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This post provides a combined Low Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List, with a printable — for easy cooking and grocery shopping.
Is this diet right for you
If you’re not even sure what oxalates and salicylates are, and you’re wondering about if this article applies to you, SKIP down below the food lists. There, I define these compounds, discuss symptoms and share considerations for why to remove offending foods from your diet.
I created this list in part for myself, because I wanted to test this diet with my family, to see if any of us would benefit from reducing these compounds.
I know many of you, too, would like to eliminate these foods, to relieve certain symptoms.
The most complete Low Oxalate Low Salicylate Food List
Of course, there are so many lists on the internet, and oftentimes, they’re confusing!! (Too much information through which to sift!)
My goal with this post was make this list the most thorough and comprehensive combined list available! AND really easy to read and simple, with tips — and to give notes about other compounds as well in case they are ones you need to consider.
You will find foods on my list that you won’t find on other lists. That’s because I used SO many sources and cross referenced again and again. Two of my main sources to ensure accuracy between all the lists were: Susan Owens’ list of oxalates and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit’s list for salicylates.
My list below does not include any processed foods. It assumes you will be cooking and eating real whole foods.
If you see any errors in my list that you have fact-checked and cross referenced from multiple sources, PLEASE let me know, so I am only sharing the most accurate and updated information. As much as I fact checked this article, it was very time consuming and difficult, so it’s possible I made a mistake. Thank you!
Small amounts of certain foods and special diets
Because this combined diet is very restricted, I have also indicated when a food is low in one compound but medium in the other, which may allow you to have small amounts of that food, instead of avoiding it entirely.
Go MEDIUM OXALATE in the beginning: Start SLOWLY
Additionally, most who are using the list in this article are newer to a low oxalate diet, so that means: You should reduce oxalates slowly anyway! If you reduce oxalates in the diet too quickly, it can be dangerous (detox needs to be slow). So medium level oxalates may be helpful foods to enjoy in the beginning.
The primary list below is Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate foods. And then: I have used the (L) sign to indicate which foods may be high in lectins.
Most of the foods listed here are also Gluten-free, with the exception of barley.
While researchers disagree on the role of sulfur in the diet, it’s helpful to know which vegetables are high in sulfur.
While some vegetables do not have high oxalate levels, if they are sulfuric, like turnips and rutabagas, they likely deplete Vitamin B1 in the body. Depleted B1 can lead to oxalate issues. (source)
Accordingly, I have noted sulfuric vegetables with an (S), so be cautious with these foods, or eat them with sources of B1 to compensate.
Conversely, some sources share that a lack of sulfur in the diet can cause a salicylate intolerance. Again, it can be hard to know when to decrease sulfuric foods and when to increase them. I’ve found personally that as long as I’m eating healthy portions of meat each day, I’m getting a good foundation of sulfur.
Most importantly, talk with your functional medical doctor to be sure your diet is right for you. Just use this article as a food list, not as a guide for your personal health.
Unfortunately, sometimes foods have not been tested for their oxalate or more commonly their salicylate content.
When a food is low in one of these compounds, and the other is unknown, I will indicate this below. These are foods to eliminate when you begin the diet, and then consider challenging them after your symptoms are stable, to test the content of the other compound, if you wish.
Let us all know in the Comments section below the post if you have helpful insights on the unknown foods based on how your body reacts to them or new published testing.
The meat and what else diet …
As you will see below, very few foods are low in oxalates and also definitely low in salicylates. More testing of salicylate content is needed.
Thankfully, many meats may be freely eaten on this diet. So, be sure to choose the best quality.
White rice is also a good staple for many diets. For AIP and more general diets, you’ll see some good carb and veggie options below.
Printable Food List or Pin
Whether you use this list to cook or grocery shop, find the black & white printable for your reference here.
To be clear, the printable does contain foods with medium levels of oxalates and salicylates, so check the notes within this post for details.
Pro Tip: Use a highlighter to highlight your printable, so the foods that are Low in these compounds are easy to spot.
