How To Eat A Low Oxalate Diet

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I know you are all looking for THE list. Here is one from a reliable source. We have downloaded one version on their site to a separate document so it opens with one click a useful table of oxalate foods. Get yourself acquainted with it. It will tell you much of what you need to know. A lot of it will even surprise you. You are not as restricted as you think you are or as you have been told.

A more dramatic list is the 177 high oxalate foods distilled out of the big list. Here are culprits! Not on this list? Probably not very high in oxalate so far as we know – with perhaps a few exceptions. Note that quantity is critical. For example black pepper is high in oxalate but the amounts used are small enough that total oxalate intake from it is negligible.

The reliable source, as it turns out, needed some updating. Dr Ross Holmes, professor, School of Medicine, University of Alabama, was kind enough to review the work of Dr. Michael Liebman who is a professor of Human Nutrition and Food Option at University of Wyoming and determine which food entries on the Harvard list needed changing. We cannot change the original but we have updated our lists accordingly and annotated updates with *** marks. So the lists here are the most recently edited available at present.

Eating a low oxalate diet can be overwhelming and difficult to incorporate into your daily life. I just released a course called The Kidney Stone Prevention Course to help you understand how to implement your physician’s prescribed treatment plans.





A List of Concerning Foods

We have created two graphs for this article. Of the 177 foods on our master list, many are of concern but can be used in your diet if you control the portion size and how often you use them.

Here they are. The graph shows mg of oxalate in a common portion. The details of the portions are in the listThe foods have in common that all contain at least 40 mg/serving. All other foods for which we have reliable data have less oxalate per serving.

Your budget is about 100 mg/day.

What does this graph mean? Does it mean you can never have chocolate, or a baked potato?


It means if you want to use your whole budget on a treat, do it, but keep track and make sure you do not overspend in any meal or in any one day. Have your baked potato, but maybe share half with your partner. Or, have some hot chocolate but make it with milk because calcium helps reduce oxalate absorption. Eat your cashew nuts, but pay attention to how many. If one handful leads to ten, you cannot have them.


The graph to the left is of the very few dangerously high oxalate foods.

There are only six foods, but spinach, being worst of all, has two entries. Be careful of this plot because of its range. It begins at 100 mg/portion and rises to 755 mg/portion in only 7 steps, so the distance from miso soup to spinach is about a 7 fold increase.

Rhubarb and spinach are so high you just cannot eat them. Rice bran is something few will miss, the same for buckwheat groats.

People like almonds but have a hard time controlling portion size. If you can keep it to 11 almonds a day – the portion size that gives 122 mg of oxalate, alright. Otherwise stay away from them.

If you have to eat any of these foods, caution is hardly a strong enough word.

Are you sure you need to eat them?



We are saying that oxalate is common in foods, and that you have to be careful, but care is a scarce resource. How much care can you give every bite? The graphs say if you eat moderately high oxalate foods – the first graph – be careful.

Watch portions.

If you are eating one of the six dangerously high oxalate foods, stop eating it.

It is too hard to be careful with those six foods. They have too much oxalate for most of you to handle. So, just say no.


These data arose from a major effort at the Harvard School of Public Health. A world class expert has curated it twice. Harvard can be wrong and so can Ross Holmes, but both will tend to be wrong less often than the average persons who attempt to put complex data into the public domain. We have always appreciated comments, and if anyone has a peer reviewed publication with different food oxalate levels than ours, we will read the paper and see if it warrants our making a change.

Medical research is endlessly argumentative, and food oxalate is no exception. A recent paper contrasts findings from 6 websites and 2 applications and finds some wide variations. Of the sites, the Harvard site – used here as our reference, and the Wake Forest site – which is a legacy of an outstanding investigative group have most standing with me. Leaf through the comparisons between them in the 4 charts and in the large table at the very end. On the whole differences are modest. The hyperoxaluria and oxalosis list from the paper has been withdrawn from their site.


Sure, a list is nice. But we helping you here. Lists can run on to hundreds of foods. The picture is meant for focus. Here are the ones to focus on.

Many of you leave the doctor’s office thinking you will never be able to eat a fruit or vegetable again. If that wasn’t bad enough chocolate and nuts are gone, too. Some of this sadly is true, most of it is not. I am here to bring you good news: Almost everything, high oxalate or not, can be incorporated into your diet safely.

Do you need a low oxalate diet? You may if your stones contain calcium oxalate crystals and your urine oxalate is high enough to pose risk.

If you do need a low oxalate diet, what is your goal? Less than 100 mg of diet oxalate is good; less than 50 mg is ideal.

If you want to read some of the science about urine oxalate and risk of stones and about how we get to the diet oxalate goals, it is summarized at the end of this article.

Here we assume you do need to lower the oxalate in your diet.


