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Help Prevent Kidney Stones with a Low-Oxalate Diet


WRITTEN BY: Urology
Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Kidney stones are a common urinary tract disorder.

Caused by a buildup of minerals in urine, kidney stones are pieces of stone-like material that form on the walls of the kidney.

Some people have kidney stones made from calcium oxalate (OX-uh-layt). For these people, cutting back on salt and following a low-oxalate diet may help prevent kidney stones.

Who’s at Risk for Kidney Stones?

In the United States, about 1 million people get kidney stones every year. Most stones are so small that they pass through the urinary system without pain.

However, a large enough stone can cause extreme pain or urinary blockage. This requires treatment or surgery.

Kidney stones usually affect:

  • People between the ages of 20 and 40.
  • Men more often than women.
  • People who have a family history of kidney stones.

RELATED: How Can I Avoid Getting Kidney Stones?

A Low-Oxalate Diet Plan

Many foods contain oxalate. On a low-oxalate diet, you should limit your oxalate to 40 to 50 mg each day. This may help prevent kidney stones.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. People likely to get kidney stones should drink 8 to 13 cups of fluid each day.

Your body may turn extra vitamin C into oxalate. Avoid high doses of vitamin C supplements (more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day).

The following charts will help you eat foods low in oxalate and avoid foods high in oxalate. Food and drink serving sizes are 3.5 ounces (100 grams), unless otherwise noted.

Enjoy these low-oxalate foods and drinks

Eat as much of these low-oxalate foods as you like. Low-oxalate foods have less than 2 mg of oxalate per serving.

Drinks
  • Apple cider
  • Apple juice
  • Apricot nectar
  • Bottled beer
  • Buttermilk
  • Cherry juice
  • Cola
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Green tea
  • Herbal teas (see below)
  • Lemonade
  • Lemon juice
  • Limeade
  • Lime juice
  • Milk
  • Oolong tea
  • Pineapple juice
  • Wine
Herbal teas
  • Celestial Seasonings (Sleepytime, Peppermint, Wild Forest Blackberry, Mandarin Orange Spice, Cinnamon, Apple Spice)
  • R.C. Bigelow (Cranberry Apple, Red Raspberry, I Love Lemon, Orange and Spic, Mint Medley, Sweet Dreams)
  • Thomas J. Lipton (Gentle Orange, Lemon Soothe, Chamomile flowers, Stinging Nettle)
Dairy
  • Cheese
  • Buttermilk
  • Milk
Fats, nuts, and seeds
  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing
  • Vegetable oil
Meat
  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Corned beef
  • Fish (except sardines)
  • Ham
  • Lamb
  • Lean meats
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Shellfish
Starches
  • Barley
  • Cereals (corn or rice)
  • Cheerios
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Egg noodles
  • English muffin
  • Graham crackers
  • Macaroni
  • Pasta (plain)
  • White rice
  • Wild rice
Fruit
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cherries (Bing and sour)
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes (green and red)
  • Huckleberries
  • Kumquat
  • Litchi/Lychee
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Papaya
  • Passion fruit
  • Canned peaches
  • Canned pears
  • Green and yellow plums
  • Raisins (1/4 cup)
Vegetables
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Endive
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Water chestnut
Condiments
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Corn syrup
  • Dijon mustard
  • Dill
  • Honey
  • Imitation vanilla extract
  • Jelly made from low-oxalate fruits
  • Ketchup (1 Tbsp.)
  • Maple syrup
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Sage
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • White pepper
Miscellaneous
  • Gelatin (unflavored)
  • Hard candy
  • Jell-O
  • Lemon balm
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice

Limit these moderate-oxalate foods and drinks

You should have no more than two or three servings of these foods per day. Moderate-oxalate foods have between 2 and 10 mg of oxalate per serving.

Drinks
  • Draft beer
  • Carrot juice
  • Brewed coffee
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grape juice
  • Guinness draft beer
  • Mate tea
  • Orange juice
  • Rosehip tea
  • Tomato juice
  • Twining’s black currant tea
Dairy
  •  Yogurt
Fats, nuts, and seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Sunflower seeds
Meat
  • Liver
  • Sardines
Starches
  • Bagels
  • Brown rice
  • Cornmeal
  • Corn starch
  • Corn tortilla
  • Fig cookie
  • Oatmeal
  • Ravioli (no sauce)
  • Spaghetti in red sauce
  • Sponge cake
  • Cinnamon Pop-Tart®
  • White bread
Fruit
  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots
  • Coconut
  • Cranberries
  • Mandarin orange
  • Orange
  • Fresh peaches
  • Fresh pear
  • Pineapples
  • Purple and Damson plums
  • Prunes
  • Fresh strawberries
Vegetables
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots (canned)
  • Corn
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Lima beans
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Parsnip
  • Canned peas
  • Tomato
  • Tomato soup
  • Turnips
  • Vegetable soup
  • Watercress
Miscellaneous
  • Ginger
  • Malt
  • Potato chips (less than 3.5 oz.)
  • Strawberry jam/preserves
  • Thyme

Avoid these high-oxalate foods and drinks

High-oxalate foods have more than 10 mg of oxalate per serving.

Drinks
  • Dark or “robust” beer
  • Black tea
  • Chocolate milk
  • Cocoa
  • Instant coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Juice made from high-oxalate fruits
  • Ovaltine
  • Soy drinks
Dairy
  • Chocolate milk
  • Soy cheese
  • Soy milk
  • Soy yogurt
Fats, nuts, and seeds
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tahini
  • Soy nuts
Meat
  • None
Starches
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Cereal (bran or high fiber)
  • Crisp bread (rye or wheat)
  • Fruit cake
  • Grits
  • Pretzels
  • Taro
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat flour
Fruit
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carambola
  • Concord grapes
  • Currents
  • Dewberries
  • Elderberries
  • Figs
  • Fruit cocktail
  • Gooseberry
  • Kiwis
  • Lemon peel
  • Lime peel
  • Orange peel
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Canned strawberries
  • Tamarillo
  • Tangerines
Vegetables
  • Beans (baked, green, dried, kidney)
  • Beets
  • Beet greens
  • Beet root
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Collards
  • Dandelion greens
  • Eggplant
  • Escarole
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Parsley
  • Peppers (chili and green)
  • Pokeweed
  • Potatoes (baked, boiled, fried)
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Swiss chard
  • Zucchini
Condiments
  • Black pepper (more than 1 tsp.)
  • Marmalade
  • Soy sauce
Miscellaneous
  • Chocolate
  • Parsley

For more help and information on a low-oxalate diet, contact UPMC Nutrition Services.

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