You can Pin the food list here:
Similar FOOD LISTS you may find helpful
If you’re also sensitive to histamines, you’ll find it helpful to cross-reference with one or both of these lists:
- Low-Histamine and Lectin-free Combined Food List and printable here.
- Low-Histamine and Low Oxalate Food List and printable here.
How to measure oxalates and salicylates
As a point of reference, Low Oxalate is considered 4.9 to 10 mg or less per serving, depending on the source. Medium Oxalate: 11 to 29 mg per serving, and High Oxalate: 30 mg or more per serving.
Low Salicylate includes foods from .1 to .25 mg per serving. Medium Salicylate: .25 to .49, and High Salicylate: .5 to 1 mg or higher per serving.
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Meats and Proteins
- Wild game
- Chicken and other fowl
- Fish, white only *AIP *limited VAD
- Lamb *AIP *later VAD
- Pork *AIP
- Shellfish *AIP
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Grains
- Barley — (L) *VAD (This does not include barley flour, just hulled barley, cooked.)
- Oats — (L) (Medium in oxalates for 1/4 cup dry, and No salicylates) *VAD (Soak oats overnight, and then drain the soaking water before cooking to reduce oxalates. You may also make homemade oat milk.)
- Rice, White *VAD — and Brown — (L) (Medium in oxalates, and No salicylates) *VAD (Some sources recommend soaking brown rice for 10 hours and draining the water before cooking to reduce oxalates. Rice pasta in another way to enjoy rice with reduced oxalates.)
- Sorghum — (L) (Medium in oxalates, Low in salicylates) *VAD for some
- Sweet Rice Flour — (Medium in oxalates, and No salicylates) *VAD (You can find it here.)
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Nuts and Seeds
- Chestnuts (I buy these.) — (Very Low in oxalates, but Unknown in salicylates) *VAD (By the way, these are not water chestnuts, which are high in salicylates and should be avoided. Chestnut flour is also high in oxalates.)
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds — (L) (Medium in oxalates, Medium in salicylates) *VAD in moderation/occasional
- Sunflower seeds — (L) (Medium in oxalates, Medium in salicylates) *VAD in moderation/occasional
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Beans/Legumes
Most beans have lectins, but pressure cooking greatly reduces them. Buy canned beans or pressure cook to ensure your beans are low in lectins. I find Eden brand to be the easiest to digest.
- *Black-eyed peas – (L) *VAD
- Chickpeas, also called Garbonzo beans — (L) (Medium in oxalates, Low in salicylates) *VAD — This high calcium legume is helpful in excreting oxalates from the body.
- Lentils — (L) (Medium in oxalates, No salicylates) *VAD
- Lima beans — (L) (Medium in oxalates, No salicylates) *VAD
- Lupin — (L) (Medium in oxalates, Low in salicylates)
- Mung beans — (L) (Medium in oxalates, No salicylates) *VAD
- *Split peas, yellow (L) *VAD
*These two legumes are great staples on a low oxalate diet or this combined diet, as both are low in both compounds. (Not AIP.)
From a baking perspective, black-eyed pea flour (also called cowpea bean flour), lentil flour, garbanzo bean flour and yellow pea flour are all available. They may not agree with everyone, digestion-wise.
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Vegetables and Culinary Herbs
Salicylates are highest just under the skin in vegetables and in the outer leaves. Vegetables should be ripe and thickly peeled. Do not eat the outer leaves of leafy vegetables.
