Low Oxalate Diet | Low Histamine Low Oxalate Foods List
I made some big strides in my health by addressing Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance. But I had no idea that a low oxalate diet would do wonders for some of my most persistent and mysterious symptoms.
Being on a complicated health journey can feel like trying to solve a mystery, can’t it?
Here’s one of the greatest mysteries I dealt with.
From April to October, I could walk just fine. But in the fall and winter months, my joint pain was tenfold. It was so excruciating at times that I needed a wheelchair to get around.
I noticed some relief in some of my symptoms when I started eating a low histamine diet.
In fact, I was doing everything I knew to make good food choices for my health.
I was eating organic produce. I was drinking lots of water.
I was trying to get the freshest meats.
TIP: Learn why frozen is better than “fresh” when it comes to low histamine meat!
I even started eating seasonally to be sure I was getting the freshest produce whenever possible!
Roasted beets, sweet potatoes, kale.
It was like a superfood buffet in my house!
Yet, I was plagued with ongoing debilitating joint pain. At times, it felt like shards of glass were stabbing me from the inside with each movement I made.
I started having to use the motorized wheelchairs at the grocery store. Oh, the looks I got from people who thought I looked young and healthy and “shouldn’t need” assistance!
My doctors had a lot of guesses as to why my pain was worse in fall and winter.
But I ended up solving the mystery myself.
Keep reading to learn what I discovered and how it may help you, too!
- The highest oxalate foods in the western diet
- Easy food swaps for 6 top high oxalate foods
- The best low oxalate foods to eat
- How to follow a low oxalate diet with Histamine Intolerance
If you learn one thing from this article, I want it to be this: DON’T STOP EATING OXALATES ALL AT ONCE!
The Low Oxalate Diet: Mystery Solved!
Before you change your diet on your own, please make sure you’re working with a healthcare practitioner who can help you with this. Never limit foods unnecessarily, and always have a licensed medical provider who is supervising your case.
I wanted so badly to just do the basic things in life again without feeling like I’d been run over by a truck.
I saw so many doctors trying to figure out what was wrong.
One doctor told me I had a rare form of rheumatoid arthritis. But the medications he prescribed didn’t help at all.
Then I was told it must be related to sunlight changes. That I needed melatonin. And to use a sunlamp in the winter. None of this helped.
Here’s what I finally figured out…
When I went gluten free, I replaced wheat (high histamine) with low histamine grains and nuts like:
- Almond flour
And when I was eating seasonally, I was eating foods like:
- Roasted beets
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
All these choices fit into my low histamine diet. But they had an extremely high oxalate content.
I first found out about oxalates following Yasmina from Healing Histamine. I’d been following her to learn more about histamine and Histamine Intolerance.
But she shared a lot of great information about other issues, too.
That’s how I came to wonder if oxalates were behind some of my issues.
You can learn more about the MCAS and Oxalate Intolerance connection here.
But briefly, here’s an overview of what oxalates are.
What Are Oxalates?
Oxalic acid is a compound found in some plants. When ingested, oxalic acid binds to minerals in your body. This produces oxalates.
For example, calcium oxalate forms when oxalic acid binds to calcium. This is what can lead to an increased risk of kidney stones.
Oxalic acid and oxalates are technically two different things. But you’ll commonly see these terms used interchangeably.
Oxalates can do a lot of damage to your body.
When I heard about oxalates, I started looking at my diet.
I didn’t know how to test back then. And my doctor didn’t mention elevated markers of any kind.
Now I know that a test like the organic acids test can really help you find out if you have oxalate issues. Learn about oxalates in this post.
I always want to encourage you to work with a provider who understands these different kinds of food issues. They can help you determine your best course of action.
And remember, you never want to give up foods unnecessarily. Getting a wide variety of nutrients is important for good health.
My Low Oxalate Diet Health Improvements
As I worked on reducing foods high in oxalate levels (and taking some targeted binders), my joints and muscles stopped hurting.
My pain levels dropped from a 7-9 every day to a very manageable 4-6 on my pain scale.
