Oatmeal has oxalates in it. Oatmeal is a low-oxalate food, though. It’s also high in some beneficial nutrients. It’s difficult to know the exact amount of oxalate in oatmeal because there are different companies manufacturing and packaging it. We know it’s low enough to eat on a low-oxalate diet regimen.
Food science has become a bigger deal over the last few decades. That’s because we’ve learned so much as a society about food and the way substances in it affect our bodies. Oatmeal has some good minerals in it. Couple those with low oxalate levels and you get nutrients that are easier for your body to absorb. Read on to find out why!
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Does Oatmeal Have Oxalates?
Oatmeal is made from whole grains–oats. Oats have a lot of health benefits to offer. Oatmeal does not have a lot of oxalic acid, or oxalates for short.
Oatmeal has low levels of oxalic acid. That means there aren’t a lot of oxalates in oatmeal to bind with the vitamins and minerals in the oats and keep your body from absorbing them. Oatmeal is a good breakfast choice for many people, but especially for those who have kidney or urinary tract issues.
What Do Oxalates Do?
Oxalic acid is found in some foods and plants. It’s also contained in some types of beverages. Oxalic acid can combine with other compounds in the food or drink, turning it into an oxalate. For example, oxalic acid can bind with iron to form an iron oxalate. This binding often happens in the intestines.
Are Oxalates Bad for You?
Oxalates can be bad for you but aren’t always. There’s been a lot of discussion over the answer to this question. The reason is because the answer depends on the circumstances surrounding each individual.
Oxalates are bad for you if you take in too many. Oxalic acid binds itself to healthy vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function better. When it does that, it renders those nutrients virtually useless. Your body cannot absorb nutrients that are bound into oxalates.
So, what happens to the nutrients your body is unable to absorb? They get flushed down the toilet. Well, the better answer is they get flushed out of your body with waste. But then, they literally get flushed down the toilet, in most cases.
How Can Oxalates Be Good for You?
On the other side of things is how oxalates can help you. Let’s look at an example of how the same process mentioned above can help your body.
If you’re prone to kidney stones, foods rich in oxalic acid could help prevent future kidney stones. Oxalic acid will bind with calcium or uric acid, which both cause kidney stones, and flush it from the body as waste. Basically, oxalates strip away some of the minerals that cause kidney stones, as well as urinary tract issues.
Some argue that there isn’t a correlation between oxalates and healthier kidneys or fewer kidney stones. Research is seemingly starting to show a connection, however.
How Much Oxalate Is in Oatmeal?
The exact amount of oxalate in oatmeal is hard to know. Oats are mixed with other ingredients when they’re prepackaged. But oats are known to be a low-oxalate food, so you can eat a serving of oatmeal and know you’re not getting more than a few milligrams of oxalates, at the most.
What Else Is in Oatmeal?
Oats are healthy grains. They’re near the top of the list for healthiest grains you can eat. They have many vitamins and minerals, plenty of fiber, and lots of antioxidants, but no gluten.
You’ll find beneficial amounts of the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
These all provide different kinds of benefits for your health. Some of them include helping to lower cholesterol, improving your digestive processing, regulating your blood sugar, increasing bloodflow to and from the heart, and helping to maintain a healthy weight.
Should I Eat Oatmeal to Improve My Kidney Function?
Before you decide to eat oatmeal to improve your kidney function, you should get assessed by a doctor. Oatmeal is recommended for people who have kidney issues and are prone to kidney stones. A doctor should help you decide if a low-oxalate diet is right for you, though.
Overall, oatmeal is a healthy choice if we’re talking about grain only. However, oatmeal that’s mixed with other ingredients may not be healthy at all. Many prepackaged oatmeal varieties are chock full of sugar and other substances that don’t do much good for the nutritional value of the oats.
Doctors often recommend oatmeal as a healthy breakfast for people who have some kidney problems, but it’s best to check with yours before relying on oats to fix issues.
Be Mindful of Your Mix-Ins
Oatmeal is one of those foods that most of us mix things into. We dress our oatmeal up the way we like it, just like yogurt or pizza. To ensure you keep the nutritional value intact, be mindful of the ingredients you’re mixing in. Some berries are high in oxalates, so your breakfast may not fit the low-oxalate diet you’re following.
Oatmeal does have oxalates, though in low quantities. Oats are great for diets aimed at helping with better kidney functioning. It’s hard to know the true amount of oxalates in oatmeal but rest assured it’s a low-oxalate food.
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