Is oatmeal high in oxalates? I bet you’re on the edge of your seat for this one. Seriously though, you may have heard this claim and wondered if this is something you need to worry about. The truth is, oxalates are present in most of the foods we eat, and oatmeal is no exception. In this blog post, we’ll explore the connection between oatmeal and oxalates and how you can still enjoy oatmeal without putting your health at risk. If you’re a fan of hot cereals like oatmeal, read on to find out more about the battle between oatmeal and oxalates for your breakfast bowl!

​What are Oxalates and Should You Even Care?

Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found in many plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, and grains like oatmeal. They are primarily known for their role in calcium oxalate kidney stones formation because high levels of oxalates can combine with calcium to form crystals that can block the urinary tract. This is why oxalates have garnered attention in recent years, but does that mean you should care about them? Is this really something you need to worry about?

While the body can naturally process and eliminate oxalates, some people may be more sensitive to their effects. Those with a history or high risk of kidney stones or certain medical conditions may need to limit their intake of high oxalate foods. Some studies have suggested a link between high-oxalate foods intake and increased inflammation or decreased nutrient absorption.

However, it’s important to note that not all individuals need to worry about oxalate consumption. For most people, those with a lower risk of side effects, a moderate intake of oxalates from foods like oatmeal is very unlikely to cause any harm. In fact, many plant-based foods containing oxalates also offer numerous health benefits, such as fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

As with any dietary concern, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if you should monitor your oxalate intake and to discuss any specific dietary guidelines or considerations for a new diet plan.

Is Oatmeal High in Oxalates?

The question of whether oatmeal is high in oxalates has been a topic of debate among health-conscious individuals. While oatmeal does contain oxalates, the levels are generally considered to be moderate. According to the National Kidney Foundation, a serving of cooked oatmeal contains approximately 2 to 3 milligrams of oxalates.

Comparatively, other common foods like spinach and rhubarb have significantly higher oxalate content. This means that for the majority of people, incorporating oatmeal into their diet in moderation is unlikely to cause any issues.

It’s also worth noting that cooking oatmeal can actually reduce the oxalate content. Boiling or soaking oatmeal before consuming it can help to break down and remove some of the oxalates, making it even more suitable for those concerned about oxalate intake.

Pros of Consuming Oxalates

Consuming oxalates can still be a healthy choice! That’s because oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found in many plant-based foods, which are known for their tons of health benefits. Oxalates are often associated with a high-fiber diet. Fiber is a very important nutrient that can aid in the healthy of the digestive tract, promote a healthy gut, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health. Consuming oatmeal in general is a healthy choice and can help with weight loss, especially when no animal proteins like regular milk are added. 

What Foods Are High in Oxalates?

While oatmeal is considered to have medium oxalate content, there are other foods that contain significantly higher levels. If you’re concerned about your oxalate intake, you’ll want to be aware of these foods. Some examples of foods high in oxalates include spinach, rhubarb, beets, beet greens, Swiss chard, soy products, nuts, and certain types of tea.

It’s important to note that oxalate content can vary depending on how the food is prepared and cooked. For example, boiling or soaking vegetables can help reduce their oxalate levels. Additionally, pairing oxalate-rich foods with calcium-rich foods can help bind the oxalates and reduce their absorption in the body.

If you have a personal or family history of kidney stones or certain medical conditions like kidney disease, it may be necessary to limit your intake of foods high in oxalates. Talk to your doctor about the risks for you and learn more about low-oxalate food. But if you have no health issues, you should have no trouble consuming oxalates. 

Can You Still Eat Oatmeal on a Low-Oxalate diet?

While most people can enjoy oatmeal without worrying about their oxalate intake, there are some who may need to consider a low oxalate diet. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Why me? Why can’t I enjoy my delicious oatmeal without a care in the world?” Fear not, my fellow oatmeal enthusiasts! A low oxalate diet doesn’t mean you have to give up oatmeal entirely. It just means you may need to make some tweaks to your breakfast routine.

While oatmeal does contain oxalates, it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker for your breakfast routine. If you’re following a low oxalate diet, it’s all about making some simple swaps. Instead of adding fruits like berries or kiwi with high oxalate levels to your oatmeal, opt for lower oxalate options like apples, pears, or even a sprinkle of cinnamon for some extra flavor. You can also make your oats savory with some low oxalate vegetables. Leafy greens like bok choy, mustard greens, kale, or other veggies like brussels sprouts or broccoli! You can still have that warm, comforting bowl of oatmeal with plenty of nutritious foods added, just with a few adjustments.

But here’s the best part – regular oats are so versatile that you can get creative with your toppings and still practice kidney stone prevention! How about a dollop of nut butters or a sprinkle of crushed walnuts? These lower oxalate choices can still add that extra oomph to your oatmeal without compromising your dietary restrictions.


So, after all the back and forth, the battle between oatmeal and oxalates for your breakfast bowl comes to a conclusion. The truth is, oatmeal does contain oxalates, but it’s not necessarily a cause for panic. For most people, a moderate intake of oxalates from oatmeal is not going to cause any harm. Even those with kidney stones can enjoy oatmeal as part of a low oxalate diet.

I’m not a fan of focusing on one ingredient, element, or compound and deciding if it’s good or bad for a person to consume. I prefer a big-picture approach because there’s more to, for example, oatmeal than just oxalates. Saying that something like oatmeal is unhealthy because it contains oxalates is like saying an extra cheese pizza is healthy because it has a green pepper on it. 

If it happens to be the case that you have serious issues with kidney stones or kidney disease, it may be beneficial for you to consume a low or even no-oxalate diet. But for the majority of people, oxalates are not a concern and you probably never needed to know about them to begin with! So carry on eating that delicious and healthy oatmeal!

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