Dear Abby Friday: Oxa- whaaat?

by lindsay cotter on February 8, 2013

Hey guess what?! It’s Dear Abby Friday! For those of you who don’t know, Abby is my neighbor. She’s pretty awesome. Plus she is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist so very similar to what I practice.

abbyag

In fact, that’s why I’ve been recruiting her here. You see, I haven’t had much time to touch base on nutrition topics because I’ve been busy with other projects, healthy bites, training, etc. And to be honest, I’m okay with that. I love being a Nutrition manager but I am also pretty fed up with diet and nutrition trends these days. How’s that for a Friday rant? Haha.

diet

But Abby’s perspective is SPOT on with mine. So here’s a recent question she received that you all might be VERY interested in. Don’t think too hard though, it’s Friday!

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~ Disclaimer

The following are my own opinions based on research I have gathered. I am a Nutrition Consultant, NOT a doctor. If you have or think you may have any of the health issues mentioned below please see your physician. ~

Oxa-whaat?

Dear Abby,

“ What are Oxalates? I read somewhere that green smoothies are bad, and the oxalates they contain are like shards of glass in your stomach. But I love my green smoothies- I’m freaking out!”

Okay, stop the freak out. Really! It’s going to be okay. : )

~ Oxalates, what are they? Oxalates are organic acids that occur naturally in the human body. They also naturally exist in plants and animals. Our bodies convert many of the things we consume (like Vitamin C) into oxalates.

~ Why are they sometimes harmful? Kidney Stones- it is estimated that in the United States, 10% of us will pass a kidney stone at some time in our life. Oxalates can be harmful if over consumed by those who are PRONE to kidney stones. Kidney stones can be composed of different substances, but about 75% of the kidney stones in U.S. patients are made of calcium oxalate. When calcium and oxalate combine, they form a rather insoluble substance, resulting inside the kidney’s as “stones” but when normally combined inside the digestive tract, they are eliminated as waste. Scientific research offers evidence that uncombined intestinal oxalic acid could be the culprit for calcium oxalate kidney stones. Supporting good digestion, increasing dietary calcium and eating a variety of whole foods has been shown to support the body in processing oxalates properly.

slaw

If you are prone to kidney stones or remain concerned, here are a few simple tips to minimize the effects of oxalates:

• Increase your intake of dietary calcium primarily through plant-based sources, such as kale, kelp, collard greens, and romaine to name a few.

• Rotate your greens, eat a wide variety of greens and other vegetables, taste the rainbow! ; )

• Drink lots of water, this helps to flush out substances that cause the stones to form.

• Know your body; too much of anything after a time can be a bad thing. Lets try our best not to take anything to the extreme, there is much truth to “Everything in Moderation”. After all, the fun of being a foodie is discovering new (or new to you) foods and food combinations!

Now raise your glass of green, and cheers to not freaking out! : )

smoothie

Sources:

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by, Michael Murray, N.D.

Life Extension Disease Prevention and Treatment 4th Edition

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So… have any Dear Abby thoughts, questions, etc? Leave a comment below.

Oh and cheers to FRIDAY!

wine (2)

LC

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Nadiya @ Milk and Honey on the Run February 8, 2013 at 7:54 am

Excellent post :) My grandma is always like those green smoothies that you drink are unhealthy! Crazy right?

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

haha no way! i guess grandma know right!

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Linz @ Itz Linz February 8, 2013 at 8:01 am

Great post! Really good reminder to switch up those greens – sometimes I get into a spinach rut!!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm

totally! I love using arugula, kale, etc.

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

I find this subject fascinating. I just heard a news cast on the radio the other day about men getting too much vitamin C and it causing kidney stones. Perfect advise to eat everything in moderation and eat a variety. Great post!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

yes, it’s true. But i think we overdose on supplements these days too, ya know?

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Bre February 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

Love the Dear Abby posts- so fun! Linds, I’m with you on being fed up with diet and nutrition fads right now…definitely a pet peeve of mine.

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm

and it’s getting worse. ugh.

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Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) February 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

SO INFORMATIVE!! I am not the best when it comes to nutrition, so I always love learning about this stuff :)

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:16 pm

well youre the best when it comes to LIVING LIFE to the FULLEST!

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Melissa Love February 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

Love this! And the new page :)

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

thx melissa!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

Cheers to not freaking out is my theme today. I wanna go home and make green smoothies. :)

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm

i think your theme should be stay warm!

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kim@hungryhealthygirl February 8, 2013 at 9:23 am

That’s interesting! I had never heard about oxalates or green smoothies being bad. I’ve never had kidney stones and I don’t drink green smoothies everyday, so I guess I’m in the clear.

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm

you sure are. but it’s interesting to know, yes?

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm

i’d said so! But greens are good, just not an overload at a time. Good to hear from you Kim!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance February 8, 2013 at 9:24 am

Cheers to Friday! :)

I’ve never even heard of oxalates, so this was really interesting. Great post. For most things, it always seems to boil down to moderation!!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm

yep yep, so true. moderation and balance. we should have learned by now. haha

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Kristen@Change of Pace February 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

Great question and answer. I really try to rotate my greens in my smoothies only for variation. I love learning about food science :)

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm

so do i! but i am also NOT a creature of habit. haha

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julie February 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

i love this concept! i have no freaking clue what oxalates are but now i’m glad i do! also abby’s hubby is a hottie. hahah

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Abby February 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Julie, you and I obviously have good taste in common ; )

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Kierston February 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

I always overdue my bell peppers! I love those. So crunchy.