It was like getting a new lease on life!
I mentioned that joint pain was one of my most persistent symptoms.
I also had intense interstitial cystitis with zings of zapping pain. Vulvodynia pain sometimes made it hard to wear clothes.
My eyes were dry and burning all the time.
The muscle pain and fatigue were intense. It was so bad that if I showered AND washed my hair, I needed 20-30 minutes to recover.
All I could manage was wrapping myself up in a terry cloth robe. Drying off further than that was too painful. And drying my hair was out of the question. I couldn’t hold my arms up over my head to use the blow dryer.
I have a daily gratitude practice. Somedays, as I’m drying my hair, I’m so grateful for being able to do these ordinary things again.
I mentioned that eating seasonally meant I had upped my oxalate intake during the late fall and winter months.
And that’s why I was experiencing an increase in painful symptoms during that time.
You can learn more about common symptoms and conditions associated with oxalates in this related article: Oxalate Intolerance.
Next, find out if any of these high oxalate “healthy” foods are making it into your daily diet, too.
High Oxalate Foods
If I’m perfectly honest with you, I wanted to cry about giving up many of my favorite “healthy” foods like sweet potatoes, almonds, and beets.
I favored these foods after I stopped eating processed foods, sugar, and gluten. They were a big part of my diet!
But, over time, I found tasty substitutes so I could still enjoy what I ate.
Now that I’ve lowered my oxalate load, I can have small amounts of high oxalate foods.
I still avoid the extremely high oxalate foods, except for a tiny amount of dark chocolate (about ½ square) a couple times a week.
When I do plan on eating dark chocolate, I offset that by eating lower oxalate foods for a few days. And I’ll take some oxalate binding supplements, too.
But if you do have oxalate issues, you can’t quit oxalates all at once. Be sure to read my article on Oxalate Dumping before you make any dietary changes.
And it’s best to talk with a dietitian or other healthcare professional to be sure you are getting proper nutrition.
In the western diet, the following foods are the highest oxalate.
Are you eating any of these high oxalate foods?
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
Fortunately, there are some easy swaps you can make for these oxalate rich foods.
Is your diet high in almonds and almond based foods like almond flour, almond butter, and almonds? If so, here are some ideas for you.
Instead of almonds, try:
Note: In some cases, the amount of oxalate that determines if a food is higher or lower oxalate is related to portion size.
Here, you can enjoy up to ¼ cup of pecans. But if you have ½ cup, that would be considered high oxalate.
Instead of almond flour, try these low to medium oxalate flours:
For a satisfying snack try these Crunchy Flaxseed Crackers that are also low lectin, and medium oxalate.
Instead of almond butter, try:
Instead of almond milk, try:
- Coconut milk
- Flax milk
Beets are a root vegetable high in fiber and nutrients like vitamin C. It’s no wonder they became a popular superfood.
However, they are high oxalate.
Most vegetables are a good source of fiber and other vitamins, though. So, there are ample sources for essential nutrients as long as you keep your diet varied.
Instead of beets, try other root vegetables like:
- Celery root
Chocolate is a much-loved treat!
If it’s the sweetness you are craving, here’s a Low Histamine Pecan Clusters Recipe that’s medium oxalate. It satisfies the sweet tooth.
But did you know that many people crave chocolate because they need magnesium?
You might want to consider a low histamine magnesium supplement if you constantly crave chocolate.
Plantains look and taste a lot like bananas. But if you are following a low histamine diet, you won’t be eating bananas. They are higher in histamine.
Plantains are lower histamine. However, they are high oxalate. That goes for dried plantains as well as fresh.
Consider what it is about the plantain you like. If it’s the soft texture, you can try replacing plantains with fruits like mango.
Rhubarb looks like a dark pink celery rib. You don’t eat the leaves of rhubarb. Only the stalks. That’s because the leaves are poisonous.
Rhubarb is tart. For this reason, it often pairs well with sweet fruits. So, you’ll see it in baked goods.
