When you’re faced with spur-of-the-moment dietary decisions for your low-oxalate diet, it can be difficult to make healthy choices to reduce oxalates at home. However, small changes can make a big difference in your kidney and urinary tract health. Our best tip? Start making healthier choices at home with these three ways to reduce oxalates at home you can start today.
Embrace Your Inner Chef
The way you cook your food can reduce the oxalate levels, especially when it comes to vegetables like green Swiss chard leaves, carrots, and spinach. Boiling and steaming are the two most common methods, and each has its benefit.
The most effective cooking method according to studies is boiling. Depending on the type of food, you will boil for 6 to 10 minutes. This method is quick and simple — just sprinkle your leafy greens with a bit of low-oxalate seasoning and dig in!
Steaming oxalate-dense foods is another way to reduce oxalates at home that will bring some variety to your meals. Steaming carrots, spinach, and other oxalate-packed food allows them to cook in their own juices, retaining natural flavors and more of the water-soluble vitamins that make them so good for you.
Cooking to reduce oxalates at home won’t work for every type of oxalate-dense food. For instance, steaming dark chocolate would ruin the food for all but the most dedicated chocoholics. (And nobody wants to ruin a good piece of dark chocolate.)
Bump Up the Calcium
Calcium is essential to build and maintain strong bones but can be thwarted by “anti-nutrients” like oxalates, which bind to calcium and stop our bodies from absorbing it. It is important to maintain a healthy calcium-oxalate ratio as part of an overall kidney health program. In addition to reducing oxalates at home in other ways, adding calcium can help restore the balance, ensuring more calcium is absorbed into your body.
The easiest way to start adding calcium to your diet is through low-fat dairy products. Cheddar cheese, non-fat yogurt, and eggs are a few examples of dairy foods that are high in calcium but have only trace amounts of oxalates. Consuming more vitamin D – a vitamin essential to the absorption of calcium – can also help. Try calcium-packed and low-oxalate foods like bananas, salmon, lemons, and Bok Choy.
Other solutions, like including calcium-packed fruit and calcium-fortified foods on your shopping list, can help you develop a healthy balance of calcium and oxalates.
Determining the right amount of calcium you need daily to maintain balance is complicated, so it’s best to talk with your healthcare professional before introducing extra calcium into your diet.