Foods high in calcium oxalate

Updated April 13, 2018

According to literature intended for patient information provided by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, about 1 million people in the United States suffer from kidney stones every year. Many of these stones are caused by a build-up of calcium oxalate, a naturally occurring compound in many foods. Avoiding foods high in oxalate may prevent recurrences for some kidney stone patients.

High-oxalate Foods

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center categorises foods with more than 10 mg of calcium oxalate per a 99.2gr serving as high-oxalate foods. The UPMC suggests avoiding high-oxalate foods in order to maintain a limit of 40 mg to 50 mg of oxalates per day.

High-oxalate drinks include dark beer, black tea, chocolate milk, hot chocolate, powedered chocolate or cocoa, instant coffee, blueberry and blackberry juices, and drinks made with soy, soy milk or soy yoghurt.

Nuts, nut butters, sesame seeds, tahini, soy nuts are high in oxalate.

Many sources of starch are high-oxalate foods including, amaranth, buckwheat, bran or high-fibre cereals, grits, pretzels, taro and whole wheat products.

Fruits on the high-oxalate list are blackberries, blueberries, Concord grapes, elderberries, figs, fruit cocktail, kiwi, citrus peel, raspberry, rhubarb, canned strawberries, tamarillo and tangerines.

Some of the vegetables high in calcium oxalate are beans, beets, carrots, celery, eggplant, leeks, okra, parsley, peppers, potatoes, rutabaga, sweet potato, zucchini and leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, kale and collard greens.

Moderately High-oxalate Foods

Foods that are moderately high in calcium oxalate contain 2 mg to 10 mg of oxalate per serving according to the UMPC guidelines. The UMPC recommends limiting moderate-oxalate foods to two or three servings per day.

Drinks on the moderately high list include draft beer, carrot, cranberry, orange, grape and tomato juices, and black currant, mate and rose hip teas.

Among protein and dairy items, limit yoghurt, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, liver and sardines.

Moderately high fruits include apples, apricots, coconut, cranberry, mandarin orange, orange, fresh peaches and pears, pineapple, purple plums, prunes and fresh strawberries.

The list of moderate-high starch includes bagels, brown rice, corn products, oatmeal, wheat pasta, and white bread.

Vegetables that should be limited are artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, lettuce, lime beans, parsnips, tomato, turnips, and watercress.

Low-oxalate Foods

Low-oxalate foods can be enjoyed as much as you like. Some low-oxalate foods are apple juice, green tea, lemonade, milk, wine, cheese, avocados, grapefruit, mangoes, papaya, beef, ham, poultry, toasted oat cereal, egg noodles, graham crackers, rice, cauliflower, kohlrabi and radishes.

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About the Author

Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.