- Acorn, Butternut and Spaghetti squashes – (Very Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Bamboo shoots – (Medium oxalates, No salicylates) *AIP *VAD
- Bok choy — (S) (Very low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Brussels sprouts (S) *AIP
- Cabbage, light green (S) *AIP
- Cauliflower (S) — (Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates [lists vary, may be high, use caution]) *AIP
- Chayote *AIP *VAD
- Chives *AIP
- Cilantro — (Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Collard Greens (S) *AIP
- Corn, fresh — (L) (Low to Medium in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *VAD if white
- Cucumber, only if it’s peeled — (de-seed or L) (Low is oxalates, Medium in Salicylates from newer data, but sources vary) *AIP *VAD
- Green Beans — (L) (Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP reintroduction only *VAD
- Kohlrabi (S) — (Very low in oxalates, but Unknown in salicylates) *AIP
- Lettuce, iceberg, green butter and romaine *AIP *VAD
- Leek – (Medium oxalates, Very Low in salicylates) *AIP
- Mung bean sprouts *VAD
- Onions, white or yellow *AIP
- Peas (L)
- Pumpkin, canned — (Very Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Rutabaga, boiled (S) — (Low in oxalates, No salicylates) *AIP
- Scallions *AIP
- Tomatoes, fresh — (Medium in oxalates, Medium in salicylates)
- Turnips (S) *AIP
- Zucchini, only if it’s peeled — (de-seed or L) (Low is oxalates, Medium in Salicylates from newer data, but sources vary) *AIP *VAD
Are avocado, ginger and garlic high in salicylates and oxalates
Frequently asked questions, and their answers:
- Avocado is medium in oxalates when the avocado is ripe. Sources vary on avocados’ salicylate content, and this may be because the content varies from batch to batch, and based on ripeness. But overall, they are considered high or medium-high in salicylates.
- Garlic is low in salicylates and low in oxalates.
- Ginger is low in oxalates, but high in salicylates.
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Fruits
Salicylates are higher in unripened fruit and decrease as fruit ripens — often concentrated under the skin of fruit. All fruit should be ripe and thickly peeled.
- (Golden Delicious) Apple, peeled – (This is the only apple variety that is low in oxalates and salicylates.) *AIP
- (Red Delicious) Apple, peeled – (Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP *VAD if the flesh is white
- Banana – (Medium in oxalates, No salicylates) *AIP *VAD for some people if eaten medium ripe and occasionally
- Coconut — (Very Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates; sources vary) *AIP; but avoid coconut oil which is High in salicylates
- Fig, fresh only — (Medium in oxalates, Medium in salicylates) *AIP *VAD if they’re black
- Lemon juice and lime juice, fresh — (Very low in oxalates, Medium in salicylates; but, these are histamine liberators and can free up histamine in the body, so best to limit for some people.) *AIP *VAD
- Mango (L) — (Very low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Papaya — (Medium in oxalates, Low in salicylates) *AIP
- Passionfruit — (Very Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Peach (L) — (Very Low in oxalates, Medium in salicylates from newer data, but sources vary) *AIP *VAD if white and peeled
- Pear, if peeled (L) *AIP
- Persimmon — (Medium in oxalates, Low in salicylates) *AIP
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Beverages
- Coffee, Decaf only (S) — (Very low in oxalates, Moderately Low in salicylates); best to avoid, but if you feel you need coffee, look for mold-free brands like Clean Coffee.
- Dandelion root tea — (Low in oxalates, Low to Medium in salicylates; sources vary) *AIP *VAD (This tea is one of my favorite treats on this restricted diet. Find it here.)
- Milk, raw, pasture-raised and A2A2 preferred
- Pear juice, homemade only *AIP
- Rice milk, homemade *VAD
- Water, filtered
- White grape juice, homemade only *AIP
Alcohols allowed on this diet are:
- Bourbon, Gin, Scotch Whiskey, Sherry, Vodka
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Food List: Miscellaneous
- Agave nectar — (Low in Oxalates, Unknown but may be Low in salicylates)
- Animal fats: duck fat, lard, tallow *AIP *duck fat only for VAD
- Baking soda *AIP *VAD
- Butter, Ghee *VAD
- Cheese, fresh and many aged: brie, blue, cheddar, cottage, cream, feta, goat, mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, Swiss (L)
- Coconut flour — (Low in oxalates, but Medium in salicylates) *AIP
- Cream, pasture-raised, A2A2 preferred
- Cream of Tartar — (Very Low in oxalates, but Unknown in salicylates) *AIP
- Echinacea — (Very Low in oxalates, but Unknown in salicylates)
- Gelatin — (Low in oxalates, but Unknown in salicylates, so use in small amounts/with caution; also, some people make oxalates from one or more of the amino acids in it, so use with caution or avoid.) *AIP *VAD
- Garlic, fresh or granules *AIP
- Malt Vinegar
- Maple syrup — (Very Low in oxalates, No salicylates) *AIP *VAD
- Milk (L) — Best to buy raw A2A2, pasture-raised, fresh milk.
