Artisan bread loaves on wood table with title: How to Find Low Oxalate Bread" over top of image

How to Find Low Oxalate Bread

Who Should Eat Low Oxalate Bread?

As always, I start my low oxalate posts with a disclaimer. Not everyone who has kidney stones needs a low oxalate diet. In fact, not even everyone with oxalate kidney stones needs low oxalate bread.

A healthy diet for kidney stone prevention must be individualized to your urine risk factors and medical history. And, a diet for calcium oxalate kidney stones is a lot more than oxalate!

Always work with a Registered Dietitian or doctor familiar with your medical history to learn what is best for you.

Can I Eat Bread with Kidney Stones?

Absolutely! In fact, bread and other healthy carbs are an important part of a healthy diet for most people.

Unfortunately, bread and other carbohydrates are often demonized. But, healthy whole grains are an important part of nearly any healthy diet. Whole grains are an important source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and energy!

The keys to healthfully eating bread and other carbohydrates are to:

  • Make sure you get most of your carbohydrate from healthy, whole food sources with fiber (such as whole grains and fruit!)
  • Eat them as part of a well balanced plate that includes protein and vegetables

Kidney Stone Friendly Bread: More Than Low Oxalate

Kidney stone prevention is about a WHOLE lot more than oxalate – even for people who need a low oxalate diet.

Whole grains, such as whole grain bread, are recommended for a general healthy diet because whole grains are higher in fiber and other healthy nutrients than white or refined grains.

Even though whole grains are a bit higher in oxalate, I recommend whole grains for the vast majority of patients with calcium oxalate kidney stones.

To understand why, let’s dive into the anatomy of whole grains.

What Is a Whole Grain?

Whole grains are any grain (such as wheat, rye, rice or barley) that includes ALL parts of the kernel. Whole grains include the endosperm, germ and bran. During processing of refined grains, the germ and bran are removed, leaving just the endosperm.

The germ and bran have nearly all of the healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals in them! They also have most of the oxalate.

Even though refined grains such as white bread, white pasta and white rice are lower oxalate, they are also lower in these important nutrients. Because of this, they are not recommended for most people with kidney stones.

For most people, the benefit of all that extra fiber and other nutrition outweigh the slightly higher oxalate content of whole grains.

Benefits of Whole Grains for Kidney Stones

Fiber

Perhaps most importantly, whole grains are a better source of fiber than refined grains. Diets adequate in fiber help combat much more than constipation. High fiber diets can help prevent cancer, aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and most other chronic conditions. (1)

Most people eat much less fiber than they should. The average fiber intake in the United States is 15 grams per day. (2) This is far below the goal of 25-38 grams per day. (2)

Along with fruits and vegetables, whole grains are an important source of fiber in our diet.

Magnesium

It is well known that magnesium plays an important role in kidney stone prevention. Magnesium inhibits kidney stone formation. (3) And, lower blood levels of magnesium are associated with kidney stones – even when magnesium levels are in the “normal” range. (4)

Whole grains, nuts and seeds are the primary source of magnesium in our diet. (5) Nearly half of Americans are not eating enough magnesium. (5) Completely avoiding whole grains (or, nuts and seeds!) because of the oxalate content also removes magnesium.

Importantly, magnesium supplements have not shown consistent benefit for stone prevention. (6) Try to get enough magnesium through healthy foods.

Phytate

Phytate (or phytic acid), is compound found in many plant foods. It is known for being an “anti-nutrient” because it blocks the absorption of some important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.

However, phytate has many health benefits! It is an antioxidant and likely plays a role in stopping kidney stones from forming. (7) (8) (9)

Phytate is found in many healthy plant foods, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Importantly, the exact role of dietary phytate in kidney stone prevention is still up for debate, but it is clear there some connection. (10) In general, diets higher in phytate are associated with lower risk of kidney stones. Avoiding whole grains reduces phytate in your diet.

Tips for Finding Low Oxalate Bread Good for Kidney Stones

It is nearly impossible to know exactly how much oxalate is in commercial breads. Unless we have the exact recipe (which, most companies would not be willing to share, for obvious reasons!), it is impossible to calculate exact oxalate counts.