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greengirlrunning February 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I totally had a mini freak out when I first learned about oxalates and greens rotation! But, as with all things balance is key :) I’m not sure if this is true, but I read once that adding lemon to high oxalate foods can help break it down and allow your body to absorb the calcium more easily. Like steamed spinach with lemon, butter and capers… yum!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm

totally. And yes, i agree with the lemon! i do that too! the vitamin C helps!

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Addy @ Six-Kick Switch February 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I am totally in agreement with your rant — how many diet books need to be on the shelves before we have enough?! Thanks for the informative post too, Abby! I had no idea that oxalates even existed til now. Learn something new every day!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

i don’t know, one too many, that’s for sure!

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jobo February 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

What a great idea for a post!! I didn’t know what oxalates were either, and I am glad to learn more!! So smart!!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm

what can i say, i have smart neighbors and BLENDS!

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Christa @ Edible Balance February 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Great topic, such an informative post! I heard about the dangers of green smoothies but didn’t want to believe them! I will definitely work on rotating greens more and getting more calcium. Fabulous tips Abby!

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Christa @ Edible Balance February 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Oh and YES Lindsay! So much going on lately, I am also very tired of the trends. It’s so refreshing to hear someone say something in a post though ;) rant on my friend!!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

amen amen! and its part of my profession. that’s what makes me so annoyed!

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Tami Stephens February 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Great post! I was reminded the other day about how good arugula is for you. High in nitrates! http://nutritionfacts.org/video/vegetables-rate-by-nitrate/

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm

oh yes! i just had arugula in my smoothie!

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kalli February 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

cheers friends! enjoy the weekend and I am loving these posts!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

cheers to you! enjoy your vacay and half!

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Jody - Fit at 55 February 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Love your rant Lindsay & love the post! I like moderation! I like that idea of changing it up cause I am lazy & like to stick with similar things but I do try. In the gym I change it up though! :) Thx for sharing!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 9:58 pm

and you’ve found what works for you. That’s key!

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Lisa February 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I’ll definitely cheer to it being Friday!
This was a great and informative post, I’ve heard a bitttt about the oxalates but definitely not too much.
Moderation in everything right!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 10:02 pm

totally. And cheers to friday Lisa!

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables February 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I’m tired of trends too girl! I love this post… I’m glad she cleared up oxalates, because I have been wondering about that! :) Keep her around!

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm

i really wish we could do away with all diet talk. Sometimes it’s just so petty, okay i know, i’m ranting again.

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm

p.s. Abby is the best! i am trying to get her to blend.

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Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run February 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I meant to tell you the other day that I love your blog’s new look. :)

As for this post, I love it. It’s a really good example of how reading one article can make people freak out, and often times over something like this.

And I love the nutrition talk. I geek out over it. lol

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LCCotter February 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

exactly. I think we freak out too much these days, haha. yes?

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Lou February 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

oooo interesting! Great info…. love a good nutrition-y post, de-bunking all these rumours and fad-diet-crap ;)

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LCCotter February 10, 2013 at 8:23 am

i thought you’d like this post. Nutrition FADS debunked! thank GOODNESS!

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Allison @ Life's a Bowl February 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I’ve never tried a green smoothie but per my doc’s recommendation they’re stock full of goodness- I was thinking of trying the Naked variety before attempting my own… Just in case I add too many greens and it turns out sour :P

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Christine @ Love, Life, Surf February 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Phew! I was going to be sad if I had to give up my green smoothies!! But this is great information. I do need to rotate my greens more. I think that I tend to eat the same kind out of habit.

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LCCotter February 10, 2013 at 8:15 am

i saw a great green recipe with mustard greens! I’m tempted to try that next!

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Jenny February 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I have has kidney stones and have gone to a major university stone clinic. From my experience it is best to be evaluated. They were great and did several 24 he urine studies and supported my effort to deal with it through nutrition vs medication. I was recommended to drink 120 ounces of water with 40 before noon, 40 before 4 and 40 after 4 since front loading the day is not good. Citric acid is good, no additional calcium supplements, but calcium is good in food not fortified but real food. Also reducing my daily intake of sodium to under 1500 mg was the biggest recommendation. My bad numbers decreases dramatically and they were so happy with my results and I wanted to do anything to not go on medication.

One thing I wanted to ask about is I have been recommended not to eat raw spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts and other items like that since they are goitergens and can interfere with thyroid function when raw. Can you speak to that issue?

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Bonnie February 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Great post! I love Abby. :) Learned a lot through her info and love your glass of wine at the end. ;)

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Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen February 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Well thank you for answering a question I didn’t even know I had! :)

I’m with you, Linds…LIFESTYLE not diet.

Also, I hate when people think of food as good or evil.

That is all.

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LCCotter February 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm

amen to that! Food is not the devil, our thoughts are though at times. OYE!

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