As much as we’d like it, there is no single magic diet that will address all of our health needs and desires. If, for example, you want to enjoy the kidney and urinary tract health benefits of oxalate reduction as well as the muscle and energy benefits of the paleo diet, you would have to combine the paleo and low oxalate systems as part of your daily meals.
Fortunately, these two diets – both valuable in their own right – can complement each other without significant extra planning or effort. Whether you’re already a personal nutrition expert or are looking for some healthy tips to incorporate into your lifestyle, our six guiding principles below will help get you started on the right foot.
- Find Common Ground In Meat
Meat is permitted by the paleo diet and typically does not carry excessive levels of oxalate, so it poses no significant challenge to combining these two nutritional plans. Meat is a vital source of protein and can also help you get the moderate levels of healthy fat that you need for a balanced diet.
- Research Your Veggies
Those following Paleo diets typically eat vegetables in generous portions, in part because they are dense with nutrients. However, many vegetables are also packed with oxalates, so they need to be chosen carefully when these two diets are combined.
Some vegetables with low to moderate oxalate levels that work well for both diets are listed below.
- Zucchini and Yellow Squash
- No Potato, No Problem
The common sources of healthy carbohydrates for paleo dieters (potatoes and sweet potatoes) are packed with oxalates, while common starchy but low-oxalate legumes (beans and lentils) are prohibited by paleo.
So to get a paleo-friendly, low-oxalate source of carbs, you can look to starchy fruits – think bananas, plantains, and apples. Meanwhile, some low-oxalate vegetables that carry carbs include broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Find Calcium Alternatives
Because the paleo diet prohibits eating dairy, many people rely on calcium-dense vegetables such as kale, spinach, and other leafy greens for their calcium intake. However, these are exactly the types of vegetables that carry significant levels of oxalate.
Therefore, you can look to calcium-packed, low-oxalate fruits for your calcium intake. These include:
- Don’t Forget Oxalate Reduction Techniques
If there are paleo-friendly vegetables that you love but contain substantial levels of oxalate, traditional and innovative oxalate reduction techniques can help.
The traditional method of reducing oxalate in your food is to cook it out. You can boil spinach, for example, to remove a portion of the oxalate contained in the leaves. Just make sure to drain out the water.
- Start Simple And Build
Embarking on a new diet can seem overwhelming on its own – would two at once be too complicated?
In the case of the paleo diet and oxalate reduction, fortunately, a little extra dedication and patience is needed for a successful nutritional plan. You can start with paleo and then incorporate oxalate reduction into your diet when you’re comfortable. That’s because the paleo diet requires a larger leap from the traditional Western diet, while new innovations are making oxalate reduction more and more achievable for people of every lifestyle and nutrition plan.