Chocolate, I Miss You!

As I mentioned in this post I’m going to try re-introducing various foods over the next year and see how it goes.  I have no issues with wheat or gluten and have been eating organic yeast-free bread since my MCAD diagnosis but while it’s fine toasted it’s disgusting for sandwiches.  I really struggle for lunches, particularly when I’m out of the house which is 4 days of the week, so to be able to eat regular sanis and rolls again would make my life a shit load easier.  Consequently the first food I’m re-introducing is normal bread.  I’m still going to have my yeast-free bread toasted for breakfast, but I’m trialling normal bread for occasional lunches.  It has to be said I’ve always cheated with normal bread when I’ve eaten out and never had any problems.   As histamine is a bucket effect, however, it might be fine to have baker’s yeast now and again and not fine to eat it regularly, so I’ll have to see how it goes for several months and will let you know what happens in the summer.

The other food I’ve never had an issue with is chocolate.  I am peri-menopausal, my hormones are all over the place and there is nothing my body craves more when it’s in hormone hell than chocolate.  Cocoa is on all the Low Histamine Food lists as a DAO blocker but I discovered there is virtually zero research on how any food affects DAO, so heaven knows where the “DAO blocking” food lists have come from.  Cocoa beans are fermented and it’s widely supposed that all fermented foods are high in histamine, but my research showed that’s actually not the case, eg. the fermented drink Kefir in the only test I could find scored very low for histamine, as did yoghurt.  I could find no study which had tested cocoa or cocoa products for their histamine content, so whether it’s high or low is anyone’s guess.  I’m re-introducing chocolate as an occasional treat and will report back.

A stumbling block with chocolate, however, is that nearly all of it contains Soya Lecithin as an emulsifier and research has proven that soy products are high in histamine.  However, chocolate products do exist which contain sunflower lecithin instead of soya lecithin including:

  • Nestle Matchmakers (good job, as I ate 2 entire boxes over Christmas!)
  • Cadbury’s Twirl and Twirl Bites
  • Cadbury’s Flake (the thought of having a 99 ice cream cone with a Flake in this summer actually makes my mouth water 😉 )
  • Waitrose’s own brand continental plain chocolate
  • Moo Free minty-moo and original milk chocolate (dairy free)
  • Willies Cacao El Blanco white chocolate bar (I luuuurve white chocolate, and hate dark chocolate, so this is a real treat!)

The chocolatetradingcompany.com has lots of chocolate products which don’t contain soya lecithin, though they are stupidly expensive.  For my overseas readers, this post from the Ultimate Chocolate Blog contains some American branded soya free chocolate products.

While I’m on the subject of food, I thought I’d let my UK readers know I’ve found another bag of sweets with allowed ingredients.  Tesco’s own brand Spearmint Chews contain glucose syrup, sugar, oil, dried egg white and mint flavouring.  Yes, they contain egg white which has been touted as a histamine liberator – for no reason I could fathom, so I’m no longer avoiding it.

Just so’s you know, I don’t want to hear from the food police on this blog post.  My life is restricted in just about every way humanly possible, so if I can eat the odd piece of chocolate or the odd fried egg buttie without it affecting my health I think I’ve earned it.  We’re all different and I know many of you aren’t as fortunate as me and need a much more restricted diet.

Right, I’m off for a cuppa and a flake 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Chocolate, I Miss You!

  1. Zhaan

    I do just like you and periodically retest foods. I’ve had success with some and not with others. I think what we react to is so personal you have to do this for yourself. I eat chocolate once in a blue moon and almost always have some GI distress. Sometimes I crave it enough to just deal with the GI problems afterwards. Quantity is important – few chocolate chips in something seems OK, but a piece of very dark chocolate (frequently the kind that doesn’t have other things in it I don’t want) will make me ill.

    I hope your test is good!

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    1. Jak Post author

      It’s funny isn’t it? Foods that are supposed to be better for you often cause the most problems. If I eat wholemeal bread it causes me all sorts of bowel grief, but I’m fine with crappy white bread!

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  2. d

    Hi Jak

    If the bread ends up being a challenge, you could try pancakes (I have sometimes seen them referred to as “American pancakes”). I make a batch and freeze them – then warm/thaw in the toaster. Great as breakfast but also as a bread-like substitute. My dad’s recipe is the one I use –
    1 C flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, I C milk, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons oil or butter, melted (I usually add an extra tablespoon). Mix dry, add wet and mix until just combined. Cook with a bit of butter or oil as needed. Tasty with peanut butter : ) I use sea salt, unrefined cane sugar and butter and don’t notice any particular difference in taste.

    I have been trying new old foods again. Bread is one I have been wondering if I could add back in. I think quantity is a factor as well. I tolerate a tiny bit of chocolate (Camino brand where I’m from are free of soy and sulphites as well as a bunch of other things). In the meantime I have learned to love peanut butter, maple and toffee to replace chocolate and lemon as my former go to flavour treats. Toffee sauce with some peanut butter thrown in tastes like chocolate bar filling, it’s hard not to eat the whole container : )

    I look forward to hearing about your successes. In one of your posts you mentioned different types of nuts. I tried macadamia nuts and success! So nice to have something crunchy with good fat in it. Do you find yourself feeling anxious when you are thinking of trying something new? That seems to be my biggest challenge. No way to know but to try, but I still get nervous and then end up not trying it.

    d

    ps this is completely off topic – what size you you make your photos when you post them to your blog? I have read various articles but still not sure what is the optimal size, especially if you are posting groups of photos.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Thanks for the pancake recipe d 🙂 Really chuffed you tolerated the macadamia nuts OK – funny how one nut can make you react and another not.

      I don’t panic about trying foods, as my food reactions are manageable and only last an hour or two. But I am now totally phobic about trying drugs because my drug reactions have put me in hospital. I simply can’t bring myself to try another drug for any reason 😦

      Re my photos – my friend used to have a blog about her dog, and found her photos had been pinched and were for sale on t-shirts, mugs and all sorts online even though they had a watermark (it had been photoshopped off!) 😦 So I always compress my photos to under 100mb in size. That way, they can be used as small pictures online but can’t be blown up because they become pixilated and also can’t be printed at full size because they become pixilated.

      Jak x

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      1. d

        I know – so weird how particular the body can be about the content of foods. You have a point about the length of reactions. One time I did try too many new things at once, although I had tried them separately and it seemed to go ok. The left side of my tongue went numb and I had a reaction that sent me to bed for the afternoon. But that was a year ago and I am doing better these days, so perhaps worth a try again!

        Thanks for the information about the photo size. I need to learn to compress!

        d

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  3. Elizabeth Milo

    I know my histamine tolerances are totally different from yours, but I avoided yeasted breads for so long and nothing was ever different. That first sandwich with soft bread was heavenly. I’m also very grateful I never had to give up chocolate. My two favourite soy-free brands are Alter Eco and Theo, you can tour the factory here in Seattle. 😉 I’d love to send you some!

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    1. Jak Post author

      OMG I’m so pleased I don’t live near a chocolate factory, I’d be so fat I wouldn’t fit through my front door 😉

      I love my Cadburys chocolate and luckily they make Twirls and Flakes without soya 🙂 x

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