- Palm oil *AIP
- Psyllium husk — This is one of the foods I’m the most excited to have on my list, that’s not on other lists. It’s important to buy psyllium husk organic to avoid its contamination and to be sure of its purity. Psyllium is not just a nutritional supplement. It’s actually a great baking aid, can be used in place of eggs and makes good bread! Bread recipe here. More recipes coming. (This is the only one I recommend.) *VAD
- Salt *AIP *VAD
- Saffron *AIP
- Sugar and Brown sugar
- Soy sauce — (L) sources vary, but most say Low or Medium in both compounds, must be free of spices
- Tapioca (Medium in oxalates, Low in salicylates) — Tapioca provides a Paleo alternative to white rice. Always buy organic with this crop. (Find it here.) *AIP *VAD
- Tofu — (L) (Medium in oxalates, No salicylates)
- Vanilla extract, pure *AIP
Are coconut oil and olive oil high in oxalates and salicylates
On this combined diet, the best fats to enjoy are butter, ghee or rendered animal fats.
But, with that in mind, one other wholesome fat may be fine in small amounts:
- MCT oil made from coconut oil should not have salicylates. Not all brands have been tested, so use with caution when trying a new brand.
- All other coconut oil is Low in oxalates, but High in salicylates.
- Olive oil is Low in oxalates, but High in salicylates.
I know that’s hard when making a salad. You can either make a wilted salad, drizzled with one of the melted fats, sea salt and malt vinegar or citrus juice. Or dress your lettuce with MCT oil + malt vinegar or fresh lemon juice. (Do not eat more than 1 tablespoon of MCT oil in a day.)
Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate Desserts
- Tapioca Floats *AIP *VAD
- Lemon Ice Cream (contains dairy [heavy cream]) *VAD
- Coconut Lime Ice Cream (dairy-free) *AIP
- Perfect Bean and Rice Flour Waffles (We eat these daily.) *VAD
Coconut sugar and monk fruit need more testing. These may be fine in moderation as sweeteners.
What foods to avoid
Despite what many of us may have read, oxalates are not so much a food sensitivity issue. Oxalate in sufficient quantity is considered a poison for everyone, even animals. (source)
Because it’s toxic to the body in large amounts, the body stores it away to protect itself.
When being excreted from the body, the compound is also toxic. This is why it’s important to reduce oxalate consumption slowly: Detoxing means exposing the body to more oxalates.
Nutritional methods have been discovered that aid and reduce the dangers of this process (like eating calcium rich foods at the same time that bond to the oxalates).
Many Americans consume high oxalate diets. This means we have a lot of oxalates stored, to excrete, when we finally realize what we’ve done with our Western diet.
About the foods we need to start avoiding:
Together, spinach, potatoes, and nuts account for 44% of oxalate intake for the average American. The simplest way to minimize oxalate intake is to monitor consumption of these foods. In younger women, chocolate is a significant source of dietary oxalate intake and should be consumed sparingly. (source)
Most soy products, processed foods, canned goods, caffeinated coffee, beets, many beans and grains are also culprits.
Salicylates are also common in the American diet.
Salicylates are natural chemicals made by plants, which serve as a sort of natural pesticide. They are also found in drugs and body products.
On the one hand, salicylates can reduce pain and inflammation in the body, and as such are the base of drugs like aspirin.
Some people, however, are sensitive to salicylates, and experience: asthma, digestive problems, headaches, fatigue, depression, skin problems, restless leg syndrome, as well as other adverse reactions.