But, you can do your homework and try to find a healthy bread lower in oxalate – while balancing the need for fiber and good nutrition!

Tip 1: Hunt for High Oxalate Ingredients

Look at the ingredients in whatever bread you are eating – this is the first step to finding low oxalate bread. If the bread contains lots of very high oxalate ingredients, that bread will likely be high in oxalate!

It is unlikely that you’ll find a healthy bread that is completely free of very high oxalate ingredients – unless you choose highly refined white bread – which isn’t ideal.

Instead, look for a bread that has fewer very high oxalate ingredients.

Remember, ingredients are listed on food labels in order of how much is used. So, ingredients listed first are more important. And, ingredients listed further down are less important.

Very High Oxalate Bread Ingredients

To find low oxalate bread, look for bread that doesn’t have these ingredients, or has them further down the ingredient list.

  • Almond Flour
  • Soy Flour
  • Brown Rice Flour
  • Rice Bran
  • Cornmeal, Corn Flour & Corn Bran
  • Teff Flour
  • Amaranth Flour
  • Sorghum Flour
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Wheat Berries
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame Seeds

Lower Oxalate Bread Ingredients

Look for bread made from these ingredients.

  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • White Flour
  • Wheat or Wheat Flour
  • White Rice Flour
  • Bread Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Cassava Flour
  • Arrowroot Flour
  • Oats or Oat Bran
  • Barley
  • Lentils
  • Sunflower, flax seeds or other lower oxalate nuts & seeds

Tip 2: Check For Fiber

Bread, and other carbohydrates, are an important source of fiber – if done right! Make sure whatever bread you choose is a good source of fiber.

A good rule of thumb is to look for bread that has at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.

Tip 3: Don’t Forget to Check Sodium

Keeping sodium in check is an important part of kidney stone prevention. Bread can be surprisingly high in sodium.

Always check the Nutrition Facts label to see how much sodium is in your bread. Both the general recommendations for healthy people, and people with kidney stones, suggest limiting sodium to no more than 2,300mg per day. (11)

Tip 4: Avoid Added Sugar

Sugar is another sneaky bread ingredient. Most breads have some sugar or sweetener, like honey or molasses, because yeast needs sugar to make bread rise. But, some breads have more sugar than others.

Look for bread with no more than 4 grams of added sugar per slice.

Top 5 Healthy Low Oxalate Bread Recommendations

Brownberry Oatnut Bread*

My personal favorite go-to for healthy bread. This low oxalate bread is made primarily from whole wheat flour, wheat flour and oats. Most other ingredients are lower in oxalate such as hazelnuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Brownberry Whole Grains Double Fiber Bread

This fiber packed bread has 5 grams of fiber per slice! Most of the fiber is from lower oxalate ingredients such as whole wheat flour, oat fiber and wheat bran.

Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat Bread*

This low oxalate bread is made of just whole wheat flour and wheat flour. Likely one of the lowest oxalate bread options in my top 5!

Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Honey Wheat Bread*

Made from whole wheat flour, this tasty bread had just a touch of honey for a bit of sweetness! Even with the added sugar, this bread only has 4g of added sugar per slice.

Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Bread*

Again made from essentially only whole wheat flour, this bread is a healthy low oxalate bread choice. This is also the lowest in sodium, with only 115mg of sodium per slice.

Low Oxalate Bread Recipe

Of course, you can always make your own low oxalate bread at home! Make your own bread at home to control the ingredients – especially that salt and sugar! Plus, what tastes (and smells!) better than homemade bread!?

Try this simple whole wheat bread recipe!

sliced wheat bread on wood cutting board
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

(Healthy!) Low Oxalate Bread

Whole grain bread made with moderately low oxalate whole grain flour, sunflower seeds and oatmeal for a healthy, fiberful bread!
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: low oxalate bread
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 149kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water warm
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup white flour
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Let rest for a few minutes, until bubbles start to form. Add remaining 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, salt and oil.
  • Add 1 cup white flour. Mix with a spatula. Pour dough onto floured surface and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup white flour, oatmeal and sunflower seeds over dough. Knead for 5 minutes, until all the flour, oatmeal & seeds are incorporated and the dough is elastic.
  • Rinse large bowl and spray with cooking spray. Place dough in the bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Set bowl in a warm place and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Punch dough to deflate and shape into a 8-9" log. and place dough into pan. Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375'F.
  • Uncover the bread and bake about 30 minutes, until golden brown. To make sure bread is cooked, remove from loaf pan, and gently tap on bottom – the loaf should sound hollow.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Facts (per 1 slice): 149 calories, 3.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 26g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 2g added sugar, 4g protein, 99mg sodium, 9mg calcium, 92mg potassium, 94mg phosphorus, 6mg oxalate

Happy Eating!

