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Are All Nuts Rich in Oxalate, or Only Some?


nuts rich in oxalate bowl of mixed nuts

What is oxalate?


Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found in a wide range of foods. Oxalates are sometimes referred to as anti-nutrients. These compounds are essentially the "salt" derived from oxalic acid, a substance in plant foods and our bodies. But can they be included in a low oxalate diet? And which are the highest oxalate nuts?


Oxalates are entirely natural. They are not inherently harmful but can pose issues for specific individuals. One of the primary concerns associated with oxalates is their connection to kidney stones. Some people are more at risk of kidney stones than others.


If you are on a low-oxalate diet it is important to know the amounts of oxalate in nuts. Nuts have many beneficial effects, so should they really be avoided? Levels of oxalate in nuts vary. So, which nuts are highest in oxalate and should be eaten mindfully to reduce your intake of oxalate?


While nuts are generally healthy and nutritious, some varieties contain higher levels of oxalates compared to others. If you are following a low-oxalate diet or have a history of kidney stones, it is essential to be aware of the amounts of oxalates present in different nuts.

Here are some of the nuts highest in oxalates:



How much oxalate is considered safe?


When the levels of oxalates in your urine become excessively high, they have the potential to bind with calcium, forming crystal deposits. Over time, accumulating these crystals can lead to the development of kidney stones. Kidney stones can be painful, so individuals predisposed to them must be mindful of their oxalate intake.


Consuming oxalate-rich foods doesn't necessarily mean you will develop kidney stones. Several factors can lead to sensitivity to oxalates, including overall dietary choices, hydration levels, and individual health factors. Taking a holistic approach to your diet and health can help mitigate the potential risks of oxalates.


There isn't a one-size-fits-all daily limit etched in stone for oxalates. However, there are general guidelines to consider for your oxalate intake. For most individuals aiming for a moderate oxalate intake, keeping it in the range of 40-50 milligrams per day is generally advisable. But remember, this can vary widely from person to person.


Some may find it necessary to limit their oxalate intake further. Sensitive people may need a range of as low as 10-50 milligrams daily. If you have concerns or questions about your oxalate consumption, it's always wise to consult your healthcare provider. They can provide you with tailored advice based on your unique health circumstances.


Are nuts high or low in oxalate?

nuts rich in oxalate

Most nuts have a moderate to high oxalate content. Nuts differ in oxalate levels, with some being low and others more moderate. For instance, macadamia nuts have low oxalates, while almonds and walnuts have higher levels among nuts.


Which nuts are rich in oxalate?


Enjoying nuts offers both taste and nutrition. But if you're mindful of oxalate intake, it's good to know that different nuts have varying levels of oxalates. This list has categorised standard nuts from low to high oxalate content.


Here is a comparison table based on the OHF. Please research and speak to a medical professional before making dietary changes. I have listed the sources I use in the Resource Library. I am not a medical practitioner, just someone trying to raise awareness.



Nut Type

Oxalate (mg) per 100g

Calc Oxalate per 1/4 cup (29g)

Oxalate level

Almond, raw or dry-roasted

369

107

High

Cashew, raw or roasted

249

72

Moderate

Hazelnut or filberts, Raw

181

53

Moderate

Macadamia, raw or dry roasted

44

13

Low

Peanuts, roasted

131

38

Moderate

Pine, raw or roasted

185

54

Moderate

Pistachio, raw or roasted

42

12

Low

Walnuts, raw or roasted

62

18

Low


Enjoying nuts offers both taste and nutrition. But if you're mindful of oxalate intake, it's good to know that different nuts have varying levels of oxalates. This list has categorised standard nuts from low to high oxalate content.



Macadamia Nuts


  • Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fats. Some believe these fats are good for the heart. They also have antioxidants. These may work together to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They have low levels of oxalate. They are less likely to cause kidney stones.


  • Macadamia nuts have low oxalate levels. This means they have minimal adverse effects on the digestive tract from oxalate. This makes them safer. They are a good option for people prone to oxalate issues or managing oxalate in their diet.


Hazelnuts


  • Hazelnuts have lots of vitamin E. It is an important antioxidant. It helps the skin and immune system. They also provide a good amount of dietary fibre, which supports the digestive tract.


  • People at risk for oxalate-related problems should eat hazelnuts in moderation due to their moderate levels of oxalates. However, the rich antioxidant effects of hazelnuts can provide health benefits that may counterbalance the potential negative effects of oxalates.


Peanuts


  • Peanuts are a good source of protein and contain heart-healthy fats. They also have antioxidant properties, due to the presence of resveratrol. Peanuts can be beneficial for cardiovascular health.


  • Peanuts have lots of oxalates. But, they also provide nutrients that can help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. When part of a balanced diet, peanuts offer health benefits.


