RD REVIEW

Low‑Oxalate Meal Plan

Dietitian Review · ACCESS CAMEO

Adjusting to a low-oxalate diet can be challenging without a meal plan. This sample weekly calendar assists with shopping lists and food preparation.

By Kevin RR Williams

Adapting New Eating Habits

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Aiden strives his best to remain healthy. He stretches in the morning and walks briskly for 30 minutes at least 5 times per week. He enjoys a vegetarian lifestyle, which helps prevent high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

With primary protein coming from high-oxalate tofu and nuts, he developed kidney stones. There were likely other factors. The ground-floor apartment where he lives has poor water drainage during the rain.

This leads to a damp crawl space beneath his unit. A broken water pipe within the wall and later a failing water heater exposed him to mold spores. Efforts to reduce the spores have temporary effects.

According to allergy sensitivity tests, Aiden developed extreme mold and mildew allergies. A moldy environment can lead to hypersensitivity of your body to oxalate salts, which are within many foods. A few months after having kidney stones removed, new ones are forming and a test reveals high levels of oxalate in his urine.

Now he must conform to a low-oxalate meal plan. This requires sodium reduction and elimination of most soy, frequently contained within the Chinese food dishes he enjoys. Below is a plan that he follows after personal research and consultation with a nutritionist.

5-Day Low-Oxalate Meal Plan

Like most patients with kidney stones, he receives counsel to eat a diet that’s low in animal protein, sodium, and oxalates. It should be rich in fruits and vegetables, with a modest amount of calcium.

Aiden’s doctor recommends 50–100 mg of oxalates daily. The meals in this plan average 50 mg with two appropriate snacks and a dessert. If your health provider prescribes the same, discuss these option before grocery shopping.

OxalateBreakfastLunchDinner

Mon

45 mg

  • 1 serving 3-cheese veggie lasagna
  • 1 cup edamame, cucumber, kale, cherry tomatoes, red onion, pistachio salad, vinai­grette

Tue

22 mg

  • 1 breakfast egg wrap
  • 1 cup orange juice

Wed

32 mg

Thu

53 mg

Fri

60 mg

Snacks

Apple (1 mg); ½ cup cherries (3 mg); ½ cup grapes (1 mg); nectarine (0 mg); oatmeal cookie (2 mg); 12 pistachios (4 mg); radish (0 mg); 1 cup mac and cheese with crumbled pecan topping (6 mg); 2 cauli­flower tempeh tacos (18 mg); ½ cup baked spaghetti squash with butter, honey, and nutmeg (4 mg)

Des­sert

1 slice apple crumble (2 mg); 1 cup homemade sorbet (0 mg); 1 slice blueberry cobbler (3 mg); 1 cup peach-yogurt parfait (3 mg); 1 slice lemon meringue pie (4 mg); 1 scoop pistachio ice cream (3 mg)

Low-calcium diets can raise urine oxalate. Strive for moderate calcium from dairy, macadamia, oat, or rice beverages. Include milk, cheese, or ice cream daily with a low-oxalate food like pistachios or pecans.

Are you looking for recipes? They are within the next four articles. Click emboldened entrees above to jump to appropriate links with oxalate counts. Recipes include extra options so you can mix and match to create your own meal plan!

Drink water with every meal and snack. A squeeze of lemon in the water will help break down oxalates. Living with diet restrictions does not require eating only bland food. There are many flavorful spices to add variety to dishes.

Low-Oxalate Spice Cabinet

  • 21 Seasoning Salute
  • Basil
  • Cardamom
  • Cinna­mon
  • Chile powder
  • Dash™
  • Dill
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Mushroom Umami
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Smoked paprika
  • Turmeric powder
  • Vegenaise (Avocado oil)
  • White pepper

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The American Heart Association is suggesting an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg (less than half a teaspoon) of salt per day for most adults.

Most of the salt we consume is present within processed and restaurant foods before lifting the salt shaker.

Apple cider vinegar is useful within dressings, along with olive oil and sesame oil that are also useful for sautéing. With similar ingredients, you can substitute Dash™ (formerly Mrs. Dash) for 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joes).

For variety, Aiden sometimes prepares a warm salad. He might thinly slice (chiffonade) curly cabbage, bok choy, red onions, and spicy peppers. Within a hot skillet, he sautés them a few minutes until the cabbage wilts, yet remains firm. To this he adds pistachios and tomatillos in olive oil with a light splash of sesame oil, ginger powder, garlic powder, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and just enough salt to bring up the flavors.

The dressings Aiden consumes on salads are made from scratch. He tosses chopped or chiffonade veggies with just enough dressing to coat each salad piece. Follow Your Heart makes a soy-free vegan mayonnaise. The popcorn he makes is from bulk kernels within oil, rather than the highly processed microwave variety.

Vegan Protein

Warehouse grocery clubs sell frozen Impossible® Burger or Beyond Meat® patties (pea protein) in economical bulk packs. Each are comprised of low-oxalate pea protein. Thaw them in the refrigerator or use microwave for 1 minute before seasoning—as you would with ground beef. Then form into patties or meatballs.

Aiden now has an air fryer to eliminate greasy fried foods from his diet. Having diet restrictions doesn’t require the absence of culinary cooking techniques. He sautés, sears, stews, roasts, and bakes foods for a variety of textures and flavors.

An exact count of every oxalate is impossible. Some days Aiden realizes that he exceeds his goal of 50–100 mg. But with an idea of low oxalate foods and a weekly meal plan to reference, he is on his way to reducing kidney stone recurrence. Subsequent renal lab tests will either reveal a reduction in oxalates or a need for prescription supplements.

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