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Top 10 Low Oxalate Beans

So, you’ve been told to follow a low oxalate diet and to avoid all beans. If this news bummed you out and you are a bean lover, I have great news for you. Low oxalate beans DO exist! Beans can absolutely fit in a low oxalate diet.

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Who Needs Low Oxalate Beans?

First, who should focus on low oxalate beans? Not everyone needs to follow a low oxalate diet.

Only people who have high urine oxalate need to limit high oxalate foods.(1) A 24-hour urine test is the only way to know if your urine oxalate is high. Remember, that eating enough calcium will help reduce oxalate absorption and prevent kidney stones too.

There is also much more to kidney stone prevention than oxalate.

More about who needs a low oxalate diet.

Benefits of Low Oxalate Beans for People with Kidney Stones

Some may wonder why not just avoid all beans on a low oxalate diet?

Beans provide numerous health benefits for kidney stones and beyond. If you like beans, I highly recommend incorporating some into your meals.

Animal Protein Substitute

Diets that are high in animal proteins like beef, pork, chicken, fish or seafood can cause kidney stones. (2)(3) So, swapping the animal protein for low oxalate beans and other plant proteins can help lower the amount of animal protein you eat.

Fiber

Beans are a fantastic fiber source! A 1/2 cup of black beans has 8 grams of fiber – about 25% of the fiber you need for an entire day! Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are also wonderful sources of fiber.

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. Fiber helps prevent heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. (4) Of course, fiber also helps keep us pooping regularly.

Better General Health!

Beans and other plant proteins such as nuts (yes! low oxalate nuts and seeds exist too!) are an important source of protein on a vegetarian or plant based diet.

Plant based diets are beneficial for heart health, diabetes and are even associated with lower mortality. (5) (6)

Low Oxalate Beans

So, which beans are low oxalate? Here are my top 10 favorite low oxalate beans.

Black Eyed Peas

3mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Clip art of black eyed peas
Black eyed peas are low in oxalate with only 3mg per 1/2 cup

Often overlooked, black eyed peas are a wonderful low oxalate bean! Use them in soups, on salads or as a side dish.

I love this black eyed pea salad with peaches!

Garbanzo Beans

7mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Garbanzo (aka chickpeas) are another yummy low oxalate bean. Make them into hummus (make your own and avoid very high oxalate tahini), soups or sprinkle them on salads.

Lentils

8mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Green, red, black or any other color, lentils are a wonderful low oxalate plant protein option.

Try this Butternut Squash & Lentil salad!

Lima Beans

8mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Never fear, lima beans don’t have to be gross mushy blobs. Lima beans can be delicious!

Succotash is my favorite way to enjoy these low oxalate beans.

Green Peas

1mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Clipart of green peas in a pod
Green peas are very low in oxalate at only 1mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Although peas are not technically a bean, they have a similar nutrition profile. Green peas are a great source of protein (4 grams per 1/2 cup) and fiber (3.5 grams per 1/2 cup).

Look for fresh or frozen peas to keep them low sodium. Low sodium canned peas are great too!

Split Peas

5mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Again, not technically a bean, but another great low oxalate plant protein. Make some infamous split pea soup (use low sodium broth and keep the added salt down).

Or, try these tasty crispy split peas.

Red Beans

14mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Yep! Old fashioned red beans and rice is low in oxalate. With this classic entrée, watch out for tons of added salt and salty ingredients like sausage or ham.

Here is my favorite low sodium red beans and rice recipe.

Kidney Beans

15mg oxalate per 1/2 cup

Clipart of 5 dark red kidney beans
Red Kidney beans are low oxalate at 15mg per 1/2 cup

Kidney beans are a go-to low oxalate bean for me. Dried or low sodium canned kidney beans work here.

Add them to your favorite chili!

Broad (or Fava) Beans

10mg per 1/2 cup

Not as popular, but broad (or fava) beans are another low oxalate bean to try.

Try this asparagus and fava beans salad. Or, try a simple sautéed side dish.

Butter Beans

8mg per 1/2 cup

This one is a bit of a cop-out, because butter beans are just mature lima beans. But, I listed them as a separate low oxalate bean. Butter beans are just a completely different culinary adventure than lima beans!