Low calcium diets can raise urine oxalate, and the solution may be as simple as a proper calcium intake. There is every reason for stone formers to eat 1000 mg of calcium daily to protect their bones. The common hypercalciuria of calcium stone formers puts bones at special risk when diet calcium is low.

Before changing your whole life around, ask yourself if you are avoiding calcium foods. If so, add them back and ask your doctor to check your urine oxalate again. It may fall enough that a low oxalate diet is not necessary.

If low calcium intake is not your problem, and you need a low oxalate diet, here is my take on how to do it.


Typical diets contain upward of 200 – 300 mg of oxalate. For stone prevention, a reasonable goal is below 100 mg of oxalate daily. An ideal would be about 50 mg daily if that can be accomplished.

To get there, consider the oxalate contents in common serving portions of all of the foods, and make up a plan for yourself.



Everyone who comes to me is very unhappy thinking they can never have a berry again. This is Baloney. The only berry that is very high in oxalate is raspberries (look at the list). On the other hand, people do not realize avocado, oranges, dates, and even grapefruit and kiwi are very high and need caution.

This doesn’t mean you can never have these healthy treats. If you incorporate any of these high oxalate fruits into your morning yogurt you can reduce some of the effects of the oxalate content.

Also look at your portion sizes. You really cannot eat a lot at any one time. Dates are not a good bargain: One date is 24 mg!


Canned pineapple is a problem.

Dried fruits have to be a worry because the water is taken out, so a ‘portion’ of dried fruit can be gigantic in oxalate content. Figs, pineapple and prunes are standouts. Just think: 1/2 cup of dried pineapple is 30 mg – not a lot of fruit for a lot of oxalate. If you want dried fruit, think about apples, apricots, and cranberry as lower oxalate options.


Spinach and rhubarb are standouts; stay away.

Other vegetables you need to be aware of are tomato sauce, turnips, okra, and yams (sweet potatoes) along with beans of different sorts.

I am not in the business of taking healthy foods away from people. But in the cases above you really must limit; there is just too much oxalate and these foods do not pair well with high calcium foods the way fruits can be mixed right into your yogurt or cereal and milk.

Many of you have been told to stay away from all green leafy vegetables. This is not true. Look at the list. There are plenty of salad options still available for you including kale. Even though tomato sauce is high in oxalate (see below) that is because of concentration. A whole medium tomato is only 7 mg and who eats more than one at a time?

Many of the salad vegetables are so low in oxalate they are freebies. Eat what you want.


These are Trouble! I put them into their own separate group even though they are vegetables.

From french fries to baked potatoes they are very high oxalate items. One ounce of potato chips has 21 mg of oxalate and who eats one ounce? Not I. Baked potatoes are terrible. One comes in at just under 100 mg of oxalate. Mixing sour cream into the potato will not help much; one tablespoon of sour cream contains only 14 mg of calcium. One ounce of cheddar cheese contains 200 mg of calcium, which could help, but it increases calories, salt and fat. But all in all, why struggle so hard? Potatoes are not ideal for stone formers.


They have no oxalate. They are your main source of calcium. Use them. They can add a lot of salt – cheeses – and can be caloric. But they reduce oxalate absorption and preserve your bones. 

For a stone former who has to watch salt intake, increase calcium intake, and lower oxalate intake, here is how to do that. You cannot have as much cheese as you want because of the salt. So portion sizes are very important. Yogurt, milk, even ice cream are good bargains – modest sodium and high calcium. These are a great place to add in a wee bit of chocolate – high oxalate foods – for those of you who cannot live without these high oxalate treats.


Some of the basic ingredients to make these foods are very high. White flour and brown rice flour are high in oxalate so everything you make from them will be high.


Even so, as far as kidney stones go, breads are mainly alright because of portion size: not that much flour so one slice is 5-8 mg. French toast and New York style bagels top the list at 13 mg for two slices and 40 mg for one bagel – as much as anyone will eat of either food.


Spaghetti, one cup cooked is 11 mg and most of us eat more than one cup.

Buckwheat groats, one cup cooked is 133 mg – I don’t see many of you saying ‘darn it’ or taking to your bed, but beware. Millet and bulger, wheat berries, rice bran, corn grits, and corn meal, these are widely used and are high. If you are using these, be thoughtful.

Here are some low oxalate options in this category: White rice, hummus, corn flour, corn bran, flax seed, and oat bran are popular and safe.


Since oxalate is only found in plant foods, all the meats are safe. Fish, too.

For our vegetarian friends, tofu and veggie burgers are very high.


These are just dangerous for two reasons.

Obviously they are very high in oxalate.

Secondly, I don’t know anybody who just has a few nuts at a time.

Just like chips no one eats one – the whole jar is more like it.

But, for one cup of pumpkin sunflower or flax seeds the highest is only 17 mg of oxalate and none for flax. For those of you who love foods in this category seeds are the better choice and they can be sprinkled on yogurt and ice cream.


