The Dangers of Healthy Eating

Is it possible that eating healthy food could inadvertently be putting your health at risk? Could you be unintentionally accumulating a toxic substance?

I believe this scenario is commoner than we think.

Could the fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds you are eating to boost your health, be making you ill? Perhaps even the dark chocolate?

As fanciful as it seems, this is indeed possible, and the problem is due to oxalates in food.

This is a plant toxin and we have known about it for nearly 200 years. Observant nineteenth century doctors noticed patients developed kidney stones and a range of other symptoms during the rhubarb season (rhubarbs are notoriously high in oxalates).

The fashion for juicing and smoothies (which has many health benefits) is adding to the problem by concentrating these toxins. Some fruit vegetables, seeds and nuts can have very high oxalate levels and you only need to be eating a few of these to be in trouble. For instance, a green smoothie with two cups of spinach could contain 1500 mg oxalate, a potentially lethal dose. (The safe dose in a day should be less than 250 mg).

An added problem is that most doctors and nutritionists are unaware of this problem. Worse still, there is no good test for oxalates.

Fortunately, oxalate toxicity is easy to avoid, at least if you know which foods to watch out for, and then it is a simple matter of switching high oxalate foods for low oxalate alternatives.

Foods very high in oxalates include, spinach, beetroots, rhubarb, potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, nuts, especially almonds, dark chocolate, grains, especially buckwheat and quinoa (but also wholegrains), most berries and most seeds.

Many people are taking more of these than ever, especially as they are now much more available and often during any season. And many of us are eating them to improve our health, little knowing of the lurking dangers. Read my leaflet on oxalates (scroll down to bottom of leaflet page as not in alphabetical order) to find out what these dangers are and what you can do about it.