Try this easy butter bean soup!

Other Low Oxalate Bean Considerations

Low Oxalate Bean Portions

Of course, a low oxalate bean can become a high oxalate bean if you eat enough of them. However, this is true of nearly any food!

Healthy portions vary based on your activity level, body size and how hungry you are! But, generally a portion of beans is around a 1/2 cup. The oxalate amounts given for all of the beans in this article are for a 1/2 cup portion.

Sodium in Beans

For most people, a low sodium diet is key to kidney stone prevention. Canned beans can pack quite a bit of sodium. Salt varies by brand, but a 1/2 cup of canned beans can have around 400mg of sodium! Look for “no salt added” or “low sodium” beans to keep salt in check.

Rinsing canned beans or other vegetables gets rid of about half of the salt.

Of course, dry beans are the easiest (cheapest!) and lowest sodium option. I love the quick soak method to save time. Or, cooking beans in a multi-cooker (aka “Instant-Pot”) is an amazing option too!

Pro Tip: Multi-cookers are great to cook big batches of grains to have on hand too! Here is the multi-cooker I use and love*.

Beans in sauce, such as baked or BBQ beans, also tend to have quite a bit of sodium. Beans cooked with smoked or processed meat such as smoked turkey, ham hocks, bacon or sausage, may also be on the salty side.

High Oxalate Beans

On the flip side, there are some beans that are very high in oxalate. If you have high urine oxalate, it is best to avoid these beans.

  • Great Northern Beans (66mg per 1/2 cup)
  • Navy Beans (76mg per 1/2 cup)
  • White Beans (66mg per 1/2 cup)
  • Soybeans (48mg per 1/2 cup)
  • Black Beans (62mg per 1/2 cup)

Learn More About Oxalate

For more information about oxalate, check out these other articles:

Happy Eating!

Melanie

41 thoughts on “Top 10 Low Oxalate Beans”

  1. Hello. Very helpful information. I do need to limit my oxalate intake, so with that bit of background info out of the way, do you know the numbers for Adzuki beans? And, additional question, what about insoluble versus soluble oxalate. I have continued to read that insoluble oxalate is definitely less likely to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, especially if the GI tract is healthy. What do you know about this, and with this in mind, is it accurate that soybeans are low in soluble oxalate? If soy is low in soluble oxalate does that not make it a relatively safer option for those who need to avoid high dietary oxalate?
    Thank you.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hello! I’m glad you found this helpful. I offer a more comprehensive list of oxalate content in my course, Kidney Stone Nutrition School. Insoluble oxalate would definitely be less problematic for exactly the mechanism you mentioned. However, it is nearly impossible to know how much oxalate is soluble vs. insoluble in foods. Quite frankly, it is nearly impossible to know how much oxalate PERIOD is in foods. So, this is not something I recommend people try to track or monitor. Quite frankly, tracking oxalate at all is not something I am super keen on due to the difficulty doing in, and the lack of research a low oxalate diet has any impact on health outcomes. I usually find there are other things going on in the diet that is causing kidney stones, or urine oxalate levels to be high, rather than oxalate intake from foods.

      1. This is very old and not accurate information on Oxylate’s. I would suggest reading the work and findings of Sally K Norton. Plant based diets high in Oxylate’s does far more damage than it used to be thought.

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

          There are no outcomes based research studies to suggest that plant based diets cause damage – in fact, very much the opposite. I am familiar with Sally Norton.

  2. Hi Melanie. I’m a therapist and found this great site today. It’s a tool I ’ll recommend.

    My question: For someone who is vegan (limited choices) and loves black beans, but had oxalate Kidney Stones 3x in the last 2 years: is it possible to still eat it once or twice a week if it was previously soaked for 2 days? Doesn’t *soak* impact significantly in the oxalate content reduction?

    Thank you in advance and congrats for this amazing world wide contribution to humanity (I’m portuguese 🇵🇹 living in Angola 🇦🇴 and most my clients are Brazilians 🇧🇷, so you’re in those countries too, and certainly much more).

