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Oxalate in Raisins: Can You Still Eat this Fruit on a Low Oxalate Diet?

Grey textured table with raisisn and almonds in hand crafted bowls

Raisins are low in oxalate when eaten in moderation. They are a favourite snack for many people. They are sweet and tasty and can be added to many different foods. But how much oxalate do raisins contain? Let’s learn more about oxalates and how they affect our health.


Oxalate Content in Raisins


Raisins are dried grapes, and they do contain oxalates. On average, raisins have about 9 milligrams of oxalates per 100 grams. A common serving size of raisins is 1/4 cup, which is about 37 grams. This serving has around 6 milligrams of oxalates, which is considered low.


Oxalate Comparison Table: Raisins Versus Other Dried Fruits


This table compares similar dried fruits to raisins. To find out the source of this information, go to the Resource Library page and read OHF Fruits.

Item


Average Oxalate (mg) per 100 g

Serving Size

Serving (g)

Calc Oxalate per serving

Oxalate level

Grapes, dried, red or green, raisins

9

1/4 cup

37

6

Low

Berries, Craisins, dried

13

1/4 cup

40

5

Low

Apricot, dried

87

4 x 1/2 apricots

14

12

Low

Berries, Cranberries, dried

2

1/4 cup

40

1

Low

Cherries, dried

14

1/4 cup

18

3

Low


Health Benefits of Raisins


Even though they have oxalates, raisins are very good for you. Here are some reasons why:


  1. Nutrient-Rich: Raisins are full of important nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They have iron, potassium, and magnesium, which are all great for your health.

  2. Antioxidants: Raisins have antioxidants that help protect your body from damage. Antioxidants can lower the risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer.

  3. Energy Boost: Raisins are a quick source of energy because they have a lot of natural sugar. They are a good snack for a quick pick-me-up.

  4. Digestive Health: The fiber in raisins helps keep your digestion healthy. It can prevent constipation and keep your gut working well.

  5. Strong Bones: Raisins have a mineral called boron that helps keep your bones strong. This, along with calcium, can help prevent bone problems like osteoporosis.


What Are Oxalates?


Oxalates are natural compounds found in many plants. They help plants grow and protect them from pests. In humans, oxalates can sometimes cause problems. Some people are sensitive to oxalate. Oxalate can cause kidney stones in sensitive people. Kidney stones are hard lumps that can form in the kidneys and cause pain.


Oxalates and Their Impact on Health


Oxalates are present in many plants, including some common foods we eat. While they are harmless for most people, those prone to kidney stones need to be cautious. Following a low oxalate diet may help prevent kidney stones. Theoretically, it does this by reducing the body's oxalate levels, thereby lowering the risk of stone formation.


Managing Oxalate Intake


For most people, the oxalate in raisins isn’t a big deal. But if you need to watch your oxalate intake, here are some tips:


  1. Eat in Moderation: It’s okay to eat raisins, but don’t eat too many. A small amount, like 1/4 cup, is a good serving size.

  2. Pair with Plant-Based Calcium: Eating calcium-rich foods with raisins can help. Calcium binds with oxalates and stops them from being absorbed by your body.

  3. Mix Up Your Diet: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to get lots of different nutrients. This way, you won’t get too many oxalates from any one food.

  4. Drink Water: Staying hydrated helps dilute oxalates in your urine. This can lower the risk of kidney stones.

  5. Talk to a Doctor: If you have kidney stones or other health issues, talk to a doctor or dietitian. They can give you advice on how to eat the right foods for your health.


Choosing the Right Foods


When managing oxalate intake, it's important to know which foods to include and which to limit. For example, some nuts and spinach are high in oxalate and should be consumed rarely. Instead, choose foods that are low in oxalates, such as rice, dairy products, and certain fruits.


Fruits and Oxalates


While fruits are essential to a healthy diet, some have more oxalates than others. Find a source you are comfortable with and check the oxalate content of your food. Fruits like apples, pears, and melons are great options for a low oxalate diet. It's all about balancing your intake to reduce the risk of stone formation.


Monitoring Your Oxalate Intake


For those needing to follow a low oxalate diet, aiming for less than 50 mg of oxalate per day is often recommended. This means being aware of the oxalate content in foods and managing portion sizes. For instance, dried apricots have a higher oxalate content, enjoy them in moderation.


The Role of Hydration


Staying well-hydrated is crucial in kidney stone prevention. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to dilute the oxalates in your urine. This makes it less likely for stones to form. Water is the best option, but other fluids like herbal teas can also be beneficial.


Plant-Based Calcium and Oxalates


Including enough calcium in your diet can help manage oxalate levels. Calcium binds with oxalates in the stomach and intestines. This helps prevent them from being absorbed into the bloodstream and forming stones. Dairy products are a good source of calcium and can be included in a balanced diet.


Consulting Healthcare Professionals


If you worry about oxalate and kidney stones, ask a doctor or dietitian. They can provide detailed guidance tailored to your specific needs. This could include a list of foods that are low in oxalates. They can also recommend dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes. This could help manage your condition.


Practical Tips for Everyday Life


Incorporate various low-oxalate foods into your diet to ensure you get a range of nutrients. Diversity in foods is important. Avoid high-oxalate foods like beets, some nuts, and chocolate. But don't feel like you need to cut them out completely. Balance high oxalate foods with lower oxalate foods and consider them as treats.


Conclusion


Managing oxalate intake is an important aspect of preventing kidney stones. Make informed food choices, staying hydrated, and consulting with healthcare professionals. This may help manage your oxalate levels. Remember, balance and moderation are key to a successful low-oxalate diet.


Raisins are a tasty and healthy snack that can be part of a balanced diet. Even though they have oxalates, their levels are low. By eating them in moderation and with other healthy foods, you can enjoy the benefits of raisins without worrying about oxalates. Always remember to eat a variety of foods and stay hydrated for the best health. If you have any concerns, don't hesitate to talk to a healthcare professional.



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