Low-Oxalate Diets 101

A growing number of people are reducing the amount of oxalate in their diets for a variety of health supportive reasons. It’s estimated that at least 1 out of 10 people have been told to take measures to maintain a healthy kidney and urinary tract program. In fact, you may be one of those folks who have been recommended by a health care practitioner to comply with a low-oxalate diet as part of your program. However, for many people, the benefits of oxalate reduction can be offset by the difficulties of achieving this dietary goal.  

Until recently, the diet required eliminating many oxalate-packed foods – from spinach to French fries – that most consumers frequently include as part of enjoyable meals.

In this article we will examine the health supportive benefits of a low-oxalate diet as well as some options for following this diet every day. Ultimately, through education on oxalate reduction, we hope to empower consumers to lead healthier lives by making it easier to succeed with a low-oxalate diet regimen.

 Foods-not-in-low-oxalate-diets.jpg

 

What Exactly is Oxalate?

Oxalate serves growth and regulatory functions in plants. However, it serves little nutritional purpose for our bodies and becomes a waste product when we eat it. Oxalate is sometimes called an “anti-nutrient" because it inhibits the body’s absorption of certain nutrients such as calcium. It does this by binding to calcium – which leads to the formation of microcrystals – ultimately carrying it out of the body through the urinary tract.

 

Primary Goals of a Low-Oxalate Diet

The average person eats roughly 200 to 300 mg of oxalate every day – up to five times the ideal amount for those who are advised to follow a low-oxalate diet. To maintain a healthy calcium-oxalate ratio in the body, a reasonable goal is to consume less than 100 mg of oxalate daily; less than 50 mg daily is the ideal amount. As a point of reference, a typical miso soup carries roughly 100 mg per serving, making it an oxalate-packed food to avoid on this diet.

Some benefits of eating a low oxalate diet include:

  • Increasing absorption of calcium and other nutrients from the foods you eat
  • Helping maintain urinary tract and kidney health
  • Expanding your awareness of overall nutrition and healthy choices

Following the diet requires an appreciation of your food’s chemical makeup and how it interacts with the body. By learning about oxalate and how to manage its intake every day, those following a low-oxalate diet can become skilled at making informed, healthy decisions. This practice of nutritional self-empowerment is not only important for healthy bodies, but also for a stronger, more aware community of consumers.

 

WAYS TO REDUCE Oxalate

Eliminate Or Reduce Oxalate-Packed Foods

One of the traditional methods of oxalate reduction is to avoid eating foods with the greatest amounts of oxalate in them. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. On a practical level, cutting oxalate means researching the oxalate content of the individual foods eaten; it’s not as simple as avoiding a whole food group, like dieters who cut out carbs to lose weight can do. Plus, the diet can involve giving up some favorite foods (think French fries or chocolate) or foods that are loaded with other important nutrients (think leafy greens), which can make it even more difficult to comply.

Cook Out Oxalate

Another traditional method for oxalate-reduction is to boil, steam, or soak ingredients to decrease their oxalate content. Research indicates that boiling in particular can help reduce the amount of oxalate in certain vegetables, as can steaming, to a lower amount. Just make sure to drain out the water. 


low_oxalate_diet_101_cook_out_oxalate.jpg

An Oxalate-Reducing Enzyme

Consumers who don’t want to significantly change their eating habits can look to another option: the Nephure Oxalate Reducing Enzyme. Nephure is an essentially tasteless food ingredient that reduces oxalate in a variety of foods and beverages.* Now you can mix one packet of Nephure with your beverage during your two main meals daily and savor the flavors you’ve missed on your low-oxalate diet.

Kicking Off A Low-Oxalate Diet

As with any change in diet, please talk with your health care provider about your individual nutritional situation and needs. Your health care provider can best advise you regarding the health benefits you may obtain from following a low-oxalate diet.

 

*Oxalate reduction base don simulated stomach environment testing. This product should not be taken by children or women who are pregnant or nursing. 

 

Comments

Latest Resources

Low Oxalate Baking Options for Holiday Treats
Read More

Low Oxalate Baking Options for Holiday Treats

Low Oxalate Chili
Read More

Low Oxalate Chili

4 Snack Ideas for Your Low Oxalate Tailgate Party
Read More

4 Snack Ideas for Your Low Oxalate Tailgate Party

Staying Fit in Fall Weather
Read More

Staying Fit in Fall Weather

5 Ways to Cook Low-Oxalate Veggies
Read More

5 Ways to Cook Low-Oxalate Veggies

How to Stock your Low-Oxalate Spice Rack
Read More

How to Stock your Low-Oxalate Spice Rack