Oxalates in food

Posted by rabbitmommy @rabbitmommy, Tue, Jan 22 3:03pm

For several months I have had kidney stone symptoms. I am waiting on a test to be authorized. In the meantime I have been researching low oxalate foods. All of my favorite foods appear to be loaded with oxalates: beets and beet greens, spinich, sweet potatoes, nuts, sesame seeds, garbonzo beans…..what is really confusing me is all the conflicting information. On some lists sunflower seeds are low others very high….I bought a bulk supply of mung beans and split peas because a list said the are low in oxalates, but now I am finding other lists that say they are high. Pumpkin also has conflicting results…..at this point I am afraid to eat anything!

@rabbitmommy How very frustrating! I can relate. In the past I had kidney stones. Apparently one lodged in my left kidney just above the ureter. The symptoms resolved and I thought I had passed the stone. I couldn't afford a follow-up scan at the time so nobody knew it was still there. Eventually that left kidney completely atrophied. We didn't discover THAT until my GFR dropped after a bout of flu so I have only one functioning kidney. I went on a renal diet and switched from a plant-based diet to primarily vegetarian and, recently, to vegan and my GFR has gone from 28 to 37 in less than a year. Then, like you, I learned that much on a renal diet, especially a vegan one, has oxalates. I am NOT suggesting you do what I did. I threw up my hands and decided to stay on my current diet since right now it's working. I know I'm risking stone formation and I'm not happy about that but don't know what else to do.

I do know that most kidney stones are formed from calcium and oddly enough, CKD reduces the amount of calcium (and reduces the amount of urine,) hence reducing the likelihood of stone formation. This was one of the reasons I chose not to limit foods with oxalates. Personal choice, that. I'm not advocating for anyone else to do so.

It may sound counterintuitive but reducing dietary calcium isn't the answer. Pairing calcium-containing foods with oxalates in foods actually can help and so can reducing sodium. So can adequate hydration for those not on fluid restriction.

I've done a lot of research on pphosphorus, potassium, sodium, and protein content of various foods but have avoided trying to find out if what I now eat is high-oxalate. I guess I don't want to know. Recently someone in one of these groups posted a list of oxalate content in food, perhaps @CollenYoung or @rosemarya can find that list because I would like to have it also.

REPLY
@kamama94

@rabbitmommy How very frustrating! I can relate. In the past I had kidney stones. Apparently one lodged in my left kidney just above the ureter. The symptoms resolved and I thought I had passed the stone. I couldn't afford a follow-up scan at the time so nobody knew it was still there. Eventually that left kidney completely atrophied. We didn't discover THAT until my GFR dropped after a bout of flu so I have only one functioning kidney. I went on a renal diet and switched from a plant-based diet to primarily vegetarian and, recently, to vegan and my GFR has gone from 28 to 37 in less than a year. Then, like you, I learned that much on a renal diet, especially a vegan one, has oxalates. I am NOT suggesting you do what I did. I threw up my hands and decided to stay on my current diet since right now it's working. I know I'm risking stone formation and I'm not happy about that but don't know what else to do.

I do know that most kidney stones are formed from calcium and oddly enough, CKD reduces the amount of calcium (and reduces the amount of urine,) hence reducing the likelihood of stone formation. This was one of the reasons I chose not to limit foods with oxalates. Personal choice, that. I'm not advocating for anyone else to do so.

It may sound counterintuitive but reducing dietary calcium isn't the answer. Pairing calcium-containing foods with oxalates in foods actually can help and so can reducing sodium. So can adequate hydration for those not on fluid restriction.

I've done a lot of research on pphosphorus, potassium, sodium, and protein content of various foods but have avoided trying to find out if what I now eat is high-oxalate. I guess I don't want to know. Recently someone in one of these groups posted a list of oxalate content in food, perhaps @CollenYoung or @rosemarya can find that list because I would like to have it also.

Jump to this post

Is this what you are looking for? You might need to scroll halfway down the page.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/3rd-stage-kidney-disease/?pg=3#chv4-comment-stream-header

REPLY
@rosemarya

Is this what you are looking for? You might need to scroll halfway down the page.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/3rd-stage-kidney-disease/?pg=3#chv4-comment-stream-header

Jump to this post

@rosemarya, thank you! Just what I was looking for.

REPLY

I have Stage 4 kidney disease due to severe oxylate damage. We don’t know why, though I believe my unknowingly at the time high oxylate diet was a big factor if not the cause. My GFR was at 16 but after adjusting to a low oxylate diet, I’ve stabilized at 22-24. My question is can you really improve you GFR, and if so, how best to do so? There don’t seem to be a lot of oxylate experts around. Thank you.

REPLY

@randyr Kudos to you for improving your GFR! I have stage 3 CKD and only one functioning kidney, the other has atrophied, possibly from stone blockage. I also am an insulin-dependent diabetic so finding an appropriate diet has been a challenge. Within about 3 months or so after going on a vegetarian diet my GFR went from 28 to 35. Then when I converted to a strictly vegan diet, GFR went up to 35 within a couple of months. In some ways a renal diet conflicts with a diabetic diet so it's been a bit difficult to balance it all out. Despite having had kidney stones in the past possibly causing my left kidney to fail and atrophy, I've had so many other dietary considerations to contend with I haven't even tried to measure oxalates. I'm not going to tell you you shouldn't watch oxalates just because I haven't been able to, I'm telling you there's hope. I eat plant-based foods only, no eggs, no meat, and no dairy – no animal products whatsoever – and am quiet satisfied with my meals. I'm not saying a veggie diet would help you, I know only that it helped me.

