New To Cronometer: Dietary Oxalate
What Is An Oxalate?
Oxalic acid or oxalate is made naturally in our body and is also found in some of the foods we eat, including fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. This compound can be found free or bound in our diet. When it is free, it can bind to minerals in our foods (usually calcium but could bind others like iron, sodium, potassium or magnesium). Once they are bound together, they are not absorbed and instead pass through your digestive tract. This could reduce the amount of some essential minerals you absorb from meals with high levels of oxalate.
Free oxalate can be absorbed into your body. While being processed for removal in your kidneys, it can bind with calcium forming a crystal that can lead to kidney stones. This risk is increased for those that have had kidney stones in the past.
How Can I Track In Cronometer?
In the desktop app, navigate to the Settings page, click on the ‘Profile + Targets’ tab, scroll to Nutrient Targets and toggle on “visible” for Oxalate.
How Can I Minimize My Intake?
Oxalate is water soluble, so methods like soaking, boiling and steaming can remove some of the compound content, as well as cutting the food beforehand to expose more surface area for losses to happen. Food prep methods that increase oxalate level in food include roasting, grilling and baking.
Pairing high oxalate foods with high calcium foods can offset the absorption. Eating 300-400 mg calcium in a meal that is high in oxalate is recommended. Aim for a calcium:oxalate ratio of 4:3 and above, in other words get a little more calcium than oxalate in a meal. Outside of meals particularly high in oxalate, meeting your Recommended Daily Allowance for calcium is likely enough to offset negative effects of oxalates in your diet (1000-1200 mg calcium per day for adults).
Foods High In Oxalate
- Brazil nuts
- Brown beans
- Black beans