There’s no reason why you should have to sacrifice your favorite flavors on the low-oxalate diet. With the right low-oxalate spices, you can get a savory or sweet kick in your daily menu, all while promoting kidney and urinary tract health. Below, we’ve rounded up four of our favorite go-to low-oxalate spices, plus substitution options for spices that carry significant levels of oxalate. With these ingredients, you can count on your spice rack to help create great-tasting meals while supporting your kidneys and overall nutrition.
Garlic powder is made from garlic cloves, although its flavor is a bit sweeter and more understated than the fresh plant’s. Garlic powder’s oxalate level is very low; a teaspoon doesn’t even carry a measurable amount. If you’ve been missing oxalate-packed snacks such as potato chips, garlic powder is a great spice to get some of that addictive savory taste back into your menu. Sprinkle it on air-popped popcorn or roasted kale for a crispy, healthy, low-oxalate bite. You can also rub garlic powder on meats, which generally carry minimal oxalate contents, and roasted low-oxalate vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and green pepper.
White pepper comes from the same plant as black pepper, but is processed differently; the berries are soaked in water and have their outer husks removed, whereas black pepper berries are dried with the husks on. As a result, white pepper is less spicy but has an earthier, more complex flavor than black pepper – plus, it has a significantly lower oxalate content. Generally speaking, you can substitute white pepper for black pepper in moderate portions. White pepper is a common ingredient in Chinese and other Asian cuisines, and also works particularly well in cream-based soups.
Many low-oxalate dieters will be happy to hear that a modest sugar intake can fit into their nutritional plan. Because sugar carries very low levels of oxalate, you can continue to use it in your baking or sprinkled lightly on low-oxalate fruit. Of course, high-sugar diets have been linked to a number of other health issues including weight gain and diabetes, so keep in mind that lower calorie artificial sweeteners can be substituted, as they also carry minimal oxalate contents. And if you’re a brown sugar fan, don’t worry: you can keep this low-oxalate spice in your diet as well.
Ground mustard and mustard seeds are important additions to any spice rack. This spice will add a rich, medium heat to your cooking; you may recognize it as an important component of Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. If you’ve given up chili powder and cayenne pepper due to their greater oxalate contents, you can start exploring different varieties of mustard as an alternative – the flavor, of course, is different, but you’ll keep some spiciness in your diet. As condiments, Dijon and yellow mustards are also low in oxalate.