I have good news for my chocolate lovers. I know most of you have been sent home with a list and chocolate is high on it. But if you look at the numbers nuts are a lot worse than chocolate. Chocolate can be mixed in with dairy products, too, so as to reduce oxalate absorption.

Even so I do want to point out that half a brownie is on the high side, and who eats one half?

You can still satisfy your sugar craving but pay attention to your portion size.

Keep in mind, however, that sugar loads increase urine calcium loss which increases stone risk, so there are two reasons why this food group can be a problem.

But even without chocolate, you eat a lot of flour when you eat a piece of cake, so cake can be a problem – about 15 mg per piece, like french toast. Pies are half the risk because of their fillings  – unless they are chocolate pies!


The big enemy here is potato chips. A one ounce serving contains a whopping 21 mg of oxalate. I repeat: A one ounce serving.

Your best bet in this category if you’re looking for something crunchy is corn chips – one ounce is 7 mg, popcorn – one cup is 5 mg, and pretzels, one ounce is 5 mg.

Crackers are OK mainly because they are small and the amount of flour is not that much.



Hot chocolate is the clear loser at 65 mg per cup; carrot juice is the runner up at 27 mg per one cup. Lemonade, tea, tomato juices, rice dream and the like are better but still high. The are 15 – 18 mg per serving. Lemonade – frozen concentrate – is 16 mg per 8 ounces so be careful about this as a source of citrate.

Soy milk, for those of you who prefer it, is not a good option. It is very high at 20 mg per cup. We have no data from standard sources for rice milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk; almonds are high in oxalate so the almond milk product will certainly be high.

Tea is so commonly used, here are the details. If you brew your own tea it is high in oxalate. The longer you steep your tea, the more oxalate it will have in it. If you use a sweetened instant iced tea one cup has 0 mg of oxalate.

Here are some juices that are low in oxalate and better substitutes: Apple juice, apricot juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, grape juice. For all the lemonade drinkers, diet lemonade is low in oxalate.

Here is something very important: Coffee is oxalate free – almost, 1 mg for a cup (2 mg/cup for decaf). We already told you that coffee drinkers have a reduced stone risk, so lets debunk the coffee myth here: Drink it as you wish.


Everything is good except chocolate milk. Even that is only 7 mg a cup for a sweet treat here and there.


What tops the list in this category is a can of beer: 4 mg of oxalate. All the rest are low and, frankly, the oxalate in a can of beer comes with a lot of fluid. This is not the problem area for stone formers.


If I didn’t say this to you I could not sleep well tonight. Water is the clear winner in this whole category. It is free of calories, sugar, and oxalate. Please use it as your main beverage and supplement with the items above.


Chocolate, miso, peanut butter, and tahini are all high.


Miso soups is extremely high – 111 mg/cup. Lentil soup is high, and so is clam chowder – the potatoes.


This is a dangerous meal if you are a cereal lover. Many cereals are high in oxalate. I am afraid you need to look them up in the list by brand. Unfortunately the healthier cereals are highest in oxalate because they contain more plant based ingredients. Probably having milk in your cereal is wise, but we have no data to show.

Eating a low oxalate diet can be overwhelming and difficult to incorporate into your daily life. I just released a course called The Kidney Stone Prevention Course to help you understand how to implement your physician’s prescribed treatment plans.



The first thing you need to do is to learn and remember what are the highest oxalate foods and beverages. Without this in mind it is impossible to shop and cook intelligently. Here is a short list of the highest oxalate foods all in one place.


For those of you who love cereal because it is quick and easy check out the list and see if the one you love is high in oxalate. If it is, choose the next best one with lower oxalate. Put milk in the cereal.

Alternatives to cereal that are also quick and easy: Yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit. The only fruits to worry about are raspberries because no one puts oranges on their yogurt. Bananas, peaches, blueberries and strawberries are perfect toppings.

More trouble, but no oxalate, eggs any way at all. Boil a batch on Sunday and have them for the week for breakfast, and snacks, too.

Your breakfast coffee is free and so is your water. For juices use orange, apple, pineapple, grapefruit  – all great. If you want tea, don’t steep more than a minute and consider adding milk to it. Green tea is better than black.


Typically you are grabbing a salad or a sandwich for lunch, so what now? Many clients tell me they no longer eat salads because their physicians told them to stop all green leafy vegetables.

I’m bringing salads back to you.

Arugula, iceberg, romaine lettuces, and kale, are fine as your base. Stay away from spinach. Here are good toppings. Cauliflower, corn, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, peas, scallions, squash and zucchini are all fine. Tomatoes are fine, too; it is only the sauce that is high. Broccoli and green pepper are moderately high so watch the portion size.

