Oatmeal is a very common breakfast recipe, and easily made with oats and either water or milk. But is oatmeal low histamine?
Let's talk about the histamine level of oats, choices for toppings and share some suitable low histamine recipes!
This post does not constitute medical or dietetic advice in any way, and is for informational purposes only. Always discuss your dietary needs with a qualified dietician.
There are several factors to consider in answering the question of whether oatmeal is low histamine, including choice of milk (if any) and optional toppings. So let's talk through whether oats are suitable as a low histamine breakfast (or snack!), and how to make oatmeal that's suitable for this dietary requirement.
If you're looking for other ideas to start the day, do check out my low histamine breakfast recipes page for fun chia puddings, smoothies, breakfast hash, granola and more! And do check out my post on low histamine berries as they are so good for topping breakfast and brunch recipes!
💭 What is oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a hot dish made by cooking oats in water or milk (or some of each). It's traditionally made on the stove top, but you can also buy quick-cook oats in packets that you heat in the microwave.
As it's a healthy and inexpensive breakfast, it's used by many people and families. Very kid-friendly too!
Oatmeal can be given lots of extra flavor by adding spices, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
🥣 Are oats low histamine?
If we look at the Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance food compatibility list, they rate oats as 0 on their scale from 0 (low histamine) to 3 (high histamine). Oats are therefore low histamine if we refer to this histamine list.
It is of course possible that people have personal sensitivities to oats and it is important to consult with a dietician about the food choices suitable for you.
Anecdotally, some people with histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) have said to me they do not tolerate oats. Conversely, others say they are a staple food for them (and my oatmeal recipes are always popular!).
If you are coeliac or sensitive to gluten, then you will need to make sure you use a certified gluten free product such as the Bob's Red Mill organic gluten free rolled oats.
And make sure that any added ingredients if using a pre-prepared oatmeal packet are suitable for a low histamine diet. Making your own homemade oatmeal is usually better!
🥛 Choice of milk
While making oatmeal is more commonly done solely with water in the US, many of us like to use milk as our liquid. It makes your oatmeal much creamier and delicious I think!
If you are looking to cook up some low histamine oatmeal, then you will need to choose a suitable milk or dairy-free milk alternative to use. On the SIGHI list, the 'scores' are as follows:
- Regular cow's milk scores 0 with a ? as a liberator.
- Coconut milk scores 0.
- Oat milk scores 1.
- Rice milk scores 1.
- Soy milk scores 2.
Both oat and rice milk have a note, 'often slightly histamine containing as fermented enzymatically'.
Again, anecdotally, people seem to have very individual responses to milk and plant milks, and so it is good to check with a dietician as to how to test those that work best for you.
🍎 Oatmeal toppings
Toppings for oatmeal are what makes it extra tasty, don't you think! It adds a bit of fun, and some healthy nutrients too.
Choosing which toppings to use will also impact upon whether your oatmeal is low histamine or not. Some ideas:
- Low histamine berries such as blueberries and blackberries.
- Low histamine fruits such as apples, peaches and nectarines.
- Pick from low histamine nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts.
- Add a sprinkle of low histamine spices, such as cardamom or turmeric (used in my turmeric oatmeal recipe!).
- Coconut flakes or desiccated coconut gives a nice creamy flavor.
- Maple syrup gives that delicious sweetness a lot of us love!
🍽 Low histamine oatmeal recipes
Of course you can cook up your own tasty oatmeal in the morning, with a variation of toppings, but I thought I would share some of the popular low histamine oatmeal recipes here on the blog!
There's also my creamy pear porridge (note that pears score a little higher as 1 on the SIGHI list), my coconut milk porridge, my honey porridge, my oat milk porridge and my carrot cake baked oatmeal which is perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
🥣 Alternatives to oats
If oats don't work for you, then perhaps you may like to try a quinoa porridge instead? It's made in a very similar way to oatmeal, you just swap out the oats for quinoa.
I like to add fruity flavor to mine, such as in my berry quinoa porridge and my blueberry quinoa breakfast bake. And for a different option, my quinoa flakes porridge is so quick and easy. All are vegan and gluten free options!
💭 Quick tips
- Oats are typically considered a low histamine food, but be mindful of personal sensitivities.
- If you are coeliac, then be sure to use certified gluten free oats.
- Use toppings that are suitable for a low histamine diet.
📋 Frequently asked questions
Oats are low histamine in accordance with the SIGHI list for histamine. Please be mindful that we all have personal food sensitivities.
Oatmeal is suitable for a low histamine diet if using oats and water (being mindful of the possibility of personal sensitivities). If using milk or other toppings, you would need to use suitable low histamine options.
Old fashioned rolled oats make a creamy oatmeal. You can also use steel cut oats, but they will take a little longer to cook and will still have a 'bite' to them.
Some delicious low histamine teas or coffee alternatives are the perfect accompaniment for your oatmeal!