Regarding commercial bath and beauty products, salicylates are easily absorbed through the skin. So in addition to avoiding problematic foods, many people need to change body products.
One comprehensive study shares about salicylates:
Vegetables show a wide range from 0 to 6 mg salicylate per 100 gm food (for gherkins). Some herbs and spices were found to contain very high amounts per 100 gm, e.g., curry powder, paprika, thyme, garam masala, and rosemary. Among beverages, tea provides substantial amounts of salicylate. Licorice and peppermint candies and some honeys contain salicylates. Cereals, meat, fish, and dairy products contain none or negligible amounts. (source)
Those with this sensitivity also need to avoid oranges, many dried fruits, certain toothpastes and chewing gum, in addition to restricting many more foods.
Who should consider a Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate diet
- Following a Lox Oxalate AND Low Salicylate diet can be used to determine if you have damaging levels of these compounds in your body — and help to reduce them. Most are found in fruits, vegetables, products derived from produce (like tea or chocolate) or in processed foods.
- (Today’s produce likely has more oxalates than produce in the past, due to depleted soils and plant stress. Plants form and uptake more oxalates in poor soils.)
- The diet may also be used to help the symptoms go away. Oftentimes eliminating aggravating ingredients from our diet allows our bodies to detox and recover over time.
If you have any of the following unexplained symptoms, you may be a good candidate for this diet:
Anyone who’s been on antibiotics, loaded up on high oxalate foods, has candida, has a variety of related symptoms (some listed below) or had mold exposure may be a good candidate for slowly reducing oxalates in the diet to reduce the body’s toxic load.
(Regarding antibiotics, “The best known oxalate-degrading species is Oxalobacter formigenes, an anaerobic bacterium that inhabits the colon and depends solely on oxalate as a source of metabolic energy.” [source] When antibiotics kill off this beneficial bacteria, the body can be overrun with oxalates. Unfortunately, at this time, no U.S. company makes a probiotic product with this strain.)
Oxalic acid can have damaging effects on human nutrition and health by not only accumulating kidney stones, but also causing a histamine intolerance and other issues.
In sensitive people, even small amounts of oxalates can result in burning in the throat, mouth, eyes and/or ears. Large amounts may cause:
- abdominal pain/stomach aches
- muscle weakness
- numbness, tingling, buzzing
- difficulty losing weight
- reduced thyroid function
- various issues with eyesight, including blurriness, cloudiness, floaters, macular degeneration, dry or wet eyes
- sensitive skin
- genital or urinary issues
- sensitive teeth and gums; popping jaw
- joint pain, including in fingers and toes
Anyone with a high-salicylate diet, oxalate issues or symptoms related to salicylate issues is a good candidate for considering this diet.
Salicylates occur naturally in many fruits, vegetables and herbs. They’re stored in plants’ bark, leaves, roots and seeds. The natural compound can also be created synthetically, so you’ll find them in medicines, processed foods, perfumes and preservatives.
Salicylate sensitivity can occur when the body needs to use up its sulfur to process oxalates, which is one reason these two issues often go hand in hand. Mold exposure often increases oxalate levels, thus also creating a salicylate sensitivity. (source)
Those with a salicylate sensitivity may exhibit symptoms of:
- eczema (various unexplained rashes)
- rhinitis (nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itching)
- stomach or digestive issues, including diarrhea (source)
- various issues with eyesight, including blurriness, cloudiness, floaters, macular degeneration, dry or wet eyes
- ADHD and/or mood issues
- weight problems
- ringing in the ears
- excessive thirst
- chronic cough
- thrush, metallic taste, ulcers in the mouth, rash around the mouth, bad breath, coated tongue
- Tourette Syndrome
- palpitations, high or low blood pressure
- PMS or breast pain
- gall bladder issues
- and more
Who should consider a Low Lectin diet
Anyone with gut-related issues should consider reducing lectins:
Lectins have a variety of roles. They can bypass human defense system and travel all over the body causing diseases (i.e. Crohn’s disease, Coeliac-Sprue, colitis, etc.) by breaking down the surface of the small intestine… [sic] (source)
Acne, eczema, inflammation, migraines, joint pain, weight gain and nutritional deficiencies can all be caused by the consumption of lectins.