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! Heat AND water will most reduce oxalate content, so boiling those beans will be most effective at reducing oxalate content. Of note, this also reduces ALL water soluble vitamins and minerals, so maybe isn’t the best way to go. I find most people are massively overdoing a low oxalate diet, and many people with stones don’t even need to be limiting oxalate. Only a 24 hour urine test will help a dietitian determine if a low oxalate diet is needed, and how often some of those higher oxalate foods can be enjoyed!

  3. I would love to make an oxalate-friendly version of baked beans. Traditional baked beans are usually made with navy beans. Would you know of a recipe that uses a lower oxalate bean? Thanks!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      I don’t have one readily handy – but I bet you could easily sub out those navy beans with some of these lower oxalate bean choices!

  4. I have lichen sclerosis and suffer with kidney stones. There is hardly anything left for me to eat that doesn’t affect one or the other. I also have constipation issues, so I’m down to grass and water! (ha ha) thanks for your information; very appreciated. Betty

    1. Aw Betty I really feel for you 😩 i am addressing my diet because of illness and loosing all the foods I love, it’s quite depressing 😩 good luck to you 🙏

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Susan! String beans are generally a low oxalate food. I cannot say how much is right for you without knowing more about your medical history and current eating habits. I’d ask a dietitian to understand what is best for you.

      1. Thank you for your response. I am asking about cranberry beans. The legumes. Sometimes they are called Roman beans, I read. I was wondering if they have been tested for their oxalate content. They are not a commonly eaten bean in the USA.

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

          Hi Chaz! Unfortunately, I don’t have a reputable oxalate content for cranberry beans.

  5. Hi. I am confused. The website oxalate.org shows lentils to be a high oxalate food. A mere cup of lentil soup contains 38 mg of oxalates, according to the Harvard 2008 study. This website says 16mg per cup (8mg per half cup)of lentils, and we can surmise Lentil soup contains water, and other ingredients besides lentils. Which study did the 8mg estimate come from?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Lisa! I get all of my oxalate information from the Harvard list. There is a TON of inaccurate oxalate info out there, and the Harvard list is generally accepted as one of the most accurate. I’ve standardized the portion sizes from the Harvard list to make my list on my resources page if you want to check it out.

      It is also SO important to not stress out about exact numbers of oxalate – it is virtually impossible to have exact numbers since oxalate differs by location, time of and times since harvest. Oxalate is usually the LEAST of my concerns when working with people who have kidney stones.

      1. I looked at the most recent Harvard list thoroughly many times. Lentils, lima beans, butter beans, black eyed peas, and chickpeas are NOT even listed on the Harvard list. Kidney beans are 15 mg per 1/2 cup, but Fava beans are 20 mg not 10 mg per 1/2 cup. So, again, how did you determine these are low in oxalates?

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

          Hi Sharon! I use the Harvard list as my first line of info for oxalate. For items not on that list, I use a nutrient analysis software called NDSR that is commonly used for nutrition research.

      1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

        Lentil soup doesn’t always have to have potatoes in it! Also, potatoes can be a very kidney friendly food for most people. 🙂

  6. Must I eat calcium at the exact time I eat a low-oxalate food, or can I have the calcium within 20 min. of the low-oxalate food.

    I have had 19 kidney stones, so I would be most grateful for your response.
    Thank you.
    Gail

  7. Most of these values are not in your oxalate food list (thanks for that list by the way) Where do these values come from? Thanks for your attention.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Tom! For oxalate amounts for foods not on the Harvard list, I use a nutrition analysis software called NDSR. This is a program commonly used for nutrition research.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Larry! Great suggestion. I do update the oxalate list on occasion. I’ll include these in the next rendition!

  8. I have been trying to find out––in vain––what the oxalate level is in lupini beans. Does anyone here know?

    1. I wanted to know also…so I researched and mung beans (Mung dahl) are medium oxalate with 7.9 mg oxalate per half cup, and pigeon peas used in Toor dahl are also medium oxalate at 7 mg per half cup. -Hope this is helpful.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hello! Great question! All of these values are based on a 1/2 cup of COOKED beans.

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