Sandwiches will cost you between 12 and 16 mg of oxalate depending on the bread you are using – 2 slices. This doesn’t mean you can never have a sandwich, it just means you have to keep track of how much. You can have 50 to 100 mg daily. What goes inside between the two slices of bread is usually cheeses and meats which are oxalate free. So sandwiches are not something to be afraid of.


Beef, chicken and fish are all fine, and those the main courses for most of us. You will run into problems if you are a pasta or potato eater. If you are you need to limit the amount of times you have these foods each week and also the quantity each time you use them. Substitutes are a problem: White rice is a nice substitute for potatoes but there are few others. It is more veggies that have to fill in – very healthy but not as much fun.

Here is a recipe for cauliflower – ‘mashed potatoes’ you will like and even think, sometimes, is the real thing. There are many versions on the web, choose the one that makes you happy but be careful about the ingredients.

There is also quinoa which is not on our lists, but may well be high. A recent scientific article on this plant does not give oxalate contents which suggests they are not reliably known.

I have recently put together a private FB page called THE Kidney Stone Diet.  It is a group that helps educate you on your physician prescribed treatment plans.  As you can imagine, oxalate comes up in many posts.  I moderate it to keep it clinically sound.  Come on over and join the discussion!


I promised you some science – here it is for those interested. It concerns only highlights from the food – urine oxalate research recently performed and seemingly germane to the problem of how stone formers should control oxalate intake.

The most useful data about urine oxalate we have so far is from three cohorts studied by Dr. Gary Curhan. Two are cohorts of nurses one a cohort of physicians. These people have kept track of many aspects of diet and health for decades, and among their records are onset of kidney stones.

OXALATE PENTILE VS STONE RISK FROM CURHANAs he did for urine calcium, Curhan measured urine oxalate in properly selected subgroups from each cohort, including people who did and did not begin forming stones. From these samples he could calculate the relative risk of new onset of stones in relation to 24 hour urine oxalate excretion.

The two nurse cohorts are red, the physicians – all men – are blue. The dotted line at 1 is the risk threshold: Above that line, risk is present.

The top of each crosshatched bar shows the mean relative risk for each of the five urine oxalate ranges. Clearly the mean goes up as urine oxalate goes up.

But the mean relative risk has a range of uncertainty around it. The bottom of the solid portion of each bar is the lower 95th percentile for that range of uncertainty. When that bottom lies above 1, risk is very likely to be present.

For both the women and men groups, that point is reached between 25 and 30 mg of urine oxalate a day. Therefore one wants to try to get urine oxalate below 30 mg daily and even lower, below 25 mg daily if possible. The average urine oxalate excretion among the women in this study was close – 26 and 28 mg/day for those who did not form stones and just a bit higher for those who did – 28 and 30 mg per day. The men are a problem: 39 and 41 mg/day for those who did not and those who did form stones.

This is not diet oxalate, it is urine oxalate. Urine oxalate is how much the body makes and how much is absorbed from foods. Mostly, we can control only the second part – how much is in the food.


All dietary advice depends on having a reasonable goal in mind for oxalate intake. My goal of 50 – 100 mg of oxalate from food daily is not unreasonable given the research that has been done in normal people and stone formers.

Holmes and colleagues found a urine excretion of oxalate of about 10 mg/gm urine creatinine in normal Capturepeople eating a synthetic oxalate free high calcium diet (graph at left). As diet oxalate increased, urine oxalate rose from 0 to 10 mg/2500 kcal/d, urine oxalate rose steeply from 10 to 14 mg/gm urine creatinine. It rose more slowly, from 14 to barely 15 mg/gm urine creatinine as diet oxalate was increased to 50 mg/2500 kcal/d, and more or less at the same slope thereafter so that an increase from 50 mg/2500 kcal/d up to 250 mg/2500 kcal/d increased urine oxalate only from 14 to 18. The closed symbols are whole food the open symbols synthetic diets.

From this work the percent oxalate absorption could be calculated as around 10 – 15% and the contribution of diet oxalate to urine oxalate excretion as around 25 – 40% when intake of oxalate was between 50 and 350 mg/2500 kcal. Therefore one can consider a whole food 1000 mg calcium 50 mg oxalate as a usable low oxalate diet, and a 150 – 250 mg oxalate diet as relatively high.

The balance between diet calcium and diet oxalate does not matter greatly if diet calcium is high. Among normal men and women eating 1000 mg/day of calcium and 750 mg/day of food oxalate, 24 hour urine calcium was about 110 mg/day and oxalate about 44 mg/day.

If the calcium oxalate balance is altered so calcium intake is 400 mg and 20 mg of oxalate at breakfast and lunch, and 200 mg of calcium and 710 mg of oxalate at dinner, as compared with simply 333 mg of calcium and 250 mg of oxalate in all 3 daily meals, urine oxalate is lower after the high calcium low oxalate meals, but only slightly higher after the high oxalate low calcium evening meal than when calcium and oxalate intakes were balanced. This means that when diet calcium is at least 1000 mg daily the balance of calcium to oxalate within any one meal is not likely to affect stone risk.

