Navigating a low oxalate diet can be tricky. Not only are food types limited – goodbye, potatoes, spinach, and almonds – but many health professionals encourage those on a low oxalate diet for kidney health to limit sodium, saturated fats, and sugar, as well as ingest at least 1200 mg of calcium per day, which limits food choices even more.
Moreover, some individuals on a low oxalate diet have dietary concerns that limit what they’re able to digest comfortably. For a lactose-intolerant low oxalate dieter, dairy is off the table, removing the best source of calcium around to help maintain kidney health.
Lactose intolerance strikes when the enzyme lactase that breaks down milk sugar, or lactose, is missing from the digestive system. When lactose isn’t broken down properly, it moves to the colon sans digestion, causing painful gas, bloating, or constipation.
Low Oxalate Plant Based Milk
When calcium-dense foods and drinks, like dairy products, certain plants that are high in calcium, like collard greens and spinach, and nuts (think almonds and macadamias, which comprise some of the plant-based milk alternatives on the market) are all off the menu for individuals following a low oxalate diet, where can hungry people turn for an added boost of calcium? Learn more about a few low oxalate plant based milk substitutes that fit the bill!
Coconut milk is derived from grated coconut flesh. This low oxalate plant based milk is high-calorie and results in a high-fat beverage normally used for cooking; however, to appeal to regular drinkers, coconut milk is diluted with water yielding a similar texture to 2% milk, and includes nutritious amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and B vitamins. Coconut milk is lactose-free, but has reduced level of proteins and calcium, so when you’re shopping for your favorite brand read the label for added calcium – and opt for the unsweetened versions. These fortified versions, including Silk Unsweetened Coconut and So Delicious Original Coconut milk, can provide up to 10% of your daily recommended allowance of calcium in one glass.
Hemp-based milk is derived from the Cannibus sativa plant – but is created from hemp seeds only, which are blended with water and filtered. Hemp seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, a compound that can help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Like coconut milk, hemp milk contains very little calcium organically. Look in your local grocery store for calcium-fortified brands. If you’re a fan of almond milk, hemp milk will provide a nutty, smooth taste similar to what you’ve enjoyed.
Flax milk, a non-dairy alternative that is simply cold-pressed flax seed oil mixed with filtered water, is relatively new type of low oxalate plant-based milk is. Like hemp milk, flax milk contains omega-3 fatty acids, but also contain Vitamins A, B12 and D, and some calcium naturally — although most brands are calcium-fortified. It is a low-protein, low oxalate milk substitute with a neutral taste and thinner consistency – similar to skim milk – and is a tasty base for smoothies and milkshakes, as well as a milk substitute for baking. Choose flax milk brands without added sugars to help you stay within healthy limits.
With these low oxalate plant based milk options, individuals can enjoy the creamy texture of milk and continue to maintain their low oxalate diet.