Oxalates and the Keto Diet

At the 2019 Keto Con in Austin, I had the opportunity to listen to Craig Emmerich speak on carnivore eating for its healing properties and it was eye opening. It really inspired me to look closer at what I was eating on a daily basis. I was eating a lot of ketogenic vegetables and discovered that many plants contain natural pesticides that could potentially be harmful.

Oxalates. Plants have natural pesticides, that deter pests and predators, oxalates being one of them. Under an electron microscope, oxalates look like sharp, spikey crystals. The crystalline shape is designed to prick the predators mouth, to deter them.

I was surprised to learn that many foods that I had been eating were high in oxalates such as almonds, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, tea, chocolate (Lily’s) and berries. A diet too high in oxalates can lead to oxalate deposits in the body – in joints, muscles and kidneys – a known cause of kidney stones.

comprehensive list of foods and oxalate counts

If you feel that you may have a problem with oxalates, drink plenty of water and make sure you are getting a source of calcium to bind with the oxalates. It is helpful to reduce your consumption of oxalate rich foods to give your body a chance to eliminate them as much as possible.

I’m not suggesting you eliminate oxalates entirely. Can you imagine life without CHOCOLATE?! Everything in moderation is my motto.