Seiner and colleagues make clear that stone formers are different from normal people. They divided male and female stone formers into 2 groups of 93 people each, one with urine oxalate above 0.5 mmol (~50 mg) of urine oxalate daily and the other with urine oxalate below 0.4 mmol (~40 mg) daily. They found virtually identical calcium and oxalate intakes: 845 vs. 812 calcium and 101 vs. 130 mg daily of oxalate respectively in the lower and higher urine oxalate groups. But the below 0.4 mmol group excreted only 27 mg of oxalate daily on average, whereas the high oxalate group excreted 64 mg daily. In other words diet was not responsible for the higher urine oxalate excretion, suggesting a difference of oxalate absorption. Those prone to high oxalate excretion seem, therefore, to most need diet modification.

knight et al oxalate absorption and 24 hour urine oxalate scatterplotKnight and colleagues found a wide range of oxalate absorption among 38 calcium oxalate stone formers eating a self choice diet. Urine oxalate excretion (vertical axis) varied with percent of diet oxalate absorbed (horizontal axis). The mean absorption centered around 5%; a few outliers absorbed over 15% up to 25%. This supports what Seiner found – some stone formers will have urine oxalate levels very responsive to diet oxalate and sans a research protocol we will not know. This is another good reason to keep diet oxalate low – 50 to 100 mg if possible.


Diet protein intake does not affect urine oxalate excretion. In 11 normal people fed a 1000 mg calcium, 51 mg oxalate, 3000 mg sodium fixed diet, varying protein intake from 0.6 to 1.6 gm/kg/day – a very wide range – did not alter urine oxalate appreciably (mean values were 23, 23, and 25 mg daily for the three protein intakes) even though oxalate precursors like glycolate rose markedly (25, 22, and 46, mg daily).

Jello is a source of hydroxyproline which converts to glycolate and oxalate, and oral loading with gelatin can raise urine oxalate. Ten normal people eating a 1000 mg calcium, 150 mg oxalate diet (typical normal level) were fed supplemental gelatin as one quarter of daily protein intake. Urine oxalate was 24 mg daily vs. 17 mg daily when the same diet was supplemented with whey protein – containing little hydroxyproline – as a control. So lots of jello is not an ideal plan for stone formers. 

Where does this leave us about how much oxalate is alright for a day. If diet calcium is high, as it should be, at about 1000 mg, then one should try to limit diet oxalate below 100 mg daily. Perhaps this is most important in those patients whose baseline oxalate excretions are higher – in the range of above 40 mg daily.

Eating a low oxalate diet can be overwhelming and difficult to incorporate into your daily life. I just released a course called The Kidney Stone Prevention Course to help you understand how to implement your physician’s prescribed treatment plans.


3,068 Responses to “How To Eat A Low Oxalate Diet”

  1. Lisa

    I also have hypothyroidism. If you read about diet restrictions for this, they suggest not eating cruciferous vegetables as well such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale. I am having difficulty balancing all the diet restrictions with what I can actually eat to avoid kidney stones AND to help my metabolism work…add Fibromyalgia into this recipe and I am confused what to eat!

  2. Barbara Jo Kingsley

    I just recently had a kidney stone blasted and am now trying to figure out what to eat. Every one of my favorite foods (spinach, chocolate, raspberries, whole wheat everything, lots of tofu, and lots of raw nuts, etc.) is very high in oxalate, probably what caused the stone. I am a vegetarian, so leaving out tofu will be hard, but I can switch to milk from soy milk, and increase dairy food. One big question I have – are endive and escarole low in oxalate?? Thank goodness kale and romaine are low. Also, what is a good carbohydrate to eat? Is popcorn and corn on the cob o.k.? The list you have shows corn flour o.k. but corn grits and corn meal very high. How is that? Thanks for your help.

    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Barbara, Your big issue is to figure out if you even need a low oxalate diet and, if so, how much of an oxalate problem is there. Save your anguish about lost foods until you know you really need to sacrifice. For this you need your stone analysis and 24 hour urine studies. Take a look at this and see what you think. Also, remember that a high calcium diet will lower urine oxalate and is always a first step. Regards, Fred Coe

    • jharris

      Hi Barb,

      Sorry to hear about your stone troubles. It is always hard to figure out what to eat and what to sub for your fav foods. I highly recommend you doing a urine collection so you can be sure of what the cause is. Perhaps you can eat your favorite foods without cutting them out entirely. Maybe it is more a hydration problem then oxalate. Problem is you don’t know what it is until you complete a collection.

      From what I have read, endive is lower in oxalate and escarole is higher. The only answer I might suggest is that there are different levels of concentration in the corn products above, it is a good question and I do not have a good answer.