If you are looking for a hearty autumn pie, check out this Low Histamine Apple Pie Recipe. You can use a combo of sweet and tart apples to replace rhubarb.
There was a time I ate a lot of spinach salads and spinach smoothies. After all, spinach is supposed to be so healthy!
While it does provide a lot of minerals like iron, the oxalate content is very high. It’s also high histamine.
Instead of spinach, try some of these leafy greens:
- Arugula (one of my favorites)
- Dinosaur kale / lacinato kale
TIP: stay away from curly kale because it is high oxalate. And steer clear of Swiss chard, too!
If you don’t have Lectin Intolerance, you can consider swapping sweet potatoes for various winter squashes. They provide some nourishing carbs.
Pressure cooking can reduce lectins, too. I like to use an Instant Pot.
You can consider swapping sweet potatoes for: (lectins are indicated with an “L”)
- Acorn squash – L
- Butternut squash – L
- Kabocha squash – L
If you are used to making mashed sweet potatoes, try instead mashed:
These 2 options are low lectin.
You can also try this Low Histamine, Low FODMAP Root Vegetable Mash (also Low Oxalate, Low Lectin).
Swiss chard is a leafy green that’s also high oxalate.
Depending on how you want to use a Swiss chard replacement, you can look at a couple options.
Dinosaur kale holds up well to recipes that require heat.
If you want a replacement for salads, you can use kale, too. But you can also opt for a variety of different lettuces like butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, or even green leaf lettuce.
Those are the top foods you may be eating that are high oxalate.
Here are just a few other high oxalate foods that you might be eating while following a low histamine diet.
Low Histamine High Oxalate Foods
- Almonds and almond-based products
- Buckwheat (flour or noodles, for example)
- Curly kale
- Kidney beans
- Navy beans
- Sesame seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
Those are just a few low histamine foods that are high oxalate.
If you aren’t eating low histamine, you may also be getting high oxalate content from higher histamine foods like:
High Histamine High Oxalate Foods
- Peanuts and peanut butter
Want to learn more about what you can eat if you need a low histamine and low oxalate diet? Check out the more comprehensive list below of low oxalate foods.
And be sure to keep reading to get tips on how to do a low oxalate and low histamine diet.
Low Oxalate Diet List (And Low Histamine!)
Finding reliable food lists online can be a challenge.
With both histamine and oxalates, you’ll see a lot of inconsistencies. This is in part because people are copying the same information from unreliable sources.
And some sources list all foods that cause a reaction at all, regardless of knowing exactly what it was about that food that caused the reaction!
The information on this list has been compiled by the Trying Low Oxalates group. Their sources are listed as:
- Member-tested data
- The Low Oxalate Cookbook, Book Two
- The VP (Vulvar Pain) Foundation Newsletters and Addendum dtd 2002 to present
- The Autism Oxalate Project at the Autism Research Institute
I’ve also sponsored further testing for certain foods like Otto’s Cassava Flour to help expand the testing data available.
As you’ll see, there are many foods that are low in oxalates AND low histamine, too!
We’ve also indicated some low histamine, medium oxalate foods which may be tolerated by those who aren’t as sensitive.
Here are foods to focus on.
If you have Lectin Intolerance, note that lectins are indicated with an “L”.
