Warning for Oxalates in Your Diet

Posted by & filed under Health Alerts.

spinachOne of the surprising health concerns for many people, including those with a “healthy diet,” is the problem of oxalates in many of the foods you eat and what it can do to compromise your health.

Many people are unaware of the dangers of eating a diet that is high in oxalates and how it can lead to the formation of painful kidney stones.  This is especially true for some people who are more susceptile to developing kidney stones. 

There are four types of kidney stones; calcium stones, uric acid stones, cystine stones, and struvite stones.   The most common kidney stones are calcium stones and these are the ones that are most affected by your diet of oxalates. 

Oxalates are a salt form of oxalic acid that are a key component in the formation of kidney stones.  When ingredients in your urine become concentrated, there is a risk for the development of kidney stones.  A high concentration of oxalate, calcium, and phosphorus is one of the main reasons some people develop kidney stones. 

  The binding of oxalic acid to calcium and phosphorus leads to the formation of the kidney stones.  Many people are predisposed to developing kidney stones and the role of oxalates in your diet can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. 

Anyone who has ever dealt with kidney stones will attest to the pain involved and over one million Americans are affected by kidney stones each year. 

So are you at risk for developing kidney stones?  One of the factors affecting your odds of developing kidney stones is your diet, especially foods that are high in oxalates. 

Some of the foods that have the highest concentration of oxalates include “healthy” foods like nuts, soy products, and certain vegetables. 

Here are some of the foods with the highest concentration of oxalates:


  • spinach
  • swiss chard
  • beets
  • okra

Soy Products

  • soy milk
  • soy burgers and hot dogs
  • textured vegetable protein (soy)
  • soy nuts
  • soy flour

Nuts, Legumes, and Seeds

  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • peanuts
  • lentils
  • sesame seeds

There is also a high concentration of oxalates in rhubarb and buckwheat.

The consumption of almonds rose sharply when noted physician and TV show host, Dr. Oz spoke on the great benefits of almonds as a snack and how has always enjoyed them.

There are ways of reducing your risk of developing kidney stones, including making sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. 

Reducing your intake of sodium will also help in the prevention of kidney stones.  Too much sodium makes the kidneys excrete more calcium in the urine and the high concentrations of calcium, oxalates, and phosphorus increase the risk of kidney stone formation. 

Probiotics also help reduce the amount of oxalates in your body by digesting them in your gut. 

While most of the foods high in oxalates are important in your diet because of the vitamins and minerals they supply, you should reduce the amount of these foods you consume to lower your risk of developing those painful kidney stones. 


4 Responses to “Warning for Oxalates in Your Diet”

  1. Chris T 2013-08-30

    I have read in the past about the hazards of oxalates in some foods but wasn’t sure if it is something I should be worried. I guess it is best to error on the side of caution.

  2. Shelley 2013-09-9

    I had thought I was eating so healthy and now I guess I should cut back on my green smoothies and all the nuts I usually eat.


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