      Ask for the collection, you might not have to put yourself through this!

      Thanks for writing,


  3. Sandy

    My dilemma is that I have very severe lactose intolerance, IBS-D, a gut that is hyper sensitive to acidic foods and I am a teacher who has long stretches of the day without the possibility of a bathroom break, so I limit water intake for much of my day. I’ve had extensive difficulty with calcium oxalate stones and my 24 hour urine showed high levels of oxalate so I’ve been told to follow a low oxalate diet. I am anemic and have always eaten a fair amount of spinich each week to help with that. My favorite things are now taboo – black tea, peanut butter, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc. My list of foods I can eat is very short. I’ve had five lithotripsy procedures in the last ten years and have passed many stones. I also have a familiy history of kidney stones on both sides of my family. Any suggestions?

    • jharris

      Oh Sandy, I am sorry that you are going through this but very happy you have found us.

      So, yes. Your favorite foods are very high in oxalate so you will have to avoid them, but not totally give up on them. I, too, am lactose intolerant which is so annoying, but nowadays there are so many alternatives. Of course many of those alternatives are made with almonds and since you must watch for oxalate you cannot have them. I use coconut milk and coconut yoghurt for my dairy alternatives. Give those a try.

      You can have some green tea to sub for black tea and less oxalate. Substitute kale for spinach.

      Drink enough water to pass at least 2.5 liters of urine a day. This is tough with your job, I understand. The only thing I can say to this is it is worse to have to take off from work bc you are making more stones or having more lithos. I do not mean to sound glib, I realize that it is very difficult or nearly impossible to leave your classroom. But, there is not much of an alternative I can give you there.

      Limiting your water is probably your biggest factor, not the oxalate. Give that some thought. Changing your diet won’t matter much WITHOUT increasing your water intake. The driving force of stone formation is super saturation. This means that if you don’t drink enough water your urine will be super saturated with stone forming crystals- in your case- calcium oxalate. When you drink enough fluids your urine becomes less saturated with crystals and you will form LESS stones. So although very hard, you really will have to concentrate on getting your urine less concentrated with these crystals. If you change your diet but don’t drink enough water you will still make stones.

      Stay healthy and write if you have more questions-


  4. C

    I have had two bouts with kidney stones; the first about 8 years ago and the second a year ago. MRI’s taken during each occurrence revealed I had multiple stones but, thankfully, each time, the largest stone passed on its own. I have done extensive research on identifying foods high in oxalates, but there is so much conflicting information. To compound my dietary restrictions further, I have celiac disease, osteoporosis and am lactose intolerant. Any help you can offer will be very much appreciated.

    • jharris


      Have you done a 24 hour urine collection? Is your oxalate high? Your conditions contradict each other so that is why it is so difficult. Let us know if you have done a urine collection to see if you really need to restrict your oxalate. Worth checking for your stone disease and with your already complicated diet restrictions.

      The oxalate list in this article is reliable and one that I and Dr. Coe would use for ourselves and our families. Check it out, but again, please don’t limit oxalate if you have not been tested. Even when you make oxalate stones, high oxalate may not be the reason.

      Please email me personally at when you get those values. I can help you if you like, but it might take more than just one reply.

      Thanks for writing-


    • C

      Thank you!

  5. Jade Bonica

    Hi Jill and Fred,

    I’m a stage 2 breast cancer survivor (5 years this December). I had surgery for kidney stones last week (my urologist removed two, one was 2cm, the other was 1cm). I try to stay away from dairy and soy in general but I like almond milk. I also like freekeh (and I know I need to stay away from bulger). Do you have any suggestions for an alternative to almond milk? Can I still eat freekeh?


    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Jade, Jill will answer about the milk but allow me to add that prevention of more stones is really important and there is no reason to believe that a low oxalate diet is what you need or enough for you. Take a look at a path to prevention. Regards, Fred Coe

    • jharris

      Hi Jade,

      Being a stage 4 cancer survivor, I know how good it feels to write that, huh!!! Congrats to you!

      Almond milk will be high in oxalate, as you know. Coconut milk is a good alternative and so it coconut yoghurt. I just ate some myself. Staying away from dairy might increase your stone risk, so unless you are lactose or casein sensitive I might ask you to add some dairy into your diet. LMK.

      AHHHH, the new super grain Freekeh. It is wheat so assume it has a lot of oxalate in it, no studies on it but one can assume safely it is high in oxalate.

      Congrats again on your remission. Here is to continued good health-


      • Jade Bonica

        Thank you both for your quick responses…

        Hi Jill, I’ll mix in some dairy here and there, stoneyfield actually makes a great non gmo plain yogurt. I’ll try coconut milk and yogurt too. Have you ever heard of tiger nuts (not a nut at all if you have)? I thought of using tiger nuts and tiger nut milk as well.