Low Oxalate Starches (Also Low Histamine)
- White rice – L (Note: brown rice and wild rice have higher oxalate levels)
- Flax meal
- Hi-maize resistant starch
- Miracle noodles
- Sweet potato starch
- Sweet potato starch noodles (the starch is low oxalate; the flour is high oxalate)
- Turnips, root only, greens are medium oxalate
Medium Oxalate Starches (Also Low Histamine)
- Brown rice – 1 cup, cooked
- Otto’s cassava flour – ⅛ cup
Low Oxalate Vegetables (Also Low Histamine)
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage – Chinese
- Cabbage – red and green
- Cabbage – napa
- Celeriac / celery root
- Cucumber – peeled, L
- Daikon radishes
- Fennel – fresh, dried is high oxalate at 1 teaspoon
- Green split peas
- Kale – lacinato / dinosaur, not curly
- Leafy greens
- Lettuce – butter
- Lettuce – endive
- Lettuce – green and red leaf
- Lettuce – iceberg
- Lettuce – romaine
- Lentils – L
- Mustard greens
- Onions – any kind
- Parsley – flat leaf or Italian only
- Parsley root
- Rutabaga / swede
- Scallions / green onions
- Squash, butternut – L
- Squash, spaghetti – L
- Squash, summer – L
- Squash, winter – L
- Turnip – root only, greens are medium oxalate
- Yellow split peas
Medium Oxalate Vegetables (Also Low Histamine)
- Carrots – ½ cup, boiled
- Collard greens – 1 cup
- Cucumbers with peel – L
- Dandelion greens – ½ cup
- Parsnips – ½ cup, boiled
- Peppers – bell and hot, L
- Pumpkin meat
- Turnip greens
- Zucchini – L
Low Oxalate Fruits (Also Low Histamine)
Dried fruits are high histamine. Opt for fresh fruits.
- Apricot – fresh
- Cranberry – fresh
- Cantaloupe / rock melon – L
- Figs – fresh
- Honeydew – L
- Lemon – ½ teaspoon (not always tolerated in elimination)
- Lime – ½ teaspoon (not always tolerated in elimination)
- Passion fruit
- Pear – bartlett or bosc only
- Watermelon – L
Medium Oxalate Fruits (Also Low Histamine)
- Raspberries – ½ cup (not always tolerated in phase 1 of the Low Histamine Diet)
Low Oxalate Meats (Also Low Histamine)
These meat and seafood options are all low oxalate.
They are also low histamine if unaged, and not pre-ground.
- Eggs – if tolerated
For salmon, the lowest histamine option will be gutted and frozen within 30 minutes of catch (like Vital Choice King Salmon)
Check out all of White Oak Pasture’s Low Histamine Meat Options and search for pork.
Alternatively, you can also buy from NorthStar Bison by searching for pork.
Low Oxalate Nuts and Seeds (Also Low Histamine)
Medium Oxalate Nuts and Seeds (Also Low Histamine)
Low Oxalate Fats and Oils (Also Low Histamine)
All dairy should come from grass feed cows. Oil should be extra virgin or cold pressed.
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Flax oil
- Macadamia nut oil
- MCT oil
- Meat drippings – fresh
- Olive oil
- Palm oil
- Salad dressings – homemade, like my Low FODMAP Salad Dressing and Low Histamine Ranch
Medium Oxalate Fats and Oils (Also Low Histamine)
Low Oxalate Spices and Herbs (Also Low Histamine)
Buy fresh if you have severe Histamine Intolerance.
- Curcumin powder (can use to replace turmeric)
- Fennel – fresh (dried fennel is high at 1 teaspoon)
- Ginger – fresh (dried ginger is high oxalate)
- Parsley – flat leaf only (curly is high ox)
- Salt – Use coupon code MASTCELL360 to get 10% off!
Medium Oxalate Spices and Herbs (Also Low Histamine)
Low Oxalate Dairy (Also Low Histamine)
All dairy should come from grass fed cows.
These dairy products are technically low histamine. But many people have casein and lactose issues. So, consider these only if tolerated.
- A2 Milk – plain
- Cream cheese
- Goat milk
- Ricotta cheese
- Sheep milk
Low Oxalate Beverages (Also Low Histamine)
- Coconut water – fresh
- Purity coffee
- Dandelion root tea
- Herbal teas – except green, black, and white
- Juice – pure, freshly squeezed juices of allowed fruits and vegetables (limit fruit juice due to sugar)
- Mineral water – plain and carbonated
- Water – with fresh squeezed lemon or lime (if tolerated)
Related Post: Clean Water Is Important with MCAS
Low Oxalate Sweeteners (Also Low Histamine)
The above sweeteners do not raise blood sugar levels.
