This low histamine food list is an overview of the Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance food compatibility list for histamine (or the SIGHI list as many of us call it!). It gives the broad categories of foods, and those 'allowed' and suggested to be restricted.
The SIGHI describe that their list is a 'compatibility list for diagnostic and therapeutic elimination diet at histaminosis (mast cell activity syndrome MCAS, mastocytosis, histamine intolerance), compiled from various sources and based on experience reports'. It 'rates' foods between 0 and 3, with 0 being low histamine, and 3 being the highest histamine.
However, please follow any low histamine list advised by your own doctors. This list is for informational purposes only, and it is important that you follow medical advice for your personal circumstances. Please see my disclaimer.
Low histamine diet food list
This list is an overview of the SIGHI food list for histamine. It rates 'allowed' foods as those scoring 0 or 1 on the SIGHI list, and those scoring 2 or 3, or marked as high histamine or a liberator as restricted. Please consult the list yourself as it covers a broader range of foods and has more detail.
Some patients are advised to only consume foods scoring 0 in the initial stages of this diet, so please consult with a medical professional as per my disclaimer. It is very important to follow the advice of your doctor or dietician.
All the foods listed below refer to ‘whole’ or ‘natural’ foods with no additives, preservatives, fillings or sweeteners. It is best to eat food that is freshly prepared, rather than pre-prepared ready meals.
Allowed: all vegetables other than those restricted, as below.
Restricted: aubergine / egg plant; algae; broad beans; brussels sprouts; chili peppers; kelp; olives; onion (white onion OK); mushrooms; nori; sauerkraut; seaweeds; spinach; tomato; tinned vegetables; pickled vegetables (including gherkins and cabbage).
Allowed: apple; apricot; blueberries; blackberry; cherry; gooseberry; mango; melon (except watermelon); nectarine; lychees; peach; pomegranate; redcurrants; rhubarb; grapes are patient-dependant.
Restricted: avocado; banana; grapefruit; guava; lemon; lime; kiwi; mandarin orange; orange; papaya; pear; pineapple; plum; prunes; raspberries; rose hip; strawberries; watermelon.
Allowed: amaranth; bread (check for problematic ingredients); cornflakes (check for problematic ingredients, particularly malt and folic acid); millet; oats; pearl sago; quinoa; rice; rice cakes; rice noodles; rice crispies (free from additives); spelt; corn; hemp seeds; potatoes (keep in a dark place!); wheat - patient-dependant; sweet potato; yam.
Restricted: buckwheat; barley malt, malt; wheatgerm; baked goods with a long fermentation time may not be tolerated.
Dairy, milk and milk substitutes
Allowed: cow's milk / goat / sheep; almond milk; coconut milk; oat milk (can be patient-specific); young cheeses – cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, young Gouda; mozzarella, quark; butter; cream, whey.
Restricted: all fermented dairy products; hard, aged cheeses – cheddar, blue, feta etc; sour cream; processed cheese slices; yoghurt; buttermilk; soy milk, kefir, cultured butter.
Meat, poultry, fish and meat substitutes
Allowed: All pure, fresh, frozen beef, duck, chicken and turkey; freshly caught fish and frozen fish (other than those restricted, as below).
Restricted: dried meat; tinned and canned fish; smoked, marinated, salted, dried or pickled fish and seafood; all processed meats; sausages; tuna; anchovies; fish sauces; shellfish; tofu.
Allowed: egg yolk, quail eggs.
Restricted: raw and cooked egg whites.
(please note that eggs are controversial in terms of low histamine diets, some lists state that cooked egg white is low histamine – so please be guided by your dietitian and symptoms).
Restricted: all beans, lentils and chickpeas; soybeans; tofu.
(please note that legumes are controversial in terms of low histamine diets – so please be guided by your dietitian and symptoms).
Nuts and seeds
Allowed: all except restricted, as below.
Restricted: walnuts; cashews; pecans; sunflower seeds.
(please note that nuts are controversial in terms of low histamine diets – so please be guided by your dietitian and symptoms)
Oils and vinegars
Allowed: butter; extra virgin olive oil; coconut oil; rapeseed / canola oil; distilled white vinegar; apple vinegar.
Restricted: walnut oil; sunflower oil; red wine vinegar; white wine vinegar; prepared salad dressings and gravies; balsamic vinegar.
Herbs and spices
Allowed: all fresh, frozen or dried herbs and spices except those restricted below; table salt.
Restricted: aniseed; bouillon; cumin; curry powder; cayenne; chilli; fenugreek; mustard and mustard seeds; chilli powder; yeast extract – including marmite and vegemite (dietician advice); black and white pepper.
(please note that ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are controversial in terms of low histamine diets, please check with a dietician)
Allowed: agave; sugar; honey; fructose; molasses; maple syrup; stevia.
Restricted: artificial sweeteners; natural sweeteners; flavoured syrups; malt extract; liquorice root.
Allowed: peppermint tea; herbal teas (of non-restricted ingredients); pure juices of allowed fruits and vegetables; coffee – patient specific; elderflower cordial; water.
Restricted: teas – particularly black tea; soy milk; nettle tea; alcohol; Ovaltine; hot chocolate.
Allowed: baking soda; coconut; cocoa butter; white chocolate - patient-dependant.
Restricted: chocolate; carob; cocoa; cocoa mass; soy sauce; mayonnaise.
Please see the SIGHI list, as the list of additives to avoid is long! I tend to cook from fresh and so avoid food additives in that way.
Please follow the advice of your doctor as to all medical treatments, supplements, and dietary choices, as set out in my disclaimer. I am not a medical professional, and this is simply my story and the resources that are helpful to me.
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