        Hi Fred,

        I was sent a 24 hour urine test yesterday, and I have an appointment with my urologist to figure out what my next move should be. The low oxalate, low sodium diet was given to me when I left the hospital.

        • jharris

          I know about Tiger Nuts. Not sure about oxalate content as it is considered a root vegetable. I would assume it is most likely high. Let us know what your oxalate level is once you do the 24 hour urine collection. Write us when you know more about your 24 hour values.


      • Jade Bonica

        Hi Jill, It does feel good to say “survivor” it’s changed my life for the better. One other thing I wanted to mention, I’m taking vitamin D3, CoQ10, Women’s one a day, and a powder probiotic.

  6. Raeshae

    Hello! I am being put on a low oxalate diet for kidney stones and me physician said that this is a reliable list to base my diet off of, but there are some interesting, confusing things on this list. 1) It says I am allowed cornbread but i am not allowed cornmeal. 2) I am not allowed to eat oranges but I can drink orange juice 3) It says on the list that kale is low in oxalates but my urologist said to avoid eating kale. I am just extremely confused by all of this. Also, the list does not mention anything about pumpkin and coconut. I have been substituting flour for coconut flour and pumpkin is an all time favorite of mine. Please, if you could help me on some of these clarifications that would be wonderful. Thank you!

    • jharris

      Hi Raeshae,

      Unfortunately many doc bunch up the green leafy veggies and say that they are all high in oxalate. Not true. Kale is ok to eat. The other foods you mentioned are confusing but not really if you look into it. Orange juice vs one orange makes sense bc the juice is diluted with water and the corn meal also is more concentrated with corn than the corn bread. Make sense?

      Pumpkin and coconut tend to be lower in oxalate.

      Thanks for writing!


      • Raeshae

        Thank you for your quick response! I do not buy oranges from concentrate, we buy simply orange juice which is just orange juice, no water. When you say “tend to be lower” do you mean they are lower or that certain varieties of pumpkin are lower in oxalates than others? I ask because I have been substituting anything I would eat with regular flour for coconut flour and I want to make sure that the coconut flour is ok so when the holidays come I can enjoy homemade coconut flour crust pumpkin pie.

        • Jill

          Hi Raeshae-

          Here is a piece I found about pumpkin seeds ( I have no reputable or reliable information on what type of pumpkin.

          Everything I have read on coconut and coconut flour indicates that it is low in oxalate. However, I do not have a reliable source on this information.

          When I do not have definitive answers I like to caution patients that they use the product in moderation. I do not want to say that coconut flour is for sure low, because that generally means that patients will use it and eat it constantly. So, within moderation should be fine.

          I cannot say this enough. Unless your oxalate levels are in crazy land, you can eat your favorite foods that contain oxalate. Just watch the portion size, eat high oxalate foods less frequently, and when able, pair them with calcium rich foods (almonds and yoghurt for example). You want to stay under the 50 mg/day level. It is very doable if you follow this advice.

          In regards to eating your favorite foods that are high in oxalate, some people like the “within moderation” way. Some say they “can’t have it in the house”. You are all different, so do what works for you. All require discipline, and that is what is hard.

          In all of this diet stuff, please know that none of you will be perfect. It is when we aim for perfection that we fall off the wagon. Eat and drink well most days and on the days that you don’t, get up the next day and start all over again.

          Hope this helps-


  7. sunita

    Hi Jill and Fred, thanks for the info. I was just wondering when you say lentil soup, which lentils are you referring to- yellow, red or something else? There are so many “daals” in Indian food. Which ones should be avoided? Do you have number as to how much oxalate is in the lentils or other daals? Also, oxalate stone patients are advised to reduce intake of dairy and meat products. What should one eat?
    – Sunita

    • jharris

      Hi Sunita!

      No one should be told to avoid dairy when instituting a low oxalate regimen. That is wrong information as dairy does not contain oxalate, and it is good to get the calcium as it will LESSEN calcium oxalate stone formation! So, please eat dairy, but watch the sodium content when you do.

      As far as the lentils they are high in oxalate. It is doubtful that every type has been tested, but in general, they are high. If this is a staple to your diet, please reduce the frequency and the portion size when you do eat it. Please remember that you need to know how high your oxalate level is before you go banning foods from your diet. Also, if you eat some dairy when you have the higher oxalate foods it will help lessen the amount of oxalate your body absorbs. Calcium is important to maintain normal levels of 1000 mg/day. More days than not.

      Hope this helps-LMK if it doesn’t.


  8. Shari Richburg

    Just wanted to say Thank you. I have found this article very helpful and encouraging. I have passed 10 stones since March this year and I am currently working on number 11. The stones that have been captured and tested were all calcium. However, my current Doctor has not been helpful in respect to diet changes. And I have asked. I do understand that you are not offering a cure, you are offering me a path to improve my situation that is manageable and it gives me some hope for relief. I am also looking into the benefits of Magnesium Citrate. And will be dicussing or with a new Docter soon.

