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Sunday, October 8, 2017

I HATE Oxalates! PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe podcast.

Evil Oxalates presented by a Hippie!


I’ll admit, this is a new one for me.  A new, and painful lesson, to be sure- I got a kidney stone!  

Now, of course I had heard of kidney stones- my little brother actually had one a few years back, and went through a really painful, expensive operation to get it removed.  ‘But not me’, I thought- ‘I am always healthy, never need to get treated for anything, and prize my health beyond measure!  To this end, I always drink a daily Green Smoothie, with coconut milk (good), spices (good), cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower (good), along with kefir, apple cider vinegar, ginger root, and berries- all of which are good.  

But I also put in either a big portion of raw spinach, or a beet and beet greens- sometimes both!  I’ve been doing this for years and years…

Most of us think that any dark green is very healthy, indeed- I know I did.  I grew up with Popeye the Sailorman, who is ‘strong to the finish- when he eats his spinach- he’s Popeye the sailor man’.  Well, just add Popeye, one of my childhood heroes, to the list of authority figures like M.D.’s and medical clinics, left-wing politicians and others who are and always have been wrong.  (However well-meaning.)  But, it does turn out that kale is relatively low in oxalates, as are mustard greens!

As I already knew, plants are chemical warfare masters, coming up with things like phytic acid and gluten and gliadin, (among other toxic chemicals) that are loaded into wheat so that we mammals don’t eat them or their babies.  After all, since plants can’t run away or fight, chemical toxins are their only defense, really.  This is why wheat is so awful for us, particularly modern wheat.  But it is also why spinach and many other plants are also bad, because they are loaded with a chemical called an oxalate.

Nuts, beans, and peanuts are oxalate bombs- eat sparingly, along with your dark chocolate- after all, these things are treats- desserts, really- not a main food group!  And of course, grains are horrible, high sources of oxalate poisons, best eliminated entirely if possible.  

Of course, I’d heard of oxalates- but I had never heard just how bad they really are, especially if you take in enough that your body cannot readily get rid of them- then, they form oxalate crystals, and unfortunately I eventually got one, right inside my right kidney.  It hurts something awful, too, but I’ve learned how to deal with that- I just keep completely hydrated, drinking mostly water, but also lemon water and cranberry juice- as long as I stay really hydrated, there is no pain.  I expect to pass the stone naturally- I will keep you posted.  

The bad thing is, oxalates also do lots of other damage- to your teeth, to your gut lining (oh no-just like wheat!), to your bones, making them week- and also contributes to all kinds of symptoms that we normally ascribe to aging, and so they are largely ignored as “natural”.  They are not!  Headaches, tendon and muscle pain, brain fog- the more I read, the more oxalates sound just like gluten- bad news all around!

I am going on a low oxalate diet.  After awhile, I can again include small portions of these foods, but for now I want my body to get rid of its stores of this poison.  Black pepper, potatoes, spinach and beet greens are bad- spinach is by far the worst- raw or cooked!

The goal should not be to eliminate oxalates completely, but to gradually lower them to less than 50 to 60 mg. per day.  Potato chips have 21 mg. per ounce- choose corn chips instead.  Rhubarb and raspberries are very high indeed, and are two of my favorites.  Or at least, they used to be!  Likewise black pepper- at least for now.  After awhile, up to 1 tsp. per day is OK- and really, who eats more than that?  Even the spices turmeric and circumin have oxalates, and I even found that cranberries are quite high- I guess that cranberry juice is out now!  Circumin supplements are particularly high…  Turmeric is similar to black pepper, in that no more than 1 tsp. per day- and again, who consumes more than that?

Meat and meat based products, along with most fruits are quite free of oxalates!  This includes dairy, and this is wonderful news indeed.  It appears that vegetarians and vegans are particularly prone to high oxalate diets, and this makes perfect sense.  I found a good authority in www.sallyknorton.com  She is an expert in oxalates and in low oxalate diet and its benefits.  I recommend her site highly.

Also, it is quite difficult to really get a handle on what foods are, really, high in oxalates I’ve found.  Many say one food is “really high”, but if you check out this chart, you can see that, if eaten occasionally rather than daily, they really are no problem.  For instance, a baked potato (by the way, never eat the skin!) is about 18 mg per 100 grams- this is ok, for instance, kept to a weekly basis.  All alcohol is pretty much fine, although the lists love to say they are “off limits- except of course for the hallowed red wine- which, of course, the ‘intellectuals’ putting together these lists can’t imagine living without!  Beer is really low too, though they list it as high risk.  


In addition, in order to bring my own condition to a speedy conclusion, I have ordered an herb tincture called Chanka Pedreo, which is widely recommend to help break down kidney stones.  Once again, I will do a personal N=1 experiment, and let you know my outcome. 

My own takeaway is that perhaps we need to go back to the rudiments of the original Paleo Diet, which recommended no potatoes, tomatoes, or other nightshades!  Once again, I shall keep you posted.  Good DAY!