Low Histamine Diet: The Food List

When choosing to decrease levels of histamine in one’s diet, it is just that – “decreasing”. It is simply impossible and actually unnecessary to try to eliminate histamines. They’re everywhere. But reducing one’s intake of histamine and combining foods that are high in histamine with other foods can help reduce one’s load. Use this list to aide you in lowering your load.

Low histamine level foods:

  • Freshmeat (cooled, frozen or fresh)
  • Freshlycaught fish
  • Chicken (skinned and fresh)
  • Egg yolk
  • Fresh fruits – with the exception of strawberries, most fresh fruits are considered to have a low histamine level (also see histamine liberators below)
  • Freshvegetables – with the exception of tomatoes
  • Grains – rice noodles, yeast free rye bread, rice crisp bread, oats, puffed rice crackers, millet flour, pasta (spelt and corn based)
  • Freshpasteurized milk and milk products
  • Milk substitutes – coconut milk, rice milk
  • Cream cheese, butter (without the histamine generating rancidity)
  • Most cooking oils – check suitability before use
  • Most leafy herbs – check suitability before use
  • Most non-citric fruit juices
  • Herbal teas – with the exception of those listed below

High histamine level foods:

High histamine foods are good to stay away from as much as possible.

  • Alcohol
  • Pickled or canned foods – sauerkrauts
  • Matured cheeses
  • Smoked meat products – salami, ham, sausages….
  • Shellfish
  • Beans and pulses – chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
  • Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts
  • Chocolates and other cocoa based products
  • Vinegar
  • Ready meals
  • Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives and artificial colorings

Histamine liberators:

Histamine Liberators are foods that are low in histamines themselves, but they help release histamines in other foods. These aren’t necessary to stay away from, but they are good to limit.

  • Most citric fruits – kiwi, lemon, lime, pineapple, plums…
  • Cocoa and chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Papaya
  • Beans and pulses
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat germ
  • Additives – benzoate, sulfites, nitrites, glutamate, food dyes

Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blockers:

DAO Blocks are foods that can prevent specific enzymes (diamine oxidase enzymes) from breaking down histamine in the body.

  • Alcohol
  • Black tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Green tea
  • Mate tea

Debatable:

  • Yoghurt – depends on the bacteria culture used
  • Egg white – it is a histamine liberator only when in its raw state

 

Other

  • Yeast – even though it does not contain histamine as such, yeast serves as a catalyst for histamine generation during manufacture. There is no yeast in the end-product.