Aren’t Almond Milk and Spinach Good for Me?

almond milk - timonium personal training.

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

Wait, you can have TOO MUCH spinach??

Yep – spinach is really high in “oxalates.”

Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds in certain seemingly healthy and innocuous foods including:

  • (again) spinach
  • beet greens
  • rhubarb
  • chocolate, and
  • nuts (esp. almonds – yep, almond milk and almond butter, too)

They’re not harmful in moderate amounts, but when consumed to excess they can form crystals in your body and lead to kidney stones or other health issues.

But wait, those foods I mentioned – they’re healthy, right?

Well, mostly.

Balance is the key, though.

Oxalates are ‘anti-nutrients’ that can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. Other examples include phytates (found in grains and seeds) and tannins (in tea and some fruits).

But having a spinach salad every day or blending up a green smoothie every morning doesn’t automatically put you in the danger zone.

However, if you’re prone to kidney stones, or if your doctor has recommended a low-oxalate diet, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

The trick isn’t necessarily to eliminate these nutritious foods entirely, but to vary your diet and ensure you’re getting a colorful, diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats.


Different people respond differently to different foods. Listen to your body and seek professional guidance if you’re unsure.


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