Low-Oxalate DietEn Español (Spanish Version)
Oxalates are naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and humans.
In the body, oxalates combine with calcium and iron to form crystals. In most people these crystals are passed from the body in urine. For some people, these crystals can grow into
. A low-oxalate diet may reduce the risk of certain types of kidney stones.
The effects of oxalate in the body depends several on factors, including how your body absorbs oxalate in the stomach and intestines, so this diet does not work for everyone. Fortunately, you can still get all the nutrients you need without excess oxalates in your diet. Talk to a registered dietitian about your goals and concerns.
A low-oxalate diet usually limits oxalate intake to about 50 milligrams (mg) per day. Because oxalates are found in many different foods, it is important to become familiar with which foods are fine to eat in moderation and which foods should be avoided.
Unfortunately, there are variations in reported amounts of oxalates in food. New methods of measurement may counter established norms, causing confusion. There are also variations of the same food, for example, different kale can range from low oxalate levels (dino kale) to moderate oxalate levels (curly kale). Oxalate content can also vary depending on cooking or processing method, soil content, time of harvest, and form (fresh versus canned).
This chart from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights foods that are either low or moderate in oxalates. If you have calcium stones, it is important to decrease your sodium intake as well.
Foods Low in Sodium or OxalateFoods RecommendedDrinks
Coffee, fruit and vegetable juice (from the recommended list), fruit punchFruits
Apples, apricots (fresh or canned), avocado, bananas, cherries (sweet), cranberries, grapefruit, red or green grapes, lemon and lime juice, melons, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, oranges, strawberries (fresh), tangerinesVegetables
Artichokes, asparagus, bamboo shoots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chayote squash, chicory, corn, cucumbers, endive, lettuce, lima beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, zucchiniBreads, Cereals, Grains
Egg noodles, rye bread, cooked and dry cereals without nuts or bran, crackers with unsalted tops, white or wild riceMeat, Meat Replacements, Fish, Poultry
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, egg whites, egg replacementsSoup
Homemade soup (using the recommended veggies and meat), low-sodium bouillon, low-sodium cannedDesserts
Cookies, cakes, ice cream, pudding without chocolate or nuts, candy without chocolate or nutsFats and Oils
Butter, margarine, cream, oil, salad dressing, mayonnaiseOther Foods
Unsalted potato chips or pretzels, herbs (eg, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder), lemon juice, salt-free seasoning blends, vinegar
Other Foods Low in OxalateFoods RecommendedDrinks
Beer, cola, wine, buttermilk, lemonade or limeade (without added vitamin C), milkMeat, Meat Replacements, Fish, Poultry
Lunch meat, ham, bacon, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage, chicken nuggets, cheddar cheese, canned fish and shellfishSoup
Tomato soup, cheese soupOther Foods
Coconuts, lemon or lime juices, sugar or sweeteners, jellies or jams (from the recommended list)
Moderate-Oxalate FoodsFoods to LimitDrinks
Fruit and vegetable juices (from the recommended list), chocolate milk, rice milk, hot cocoa, teaFruits
Blackberries, blueberries, black currants, cherries (sour), fruit cocktail, mangoes, orange peel, prunes, purple plumsVegetables
Baked beans, carrots, celery, green beans, parsnips, summer squash, tomatoes, turnipsBreads, Cereals, Grains
White bread, cornbread or cornmeal, white English muffins, saltine or soda crackers, brown rice, vanilla wafers, spaghetti and other noodles, firm tofu, bagels, oatmealMeat/meat replacements, fish, poultry
Chocolate cakeFats and Oils
Macadamia nuts, pistachio nuts, english walnutsOther Foods
Jams or jellies (made with the recommended fruits), pepper
High-Oxalate FoodsFoods to AvoidDrinks
Chocolate drink mixes, soy milk, Ovaltine, instant iced tea, fruit juices of fruits listed belowFruits
Apricots (dried), red currants, figs, kiwi, plums, rhubarbVegetables
Beans (wax, dried), beets and beet greens, chives, collard greens, eggplant, escarole, dark greens of all kinds, leeks, okra, parsley, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard, tomato paste, watercressBreads, Cereals, Grains
Amaranth, barley, white corn flour, fried potatoes, fruitcake, grits, soybean products, sweet potatoes, wheat germ and bran, buckwheat flour, All Bran cereal, graham crackers, pretzels, whole wheat breadMeat/meat replacements, fish, poultry
Dried beans, peanut butter, soy burgers, misoDesserts
Carob, chocolate, marmaladesFats and Oils
Nuts (peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts), nut butters, sesame seeds, tahini pasteOther Foods
Be aware of how many grams of oxalates you are eating. Consider meeting with a registered dietitian to develop an eating plan. You may need to make several adjustments to reach the effects you want.
Additional tips to help prevent kidney stones include:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids every day.
Do not take large doses of
supplements (limit to less than 1,000 mg/day).
- Keep protein intake below 80 grams/day.
- Eat a low salt diet (less than 2,000 mg/day).
Eat Right—American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Attalla K, De S, et al. Oxalate content of food: A tangled web. Urology. 2014;84(3):555-560.
Diet and kidney stones. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/diet.cfm. Updated August 2013. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Diet for kidney stone formation. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/kidneystonediet/index.aspx. Updated November 15, 2013. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Finkielstein VA, Goldfarb DS. Strategies for preventing calcium oxalate stones.
Massey LK. Food oxalate: factors affecting measurement, biological variation, and bioavailability. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107(7):1191-1194.
Urolithiasis/urinary stones food lists. American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Available at:
http://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/vault/editor/docs//UrolithiasisFoods1.pdf. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Last Reviewed September 2013