Is Salad High In Oxalate? What You Should Know About Oxalate Content In Salads

People with certain health conditions should limit the number of oxalates they eat.

Salads are a common dietary staple, and we often assume that all salads are healthy.

But is salad high in oxalate?

This blog post will help you answer this question and make healthier salads next time.

What is a salad?

A salad refers to a dish that contains different ingredients that are chopped into small pieces and mixed together with a dressing.

Some popular ingredients for salads include leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens,…), root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets,…), fruits (watermelon, mango, papaya, different kinds of berries, grapes, apricot,…), meat, seafood, grains (couscous, quinoa), nuts, seeds, and cheese.

The dressing also varies from recipe to recipe and cuisine to cuisine.

For example, Asians prefer a light-textured but flavorful dressing that usually contains soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and spices.

Meanwhile, Westerns opt for vinaigrette as a mixture of oil like olive oil and vinegar, or a creamy dressing that contains dairy products like mayo or cheese.

No matter how salads are made with what ingredients, they are meant to result in a refreshing and balanced dish that helps offset the richness of other dishes in the meal and boost appetite.

Therefore, a salad can be a starter, main course, side dish, or even dessert.

What is oxalate?

Oxalate, also known as oxalic acid, is a chemical found in many foods.

It has the formula of C₂O₄²⁻ and has no color.

Oxalates are mostly found in plant-based ingredients, such as some kinds of leafy greens, root vegetables, berries, nuts, and soy products.

Although all the aforementioned ingredients are packed with many other essential nutrients that benefit our health, they turn out to be pretty high in oxalates that you should watch out for when adding to your diet, especially when you have some health problems with your kidneys.

What do oxalates do to our bodies?

Oxalates seem to be a good compound for plants only, not for humans.

They are not a required nutrient that we need, but unfortunately, what we eat every day all contain oxalic acid.

A diet that is too high in oxalates can form kidney stones because it binds calcium.

Moreover, this can also prevent our bodies from absorbing other necessary nutrients.

Therefore, it is important to have a scientific diet with a low source of oxalates.

Is salad high in oxalate?

Earthbound Farm Organic Classic Caesar Salad Kit

Salads can be high or low in oxalate depending on what they include.

As mentioned earlier, oxalates are typically found in plants, but some veggies have this substance more than others.

Most leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, or celery are a rich source of oxalate, despite the fact that they are also very nutritious.

Root vegetables, nuts, and soy products are also high in this chemical.

So if your salad contains a lot of these veggies and ingredients, then it is considered high-oxalate food.

On the other hand, if your salads use broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mushroom, onion, meat, grain products (crumbled bread or quinoa), etc,…instead, it can be safer for your kidney health.

What salads are high/low in oxalate?

Here are some ideas for salads that are high or low in oxalate so that you can know and avoid or add them to your diet depending on your health condition:

Low-oxalate salads

Thai cucumber salad

Fresh Brand - Mini Cucumbers, 16oz

This suggestion comes from Thai cuisine, which is famous for its refreshing and spicy taste.

Thai cucumber salad is made of cucumber, onion, and pepper mixed in a sweet chili sauce and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

Coriander is sprinkled over the top before serving to add flavor, aroma, and garnish.

This salad option is crunchy, refreshing, and most important, is low in oxalates.


365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Salad Kit, Kale Caesar, 9.25 Ounce

Coleslaw is more popular in Western cuisine, especially in the south of the United States.

It is mainly made of cabbage and sometimes carrots with a mayo-based dressing.

You can also use vinaigrette as a dressing per personal preference.

This low-oxalate salad is easy and quick to make, and the ingredients are also available worldwide.

Grilled chicken salad

Whole Foods Market Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Meat is always a good option when it comes to low-oxalate food.

Therefore, adding grilled chicken breast to your salad is a good way to go if you want a filling, nutritious, delicious but low-fat and low-oxalate meal.

Chicken is mixed with some kinds of veggies and fruits like avocado, cheese, tomatoes, corn kernels, and a dressing per your preference.

The result is flavorful, vibrant, and so tasty.

High-oxalate salads

Any typical green salad that contains a lot of leafy greens is high in oxalate.

So if you have kidney disease, it is better to cut down the consumption of garden salad, spinach salad, lettuce salad, kale salad, or potato salad.

Nuts and seeds are not a good topping in this case either.


So, is salad high in oxalate?

In short, it depends.

We have listed out what salad ingredients are low or high in oxalates so that you can make the right decision on choosing what veggie to combine with another to result in the healthiest dish for your body.