Melanie

20 thoughts on “How to Find Low Oxalate Bread”

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      I do love to recommend Ezekiel bread for many people! There are some higher oxalate ingredients in it than the brands I recommended, but if your urine oxalate isn’t especially high, Ezekiel bread can be a great option!

  1. 5 stars
    hi Melanie.
    I have recently read a short article about grains, and some better substitutes for quinoa, which is high in oxalates. They mentioned teff, spelt and sorghum among others. But, yet again, other sources claim something different, and that’s when it got very confusing. Do you happen to know anything about the above three? Thanks!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Martin! It can definitely get confusing trying to decipher what is “high” oxalate. I think a big part of the problem is there is no definition for what constitutes a “high” oxalate level in a food. According to my sources, both sorghum and teff are pretty high. I’m not sure about spelt. As always, I recommend focusing on whole diet quality, rather the agonizing over the oxalate content of each food and ingredient! I hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Melanie!

    Thank you for all he useful information on your website.
    I loooove good bread and pasta, so finding out that the wholewheat one is, generally speaking, on the higher side as far as oxalates are concerned, was a blow.
    I’ve been making my own “bread”, that consists of only oat bran, plain yoghurt, some linseeds, egg and some baking powder. Super quick to make and suprisingly ok in taste. I read that oat bran are lower in oxalates than oatmeal. I’m curious if you’d approve this recipe as an example of a bread on the lower side as for the oxalates level, compared to others.
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Martin! That bread sounds delicious! Oatmeal is actually lower in oxalate than bran, so I might make that one switch.

  3. Finally,I found a site that makes sense. There seems to be so many contradictions.
    I have always made whole wheat bread in my bread machine and with only 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of salt. can’t imagine white bread being better. do you think it would help to make it with half bread flour and half whole wheat? And I like your sunflower seed idea. I’ll try that.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Thank you Ginny! Bread flour would have about the same oxalate as AP white flour (bread flour just has slightly more protein). So, depending on what you need (more fiber? less oxalate?), you could adjust from there. I also just LOVE the crunch and flavor of sunflower seeds in bread too!

      1. Thank you so much.
        I’m just beginning my low oxalate diet so I have a lot to learn and unlearn especially since I have been on a low carb diet for years.

  4. Hi, Melanie–
    So happy to have found your site, while hunting for low oxalate bread. I’ve only been at this drastic diet change thing for nine days. Your information is so user-friendly, it makes me trust the real science brain behind it. Such a welcome change from all the contradictions I’ve come across lately.

    Thank you!
    Barbara

  5. Deitre Courchesne

    Hi Melanie:
    I really enjoy receiving all of your posts. Such great recipes and information and your real-life approach is so refreshing!
    I was wondering about bladder stones and inflammatory arthritis. Grains seem to cause inflammation without exception. I do eat lentils, chick peas, peas and pinto beans without issue. Any advice otherwise?
    Thank you.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Deitre – Thank you SO very much for your comment. I’m so helpful my content has been helpful to you! Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of research that I am aware of for inflammatory arthritis and nutrition – although, admittingly, this is not my specialty! The prevention of bladder stones is exactly the same as kidney stones – so do make sure to check out this article!

  6. could you recommend what low oxalate breads a gluten sensitive person can eat? It seems like all of the grains you suggest avoiding are exactly the ones I usually eat, that is, with almond flour, etc. Thanks so much for all of the good things info!!

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Of course! I’m SO glad my site is useful! I’d probably recommend rice flour products for a good lower oxalate gluten free option!

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

          Thank you SO very much Sharon! It makes my day to hear that my site is actually helping people out there!

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