Is your green smoothie bad for your health? For most people oxalates, a chemical naturally found in food particularly; fruits, vegetables, pulses and grains, cause no problems and can be consumed freely. Usually associated with the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones, high oxalate levels have also been associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, asthma/COPD, vulvodynia and under-active thyroid:
For some of us, we are faced with adopting a low oxalate diet (LOD), reducing slowly to avoid a syndrome known as “dumping” which by all accounts is rather unpleasant. I have no formal nutrition qualification and would advise anyone who thinks they may have high oxalate levels to seek medical advice and diagnosis before making major changes. These recipes will be for all to enjoy not just the LOD’s, my work colleagues have been sampling some of my recipes and my flaxseed crackers go down a treat! I’ll be posting recipes which are low in oxalate levels which I have developed and adapted from a range of sources due to the lack of availability of vegan and vegetarian low oxalate delicious meals.
For myself, already having had to cut out gluten (permanently), experiencing temporary lactose intolerance, already vegetarian and then temporarily vegan this change in diet was a huge challenge! My diet was healthy, packed with nutrition, home cooked, organic when ever possible and then I was faced with a diagnosis of hyperoxaluria. My green smoothie and a lot of my diet was actually doing me harm! What the spinach, kale and almond super food smoothie had to go? My sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroot, nuts, tempeh, tahini, rhubarb, chia seeds to name just a few all had to go! The horror! What was I going to eat?? The LOD aims for between 40-60 mg of oxalate a day, 100gm of spinach for example contains 1145 mg, a raw serving of 1/2 cup contains 75mg of oxalate! After a short period of rocking in a corner I took on the challenge and started researching low oxalate foods, what an eye opener! So little information and what was available was not always accurate, aimed at meat eaters and very little vegan/vegetarian options. However, I managed to get a link to an extensive spreadsheet of foods that had been tested in the USA (link now vanished!) and hence the idea arose for ‘Louise’s Low Oxalate Kitchen’. I am developing vegan and vegetarian (I am now able to tolerate dairy which is very low oxalate) recipes for my first cook book and will be posting nutritious recipes and the occasional ‘naughty but nice’ treats!
‘Louise’s Low Oxalate Kitchen’ is now open for business!