Remember, anything that raises blood sugar levels increases histamines.
Low Oxalate Miscellaneous (Also Low Histamine)
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Cocoa butter – white chocolate with no additives
- Cream of tartar
- Homemade relishes with allowed ingredients
- Leftovers – freeze right after cooking
TIP: Remember to freeze leftovers right after cooking!
So, now you know more about what foods you can eat and what foods are better to steer clear of if you have oxalate issues.
Here are some important tips to consider before trying a low oxalate diet.
How to Do a Low Histamine Low Oxalate Diet
A lot of my clients have both Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance. It is possible to have either/or.
But in most cases I see, clients have both.
So, we often start with a low histamine diet.
To do this, it can be helpful to start keeping a food diary. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
Just choose a simple notebook and divide the page into three sections. One for the date, one for the foods you eat, and one for any reactions you had that day.
Histamine-related symptoms can take longer to show up, so this can take some time to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Mast cell reactions can show up after a day or two, as well. However, if you have a reaction right away, it’s almost certainly mast cell related.
But we keep a diary as a way to start looking for patterns.
That’s a good place to start.
Then you can start by looking at reducing high histamine foods from your diet and replacing them with lower histamine foods.
You can use this Low Histamine Foods List to help you get started.
And take a look at this step-by-step plan I’ve put together for you with more tips on the different phases of the low histamine diet plan. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t necessarily have to give up some of your favorite higher histamine foods forever!
In fact, the goal is to be able to reintroduce foods slowly, so you have variety in your diet. You want to be sure to get all the essential vitamins and minerals you need to support your health.
Many of my clients with Histamine Intolerance notice improvement in their symptoms when they switch to a low histamine diet.
However, like me, some of my clients notice improvement in some areas, but have persistent symptoms that just don’t clear with the low histamine dietary change. That’s when we’ll start to look at other possible factors.
Since over 90% of my clients are dealing with Mold Toxicity, that’s where we’ll often look next. You want to start addressing the root causes.
Think of it like this. You can put ointment on a poison ivy rash to stop the itching. But if you keep walking through poison ivy every day, you’re going to keep getting a rash.
We’ll also start to look at other food intolerances like Oxalate Intolerance.
You can learn more about the links between Oxalates and Mold in this Facebook Live.
One very serious concern with addressing oxalates is something I mentioned earlier: Oxalate Dumping.
If you learn one thing from this article, I want it to be this: DON’T STOP EATING OXALATES ALL AT ONCE!
This can cause serious problems. You could even end up in the hospital if your oxalate issues are bad enough, and particularly if you have a history of kidney disease or kidney stones.
Instead, work with a professional to slowly reduce and replace your high oxalate foods with lower oxalate foods.
And be sure to read my article on Oxalate Dumping for more tips on what you can talk with your provider about.
I hope you don’t have issues related to oxalates. Not everyone does.
But are you like me, dealing with stubborn, painful symptoms?
Does it feel like you are doing everything you can for your health but still can’t get better?
If so, maybe oxalates are part of your health puzzle, just like they were part of mine.
I know how debilitating pain can affect your life. And I hope this will help you get back to living your best life!
Have you tried a low oxalate diet? Did your symptoms improve? Share in the comments below!
Beyond the Low Oxalate Diet
- What Is Oxalate Intolerance?
- What Is Oxalate Dumping?
- What Is Histamine Intolerance?
- What Is Salicylate Intolerance?
- What Is Lectin Intolerance?
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FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169145/nutrients
FoodData Central. (n.d.-a). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170271/nutrients
FoodData Central. (n.d.-b). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1999633/nutrients
Risk Factors That Increase Your Chances of Getting Kidney Stones. (2017, July 7). National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/blog/kidney-cars/risk-factors-increase-your-chances-getting-kidney-stones
Trying Low Oxalates Facebook Testing Group. (2023). Consolidated Oxalate Spreadsheet. In Trying Low Oxalates. Retrieved June 12, 2023, from https://www.facebook.com/groups/TryingLowOxalates