REPLY

Thanks so much. Where do you get your protein?

REPLY

@randyr Rice eaten with legumes (such as peas) form a complete protein. Rice and 2 other kinds of vegetables form a complete protein. True of corn as well. And most bread, flour tortillas, vegan noodles, etc., contain protein. In fact, 1 C flour contains about 13 grams. 1/2 C cooked green beans has about a gram. So does a cup of almond milk. 2 T nutritional yeast contains 4 grams and lends a non-dairy cheesy flavor to pastas and other dishes. 1 slice of tofu contains 6-8 grams. The National Institutes of Health recommends 0.36 grams per pound of body weight daily for stage 3 CKD. The standard for healthier people is about 50 grams daily but CKD patients should take in less. My neph doesn't want me to go over 35 grams a day. I usually get that much from pasta and rice combined with several vegetables and right now I do eat some oatmeal, which is fairly high protein. I also eat nuts (sparingly) for the protein. Since I'm not too worried about oxalates at the moment, I do eat some things which have medium-to-high oxalate content such as the oatmeal, chickpeas (sparingly,) and the tree nuts.

REPLY

I have found this website to be very helpful in calculating nutrients in food, although it doesn't list oxalates. :https://nutritiondata.self.com

REPLY
@kamama94

@randyr Rice eaten with legumes (such as peas) form a complete protein. Rice and 2 other kinds of vegetables form a complete protein. True of corn as well. And most bread, flour tortillas, vegan noodles, etc., contain protein. In fact, 1 C flour contains about 13 grams. 1/2 C cooked green beans has about a gram. So does a cup of almond milk. 2 T nutritional yeast contains 4 grams and lends a non-dairy cheesy flavor to pastas and other dishes. 1 slice of tofu contains 6-8 grams. The National Institutes of Health recommends 0.36 grams per pound of body weight daily for stage 3 CKD. The standard for healthier people is about 50 grams daily but CKD patients should take in less. My neph doesn't want me to go over 35 grams a day. I usually get that much from pasta and rice combined with several vegetables and right now I do eat some oatmeal, which is fairly high protein. I also eat nuts (sparingly) for the protein. Since I'm not too worried about oxalates at the moment, I do eat some things which have medium-to-high oxalate content such as the oatmeal, chickpeas (sparingly,) and the tree nuts.

Jump to this post

Thanks. Unfortunately, the cause of my kidney disease is oxylate damage. Thus, I need to steer clear of those foods high in oxylates, such as beans, nuts, soy products and flour (other than coconut flour).

REPLY

@randyr 1/4 C coconut flour has about 6 grams of protein. If you're on a 35 gram daily protein restriction like I am that's a little less than a sixth of your intake, quite a bit.. One 2-inch piece has about a gram and a half of protein, a bit over 50 mg phosphorus, 160 mg potassium, 9 mg sodium. Many salad veggies are very low in oxalates but still contain small amounts of protein.
https://kidneystones.uchicago.edu has a list. So does http://www.thevpfoundation.org

Cabbage, chives, cauliflower, cucumbers, endive, kohlrabi, mushrooms, radishes and water chestnuts are low oxalate veggies. Peas, which are legumes, are also low-oxalate.

REPLY

Thanks. I’m not on a restricted 35g/day diet. I need more than that as I’m a competitive athlete. Trying to find a good balance.

REPLY

@randyr Am sending you positive vibes and luck wishes.

REPLY

Thank you very much.

REPLY
@kamama94

@randyr Kudos to you for improving your GFR! I have stage 3 CKD and only one functioning kidney, the other has atrophied, possibly from stone blockage. I also am an insulin-dependent diabetic so finding an appropriate diet has been a challenge. Within about 3 months or so after going on a vegetarian diet my GFR went from 28 to 35. Then when I converted to a strictly vegan diet, GFR went up to 35 within a couple of months. In some ways a renal diet conflicts with a diabetic diet so it's been a bit difficult to balance it all out. Despite having had kidney stones in the past possibly causing my left kidney to fail and atrophy, I've had so many other dietary considerations to contend with I haven't even tried to measure oxalates. I'm not going to tell you you shouldn't watch oxalates just because I haven't been able to, I'm telling you there's hope. I eat plant-based foods only, no eggs, no meat, and no dairy – no animal products whatsoever – and am quiet satisfied with my meals. I'm not saying a veggie diet would help you, I know only that it helped me.

Jump to this post

I’ve read conflicting info regarding oatmeal’s oxylate content. Is it high or ok?

REPLY

@randyr Oatmeal is relatively high in oxalates. Vegetables like cabbage are low. Also, cooking certain foods leaches oxalates out into the cooking liquid so should be drained to get rid of some of the oxalates. Also, what I've learned is that in metabolizing oxalates, solubility is relevant. For instance, turmeric and cinnamon are equally high oxalate. But the oxalates in turmeric are about 90% soluble (so your body keeps more) whereas the oxalates in cinnamon are only 10% soluble so your body retains much less.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.