but why bother? You can get the minerals from meat. Squash is another great veg that is low in oxalates.

The other strategy is to go mostly meat and fish. I just couldn't keep my weight up on such a diet because it kills my appetite.

BTW I haven't had a urinary issue since I started drinking fermented kombucha. I used to get UTIs often.

*much higher in phytic acid and other gut irritants

C491ff8ce20d5c17f8f7ff94392a9570

(1617)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I agree with Melissa!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 18, 2011
at 07:41 PM

you like rhubarb melissa? why?... lol .. just kiddin

Af2ad65226384cedd4f5f08825a75b5d

(665)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:24 PM

"Brown rice sucks and no Asians will eat it." - Truly reason enough to go with white rice.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 09, 2011
at 01:58 AM

I've always not-minded the actual flavor of cooked brown rice, but I'd agree wholly that it's better to eat white rice than brown if going for rice. I lived in Japan for five years and indeed you hardly ever see anyone eating brown rice. You have to go completely out of your way to find it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 17, 2011
at 08:26 AM

Why brown rice sucks ? Just curious. Toxins ?

3
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on October 17, 2011
at 03:15 AM

I am a low-oxalate dieter who has just recently started to "heavily lean" toward the Paleo diet (although I have been on a Zone inspired carb controlled diet for over 15 years for blood sugar issues.) You are right that the internet is full of conflicting information about the oxalate content of foods. The two most reliable sources for low oxalate information are the Vulvar Pain Foundation's Low Oxalate Cookbook 2 and the "Trying Low Oxalates" Yahoo group file section. If you would like more information about oxalates, the low oxalate diet and low oxalate cooking, I invite you to visit my blog at: http://lowoxalateinfo.com

You will also find links to all types of articles and information about the low oxalate diet and the numerous health problems that can be related to oxalates (kidney stones, autism, vulvodynia, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, etc.). Contrary to what one of the other commenters said, people with leaky guts and vitamin deficiencies are not the only ones who have trouble with oxalates. In fact, many people will put their whole family on a low oxalate diet because one member has to be low oxalate, only to find that other members of the family benefit too (although oxalate issues do tend to run in families . . . ). Also, many people make oxalate endogenously, especially if they have a B6 deficiency, but for other reasons also. I produce oxalates endogenously (in my body), but I have no vitamin deficiencies, no leaky gut problems, and no symptoms of kidney stones or other renal issues. In fact the doctors are stumped. The autism community has found that many of their members upon going gluten-free have begun to have numerous "oxalate" issues (rectal, genital or bladder pain; achy muscles and joints, brain fog, numbness, tingling in extremities, skin rashes, increased allergies etc.). This is because they substituted high oxalate nut flours (and other gluten-free flours) for wheat flour and went into oxidative stress from the high levels of oxalates. These were people who did not have oxalate issues before. The problem came when they went on an oxalate free-for-all and their bodies just couldn't handle it. It really can be a problem for some people, so if you begin to feel any of these types of symptoms on the Paleo diet, you may also be one of those people who cannot handle the high oxalate foods. Of course, there's no reason you can't do a low-oxalate Paleo diet. Or even a medium oxalate Paleo diet, where you only eliminate the high oxalate foods. Many of us in the low oxalate community are committed to a Paleo lifestyle or leaning heavily in that direction.

Hope this helps. Heidi

EDIT: I've changed my website to http://lowoxalateinfo.com/ It now contains more scientific articles about oxalate and how to find accurate oxalate information.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on November 21, 2011
at 02:35 PM

A really good resource to learn about oxalates is from the Autism Research Institute's Oxalate Project . . . http://www.lowoxalate.info/

3
Cf599755619b0588e5e6ed4cb5cef50d

on March 18, 2011
at 07:49 PM

i fear UTI and kidney stones and things like that. but it seems hard to find out what sites have legit information about oxalates. for instance, in contrast to the one melissa listed, this other site lists squash as being high in oxalates: http://www.drkaslow.com/html/oxalates.html

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:00 PM

vulvar pain comes from oxalates concentrating in Bartholins glands.....very painful condition

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 18, 2011
at 10:04 PM

Wow there's a Vulvar Pain Foundation...AND they put out a cookbook? Who knew? On their site (referenced in your link) they list squash as very low. Looks like that's actually a good choice. Full list is here: http://www.vulvarpainfoundation.org/lowoxalatefoods.htm

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on March 14, 2012
at 07:54 PM

I just posted an article on my blog about why the oxalate lists are so inconsistent/conflicting. http://lowoxalateinfo.com/why-are-the-low-oxalate-food-lists-so-inconsistent/ Hope this helps clear up confusion and points you to how to get an accurate list.

2
F0b3bccd8cde3f6239c535489fb4d4c1

(20)

on May 08, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Have you checked litholink.com? They have measured the oxalate level of different variety of foods and classified them based on oxalate content. They can answer to some of your questions as well. I hope this helps.

Here is the link:

http://litholink.com/gateway.aspx?page=OxalateDiet

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on March 14, 2012
at 08:02 PM

This is a very inaccurate, out of date list of the oxalate values of foods. It's description of the low oxalate diet is also inaccurate and will not cause healing for most people. Please do not go by this information. Please see http://lowoxalateinfo.com/ or http://lowoxalate.info for accurate, up-to-date information about oxalate.

2
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:08 PM

I was going to say, "Oh, just cook your vegetables," but thank goodness for Google--I checked first. World's Healthiest Foods is biased in favor of a high-plants diet (which is fine if it works for you, but they think everybody should eat one), but they have a pretty interesting article about oxalate-containing foods.

Here is another link about oxlate foods from the same site.

The Body Ecology people seem to think that you CAN reduce oxalates while boiling, although they offer lower-oxalate alternatives to high-oxalate foods.

Apparently you can have your urine tested for oxalate levels, too. If I were you I'd ask my urologist about that so you can go ahead and rule it out; if you like those types of vegetables, it doesn't make sense to drop them if they are not hurting you.

If you do have high oxlate levels in your urine, you should still be able to source fruits and vegetables that are not so high in them. You can "do Paleo" without poisoning yourself--the world has an amazing variety of plant and animal foods and there is something for everyone. I cannot stress this enough: there is no "the" Paleo diet, only a set of Paleo principles. If you adhere to the principles, you can find foods that fit them that are also very good for you.

2
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on March 18, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Don't eat brown rice. Eat white rice. It is just pure starch without all the antinutrients and phytic acid of brown rice. To make brown rice "safe" to eat you have to soak it and sprout it, it's much easier to just eat white rice.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 18, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I want no rice.....

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 09, 2011
at 01:56 AM

I'd agree: if eating rice, make it white rice.

0
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on March 18, 2011
at 09:15 PM

For kidney stones, this country doc is down to earth. http://country-physician.blogspot.com/2010/12/prevent-and-dissolve-kidney-stones.html

And for UTIs & bladder infections, he also seems to have some answers. http://country-physician.blogspot.com/2010/12/bladder-infections-can-be-thing-of-past.html

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