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Foods High in Oxalates That Increase Uric Acid

author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Foods High in Oxalates That Increase Uric Acid
A bowl of blueberries on a wooden table. Photo Credit jeehyun/iStock/Getty Images

Uric acid is a chemical your body produces to digest purines, which occur naturally in most foods. Oxalates also naturally occur in foods. Maintaining low uric acid levels through restricting purines and limiting oxalate-rich foods may help guard against certain types of kidney stones, as well as gout -- a painful form of arthritis. For best results, seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian before making significant dietary changes.

Flour Products

Flour products, including whole wheat flour and breads, crisp breads, fiber-rich cereals, buckwheat, amaranth and snack foods, such as cake and baked chips, are considered high-oxalate because they contain 10 milligrams or more of oxalates per serving, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Each serving supplies roughly one-quarter of your daily recommended maximum. Although flour is not high in purines, many flour-based foods contain yeast, which is purine-rich. Common sources of yeast include sandwich bread, bagels, dinner rolls, pizza crust, pastries and pretzels. To maintain low oxalate and uric acid levels, consume yeast and flour-free starches, such as rice, oats, quinoa and pearled barley and popcorn, most often.

Fruit Juices

Whole fruits are valuable sources of vital nutrients, such as vitamin C and fiber, which promotes digestive health and appetite control. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for lowering your risk for kidney stones and gout flare-ups. Although low in purines, fruit juices contain more calories and less fiber than whole fruit. Certain juices, including orange, cranberry and apple juice, can raise your oxalate levels and lead to calcium oxalate kidney stone formation. Juices prepared with concord grapes, tangerines and blueberries are also high in oxalates. To help prevent kidney stones and gout pain, drink water throughout each day. Fluids help flush excess uric acid and oxalates out of your body through urine.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in oxalate content, with some being worse than others according to the Oxalosis & Hyperoxaluria Foundation. Nuts and seeds with the highest content include almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, pecans, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts. You should limit your intake of these nuts and seeds if you have high urine oxalate levels or kidney stones.

Certain Vegetables

Vegetables play an important role in most healthy diets by contributing rich amounts of nutrients and fiber. The UMMC warns against limiting nutritious oxalate-rich foods unless your doctor specifically recommends doing so. Vegetables rich in oxalate content include soybeans, beets, spinach, rhubarb, carrots, eggplant, okra, olives, all peppers, potatoes, zucchini and Swiss chard. Avoiding mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower and spinach in particular, and canned vegetables, which are high in salt, may help prevent uric acid kidney stones.

Meat and Seafood

Meat, particularly organ meats, and seafood, such as sardines, anchovies and salmon, are some of the richest purine sources. For improved gout symptoms, Scarsdale Medical Group recommends limiting meat and seafood to a maximum of 4 to 6 ounces per day and opting for low-fat dairy products and plant-derived protein sources, such as beans and lentils, more often. Liver and sardines contain moderate amounts of oxalates, or roughly 2 to 10 milligrams per serving. Because animal protein has greater sulfur content and produces more acid than plant protein, limiting meat may also lower your risk for kidney stones.

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