    • Shari Richburg

      Sorry.. Last comment should read I am looking into the benifits of Potassium Citrate.

      • Marilyn L Anquetil

        Hi Shari, I also found this very informative and was told I need to follow a low oxalate diet to pervent any other kidneys stones, I have past stones which are very painful! What deit is helping you? I need some advice from someone that can relate to what I am going through, I really appreciate your input and want to know do’s and don’ts !

    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi SHari, Calcium can mean calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate and there is a world of difference. For example, diet oxalate is not so relevant for the latter as it is for the former type of stone. Treatment requires one know the reason for stones and I do offer a path, a rather good one; take a look. I would not advise trying this or that remedy until you know for sure what the stones really are and why you form them. Regards, Fred Coe

  9. Pat hayes

    I need a diet that I can eat that does not form stones. I love cheese, eggs, and some bread. I was raised on meat, potatoes and veggies. This was a balanced diet for me. It is hard for me to cut out potatoes. I love tomatoes, green onions, pasta, meat and green beans, and all Mexican food. I am not a sweet eater but I do like ice cream. I have passed 9 stones in the past 6 months. I’m 76 years old and I’ve never had stones until now. I drink nothing but water and I drink 15 glasses a day. I am seditary and I don’t do much to exercise. What can I do to help myself and stay away from stones?

    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Pat, You may indeed need a diet but stone prevention is very uncertain and cumbersome if one just tries to somehow avoid all possible factors that might cause stones. Every person has some few specific causes for stones, sometimes not amenable to diet. Take a look at a way to obtain rational prevention, rather than trying to do all things with diet alone. Regards, Fred Coe

    • Jill

      Hi Pat,

      The diets will work but only if you need to be on them and if you do it right. Have you done a 24 hour urine collection to see if your oxalate is high? If not, you should. That is a lot of stones in a short time and you don’t want to continue down this path.

      Take a look at Dr. Coe’s link he shared with you. See what still needs to be done and then we can talk diets. If your oxalate has been tested and you know that it is high, then unfortunately you will need to limit the potatoes for sure. Doesn’t mean you can never eat them but in moderation is fine. Eat them less days and less quantity each time.

      Great job with the water. No matter what you do with diet, won’t matter much if your’e not drinking enough water. So keep that up.

      Hope this helps-

  10. terry

    hi, terry here again. this process of deciphering the multitude of sites and information, often conflicting, is perplexing. i joined the yahoo group and accessed the extensive and formidable oxalate food list, as well having its own contradictions. on the “how to read spreadsheet” instruction page it says:

    “5. Column E – Total oxalate in mg (insoluble and soluble) per 100 g. Insoluble oxalate- oxalate that can be bound by the calcium/magnesium. Soluble oxalate- gets absorbed in the body and isn’t available for binding.”

    either this is poorly or incorrectly written or i am misinformed about what soluble vs insoluble means. i think correctly stated it would read:

    insoluble oxalates found in food sources are already bound to another atom and cannot be absorbed into the body. soluable oxalates are those that are available to be absorbed into the body and are available to bind with calcium to form an insoluble oxalate that will be excreted rather than absorbed.

    am i on track with this? thanks.

    • Fredric Coe, MD

      Hi Terry, Are you referring to the lists on my site? If so, where did you find the confusing comment? I will fix it. If it is on another site, I would not know off hand. The issue of available food oxalate is complex scientifically. Insoluble oxalate in food is irrelevant as you appear to say. That which can be absorbed will be unless the amount is limited or diet calcium is provided to complex with it and prevent absorption. Let me know where the confusing text – if it is on this site. I agree there are a multitude of sites, and of variable reliability. This one tries to adhere to contemporary science and bases its articles on references from PubMed – the peer review literature. In general, we work at the same standards for the site as we would in a scientific paper or review. Even so there are a lot of confusing areas and I would like to improve them. Regards, Fred Coe

      • terry

        hi and thanks for the reply. no, not on your site, but on the yahoo oxalte group site that has a 180 page pdf of food oxalate contents by per 100 g samples and also by serving sizes. the list is composed of results from the *autism oxalate project* and the *vulvar pain foundation*. also, serving sizes are helpful, as they put things into a real world perspective similar to glycemic index vs glycemic load does.

        • Fredric Coe, MD

          Hi Terry, Yes I am familiar with these lists. I am not an expert on diet oxalate, my expert colleague is Dr Ross Holmes and he is not completely satisfied with these lists. You do make a good point about serving sizes, however, which are not perhaps as good as we could do. Our lists arose from the Harvard group and we modified them to bring the data up to best modern standards such as one can. Creating serving sizes may be too much work right now as this site has no support, and is simply run by a few of us volunteers. Regards and thanks for the thoughtful comments, Fred Coe


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