3 types of different beans in white dishes with title of post "Top 10 Low Oxalate Beans" overlay

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.

*Please note that this post contains clearly identified affiliate links.  As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you).

Stop sign with text: This information is only for people with high oxalate on a 24-hour urine test. Many people with oxalate kidney stones do not have high urine oxalate. Click here to learn more about who needs a low oxalate diet.

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

95 thoughts on “Top 10 Low Oxalate Beans”

  1. I don’t see Pinto Beans on the high or low oxalate list. Please let me know because I think that’s what’s in a lot of Mexican food, which I love!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Generally on the higher side. But please check out this post about who needs a low oxalate diet – and this one about how a low oxalate diet could make stones worse – before cutting them out of your diet!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      I get everything from the Harvard oxalate list when possible. For foods not available, I use a program called NDSR.

  2. Looking for a grain, bean, legume and nut that is very low oxalate , has protein and is alkaline forming. Aramath is high ox but alot of it is insoluble. Would that be good to consume?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Of course! I recommend ALL whole grains for kidney stone formers, regardless of oxalate (I talk about why here). Remember, our goal isn’t to find everything we need in ONE food – it is about the balance of ALL foods you eat throughout the day that matters.

  3. I have an unusual situation. I an a very active 72 year old playing competitive basketball, tennis and pickleball. If I eat foods high in oxalates, such as spinich or a lot of pure dark chocolate, containing cocoa, I will actually pee blood after the activity. The blood will subside after two to three voids. I’ve been checked for bladder cancer and thankfully it was negative. I had a Urolift procedure done almost two years ago and since then I am told oxalates have used one of the stints from the Urolift as a host and has formed a stone that clings to it. As for the bleeding I am told the very jagged and sharp oxalate particles that find their way into my bladder bounce around during my sports, making little cuts, thus the blood. I’ve not heard anyone else out there with this. Any input would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Hi Jerry! Thanks for sharing your situation. I’d need to know more about you and know exactly WHY you are forming those crystals (aka – a 24 hour urine test) before I could know what would be beneficial.

  4. William Courtney

    A half-cup of cooked white beans like Navy beans and Great Northern beans contain approximately 60 to 65 mg of calcium. Does that make them safer to eat on a kidney stone diet than oxalate content alone would indicate?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      I actually don’t recommend avoiding foods just because they are high in oxalate for most people. Rather than look at calcium/oxalate content of foods individually, it is MUCH more important to look at your entire dietary pattern and ensure it is adjusted based on your 24 hour urine test.

  5. Extremely interesting.
    However, I wish you had written how much a cup or half-cup’s worth is, in grams.
    Please let me know.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Hi Roger – the weight (or grams) of a 1/2 cup of each of these means will be different for every single one as each bean weighs a different amount.

  6. you wrote :

    «Diets that are high in animal proteins like beef, pork, chicken, fish or seafood can cause kidney stones»

    Could you provide scientific studies backing your claim ?

    BTW, Sally K. Norton — who wrote «Toxic Superfood» — mentionned in her book that meat have very little amount of oxalates !

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      There are many studies that find that higher animal protein intake is associated with higher stone risk. Here is a more recent paper. You can find more references in this article on my site. This recommendation is also found in the American Urological Association Guidelines for the Medical Management of Kidney Stones.
      Meat and other animal proteins are oxalate-free – but stone prevention is A LOT more than oxalate. It is important to know that the liver can make oxalate from many different substrates – certain amino acids that tend to be found in animal protein being one of them. These are some of the many reasons I do not advise a strict low oxalate diet.

  7. So, I passed a 7mm kidney stone which was 6 days of hell. When it was tested it was a calcium stone, yet my blood work showed my calcium levels were normal. The Dr. narrowed it down to sun tea that I drink which is mainly black tea. So of course, I cut that down really low and consume lots of water. What are the best things to eat for this not to happen again or is it more watching what I drink??

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Hi Rosemarie. Thank you so much for your comment. Blood calcium actually doesn’t tell us anything about what is going on with kidney stones. We really need to see a 24-hour urine test to know what CAUSED your stones, so we can know what we can do to prevent them. This post about that test will be helpful!

  8. Thank you for the great information you are providing!

    Are the oxalate amounts for beans for dried or canned?
    I’m guessing that lentils are probably dried and green peas are probably frozen or fresh, but what about other means that are often purchased canned or dried?
    For example, Garbanzo Beans
    7mg oxalate per 1/2 cup …. is this for dried or canned garbanzos?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Unless I specify, the Harvard list also didn’t specify. All oxalate amounts are given in cooked (not dried) amounts. Generally, oxalate in canned food is going to be slightly lower simply due to the cooking process of canning.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Thank you for this informative email. I have oxalate stones and am concern of my diet. My last 24 hr urine did show low citrates. So I’m working on that. Thanks again, Anna ceretti

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Oxalate in anything does reduce bioavailable calcium a bit. BUT, we absorb such a small percentage of calcium anyway. There is no data to suggest a higher oxalate diet reduces calcium absorption so much that it compromises bone health. I most definitely do NOT recommend a low oxalate diet for osteoporosis.

      1. So I am confused…low oxalate diet for kidney stones, but not for osteoporosis. What if you have both, what do you do???

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      These are likely on the higher side, similar to navy beans. Boiling will always reduce oxalate. However, this is not a strategy I like to recommend often because boiling also reduces the amount of ALL other water soluble vitamins.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      They actually probably contain slightly less due to the cooking process. But likely no significant differences.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X
Scroll to Top