Anyone with these symptoms may be a good candidate for a low lectin diet, and most Americans would be wise to reduce lectin intake, especially if any gut symptoms are present. (source)
Lectins are usually found in the hull of grains. So choosing white rice or hulled barley can lower lectin intake. A grain-free or Paleo diet can also be helpful.
Cooking or fermenting plant sources in the process of preparation, or pressure cooking, can significantly lower the amount of lectins in them.
How long to do a Low Oxalate or Low Salicylate diet
A low oxalate diet, for some people, lasts many years, or a lifetime. Many people see a significant improvement in symptoms almost immediately, and more lasting results after 6 months to a year. It is not recommended to re-introduce foods high in oxalates.
A low salicylate diet eliminates or limits these foods for 4 to 6 weeks.
Once symptoms have improved, salicylate foods may be reintroduced slowly. Introduce foods one at a time, waiting at least 72 hours before trying another food.
Tips for succeeding on a Low Oxalate and Low Salicylate diet
- Reduce oxalates slowly from the diet. If you stop eating oxalates all at once, your body can dump them too quickly and cause dangerous or uncomfortable symptoms.
- When cooking foods that contain medium amounts of oxalates, it’s best to boil them, and then drain the water. Oxalates are water soluble, so they do leach into the water.
- Look for packaged foods with really clean ingredients to have certain convenience foods. My favorites are:
- Lotus Foods’ Pad Thai Rice Noodles (I buy the box of 8 on autoship, to save money.)
- If you digest soaked brown rice fine, Jovial’s pasta is also very good.
- Organic Instant Tapioca (I buy this in bulk on autoship, to save money.) Here‘s how we make it most often. My boys love it with cream and maple syrup. Tapioca is medium in oxalates, so only eat small amounts.
- Organic Tapioca Flour
- Organic Psyllium Husk
- Focus on what you can eat, instead of mourning all of the foods you can no longer eat. Enjoy lots of great quality meats, white rice, the ice cream recipes above, the produce you can have, dandelion tea or mold-free decaf coffee and a few other foods. Keep it simple. But if you’re new to a low oxalate diet, remember Tip #1 above: start slowly, so that means that medium oxalate foods are your friends.
- Consider supplements like Serrapeptase (this brand and dosage is often recommended, but you may wish to start with a lower dosage first to be sure it’s gentle for you). This enzyme helps gentle the oxalate detox process. *Must be taken first thing in the morning, at least one full hour before eating. (Also helps lung health, sinus issues and reduces scar damage throughout the body.)
- A homeopathic that’s good for binding oxalates as they detox is Boiron’s Oxalicum Acidum 30C (find it here).
- Magnesium baths or foot baths can be helpful to reduce symptoms associated with “dumping”. (1.5 cups per bath tub of not overly hot water. 20 minutes minimum.)
- If and when you decide to reintroduce a small amount of oxalates to your diet, consider probiotic foods or a good probiotic supplement as part of the process, and do so slowly. In animal studies, this method has allowed successful metabolization of oxalates. Fermentation of foods, similarly, reduces the oxalate content of foods. (source)
- Be sure you’re getting enough B1, magnesium and potassium, foods that can be low in the diet otherwise. Beans are a good source of vitamin B1, so if you can’t eat beans, consider supplementing. (White rice depletes B1.)
- Consider avoiding vitamin C, which can contribute to oxalate retention and cause the body to create oxalates.
- It can take as little as 3 months and up to one year (on average, but up to 2 years) for the majority of oxalates to be ushered from the body (stored in tissues), so include that timetable in your expectations. One year isn’t very long if you’re settled into a new dietary routine.
Please let me know if you think I’ve made an error, or if you have an addition to the list.
I’ll continue to add to this list over the years as more information becomes available. Check back occasionally for the latest updated printable.