Pistachios


  • Pistachios are rich in antioxidants. They include lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are good for eye health. They also have a high content of B vitamins, which can improve energy production and cognitive function.


  • Pistachios have a lot of oxalates. They could raise oxalate excretion. But, their health benefits include lower risk of metabolic syndrome. They are relevant when eaten in moderation by people not at high risk for kidney stones.


Cashews


  • Cashews are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is important for bone health and for regulating nerve and muscle function. They also have healthy fats. They are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.


  • Despite their moderate to high oxalate levels, cashews' beneficial impacts on heart health and diabetes management can be significant. Individuals should balance these benefits with the potential impact on oxalate levels.


Walnuts


  • Walnuts are a top source of plant-based omega-3s. These fats are vital for brain health and reducing inflammation. They also have strong antioxidant effects that can combat oxidative stress.


  • Walnuts have lots of oxalates. They may raise urine oxalate and form oxalate stones. But, the synergistic effects of their omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help reduce the negative effects of oxalates in individuals without existing oxalate issues.


Almonds


  • Almonds are a popular snack and addition to various dishes, but they also contain a notable amount of oxalates. While almonds provide various health benefits, including being a good source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E, they are also moderately high in oxalates.


  • To reduce the oxalate levels in almonds, you can soak them overnight before consumption. Soaking can help leach out some of the oxalates, making them a more kidney-friendly option


Does cooking nuts reduce oxalate?


Nuts are best eaten raw. Cooking nuts can affect their oxalate content, depending on the cooking method. In some cases, cooking can reduce oxalate levels, while it may not significantly impact others. Here's how it generally works:


Roasting: Roasting nuts can lead to a reduction in oxalate levels. However, the extent of the reduction may vary depending on factors like temperature and duration of roasting. High-temperature roasting is more likely to lower oxalate content.


Boiling: Boiling nuts in water can leach some of the oxalates into the cooking water. Discarding the cooking water can result in lower oxalate levels in the nuts. This is a more effective method for reducing oxalates in foods like vegetables, where oxalates are water-soluble.


Blanching: Like boiling, blanching nuts in boiling water can also help reduce oxalates. After blanching, it's essential to discard the water used for boiling.


Microwaving: Microwaving nuts may not significantly affect oxalate content. This is because it doesn't involve water or high temperatures that can leach out oxalates.


While cooking methods can impact oxalate levels, it's essential to consider the specific type of nut and the desired outcome. If you're managing oxalate intake for health reasons, consult with a healthcare provider or dietitian. They will be able to give you personalised guidance on food preparation methods, which is advisable.


Can too many nuts cause kidney stones?


Excessive consumption of nuts high in oxalates can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. This is most likely in sensitive individuals.


What is the best way to reduce the chance of oxalate build-up?


Reducing the risk of oxalate build-up can be achieved through several strategies. Here are some practical ways to minimise the chance of oxalate build-up:


Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is crucial in preventing the formation of kidney stones. Drinking adequate water dilutes oxalates in the urine, making it less likely for them to crystallise and form stones. Aim to drink enough water to keep your urine pale in colour.


Balance Diet: Maintain a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. Avoid excessive consumption of high-oxalate foods. Recognise that you cannot eliminate them entirely, as they often offer essential nutrients.


Calcium Intake: Include calcium-rich foods in your diet. Calcium binds with oxalates in the digestive tract. Binding reduces their absorption into the bloodstream and improves excretion through the kidneys.


There are many non-dairy alternatives that are good sources of calcium:


  • Leafy Greens

  • Fortified Foods

  • Tofu

  • Seeds

  • Beans and Legumes

  • Nuts

  • Broccoli

  • Figs

  • Oranges

  • Quinoa

bowl of tofu

Limit High-Oxalate Foods: Be mindful of foods high in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, and beets. Reduce your intake of these foods, especially if you have a history of kidney stones.


Cooking Techniques: Consider cooking methods that reduce oxalate levels.


Moderate Oxalate Supplements: Be cautious with dietary supplements. Some contain high levels of oxalates, such as vitamin C supplements. Consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements.


Monitor Health Conditions: Certain health conditions, like hyperoxaluria or inflammatory bowel disease, can increase your risk of oxalate buildup. If you have these conditions, work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diet and health effectively.


Summary


If you are on a low-oxalate diet, you need to research oxalate levels in foods to avoid negative impacts. A food diary could be useful in helping you track your intake. Nuts have many essential nutrients and are heart-healthy, so they should not be excluded from your diet completely.


Some nuts are rich in oxalate, while others are low. Remember that everyone's tolerance to oxalates is unique, so what works for one person may not be the same for another. It's essential to tailor your approach to your specific health needs. Consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns or questions about oxalate intake.


To find out what greens are best for a low oxalate diet, read Arugula Oxalates Rocket. Thank you for reading. To buy oxalate books on Amazon.





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