Low Histamine Shopping List

On the low histamine diet, in an ideal world, everything should be fresh and home-made.  For some people this is absolutely necessary to control their symptoms, but others can tolerate some shop bought produce.  With this is mind, I thought I’d share my low histamine shopping list with you, as I wish I’d had something like this to guide me when I first embarked on my low histamine journey.  It’s not perfect, or completely cheat free, but it’s a start.  I do my main weekly shop at Tesco and have my groceries delivered to conserve energy (if you pay up-front it costs as little as £1.25 per delivery!) so many of my items are Tesco own brands but I’m sure you’ll find similar products in other supermarkets.  Apologies to my over-seas followers who don’t have the same items as us in the UK, but I hope my list at least gives you some ideas of what to look for in your own stores.

Breakfast Cereal

  • Weetabix (Wholegrain Wheat (95%),Malted Barley Extract ,Sugar ,Salt ,vitamins & minerals)
  • Rice Krispies (Rice,Sugar ,Salt ,Barley Malt Flavouring ,Vitamins & Minerals)
  • Bran Flakes (Wholewheat (65%),Wheatbran (21%) ,Sugar ,Barley Malt Flavouring ,Salt ,Honey ,vitamins & minerals)
  • Cornflakes (Maize,Sugar ,Barley Malt Flavouring ,Salt ,Vitamins & Minerals)
  • Nestle Shredded Wheat (British Whole Grain Wheat (100%)
  • Ready Brek (Wholegrain Rolled Oats (60%),Wholegrain Oat Flour (38%), vitamins & minerals)
  • Porridge Oats, preferably organic (100% rolled oats)


  • Organic milk (skimmed, semi-skimmed or full fat)
  • Yeo Valley organic butter (either regular or spreadable)
  • Tesco Ricotta cheese
  • Tesco Mascarpone cheese
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic Rice Dream milk (dairy-free)
  • Koko Coconut milk (dairy-free)
  • Cream: double, single, whipping
  • Carnation Condensed milk
  • Haagen-Dazs Dairy Vanilla ice cream (Fresh Cream, Condensed Skimmed Milk ,Sugar ,Egg Yolk, Natural Vanilla Flavouring)


  • I buy an organic Country Campagne Bread which levens naturally (Wheat flour, water, stoneground wholemeal flour, sea salt) and which goes under the name of the Village Bakery Melmerby.  However, the bakery no longer exists and was bought by Bells of Lazonby.  I buy my Country Campagne bread at a local shop as I live nearby, but I can’t see it on the Bells of Lazonby website – might be best to contact them and find out if you can buy it online or locally to you.
  • Russin rye breads can be yeast-free – just do a google search.
  • Tesco Tortilla Wraps – these aren’t brilliant in terms of ingredients, but at least are yeast-free (Wheat Flour,Water ,Vegetable Oil ,Humectant (Glycerol) ,Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate) ,Sugar ,Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of
    Fatty Acids) ,Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid) ,Salt ,Preservative (Calcium Propionate) ,Wheat Starch ,Flour Treatment Agent (L-Cysteine Hydrochloride).  If you are wheat-free Warburtons do a yeast-free, gluten & wheat-free wrap also available from Tesco (either plan or seeded).
  • Tesco All Butter Scones (Wheat Flour,Unsalted Butter (17%) ,Sugar ,Water ,Dried Skimmed Milk ,Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate) ,Free Range Pasteurised Whole Egg ,Salt)
  • Patak’s Pappadums (Lentil Flour,Vegetable Oil ,Salt ,Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate ,Rice Flour).  These are also wheat & gluten free.

Store Cupboard

  • Sugar (any variety, including icing sugar)
  • Organic honey
  • Treacle, Molasses, Maple syrup
  • Colemans English mustard powder (Mustard Flour)
  • Tesco organic Olive Oil
  • Lentils & split peas
  • Beans (any except soya or red kidney beans)
  • Dried pasta, noodles, macaroni, spaghetti (organic wherever possible)
  • Quinoa & Cous Cous
  • Rice.
  • ‘Tilda’ coconut, chilli & lemongrass rice (Natural Basmati Rice – Cooked (72%), Coconut (Cream, Desiccated) (11%), Sunflower Oil, Red Chilli, Lemongrass, Sugar, Salt, Black Mustard Seeds, Pepper Sauce, Black Pepper).
  • Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder (Sea Salt,Hydrolised Vegetable Protein ,Potato Starch ,Palm Oil from sustainable sources ,Vegetables 8.0% (Celery, Onions, Carrots, Leeks) ,Lactose ,Spices (Turmeric, White Pepper, Garlic, Mace, Nutmeg) ,Parsley ,Lovage).  Note: this stock powder is gluten free.
  • Organic plain flour
  • Organic self raising flour (Organic Wheat Flour,Raising Agents (Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Baking powder
  • Plain gelatin (vegetarian version not available at Tesco, but available at ASDA and made from agar)
  • Cornflour
  • Custard powder (Cornflour,Salt ,Colour: Annatto ,Flavouring)
  • ‘Jus Roll’ ready-made pastry (Wheat Flour,Vegetable Oil ,Water ,Sugar ,Salt ,Emulsifier: Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids)
  • Isabel’s gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free pizza base mix (Cassava starch, milk powder, salt, natural flavour.  Not available at Tesco, but at select ASDA or Booths stores or online at Amazon)
  • Crazy Jack’s organic desiccated coconut (organic coconut).

Spreads & Sauces

  • Bonne Maman blueberry conserve (Blueberries, Sugar, Citric Acid)
  • Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce (Water, Red Chilli (20%), Sugar, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Fresh Garlic (6%), Pickled Garlic (Fresh Garlic, Water, Salt, Acetic Acid) (5%), Thickener: Modified Tapioca Starch, Acetic Acid, Salt).
  • Tesco Tamarind Paste (Water,Tamarind (33%) ,Sugar ,Salt)
  • Sharwood’s Green Label Mango Chutney (Sugar, mangoes (41%), Salt, Acetic Acid, Spices (0.5%).
  • Tesco Organic Hummus (ingredients: Cooked Organic Chickpeas (45%), Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Sesame Seed Paste (14%), Water, Organic Concentrated Lemon Juice (3.5%), Salt, Organic Garlic).
  • Tesco crunchy peanut butter (Peanut (91%),Peanut Oil (3.5%) ,Cane Sugar ,Vegetable Oil ,Sea Salt)

Biscuits & Snacks

  • McVities Tasties Custard Creams (Wheat Flour,Sugar ,Vegetable Oil ,Whey Solids ,Glucose Syrup ,Wheat Starch ,Salt ,Raising Agents (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate) ,Natural Flavouring ,Colour (Mixed Carotenes)
  • ‘Tesco’ Malted Milk biscuits (ingredients: Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Barley Malt Extract, Glucose Syrup, Dried Whole Milk, Raising Agents (Ammonium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt, Flavouring).
  • ‘Tesco Finest’ all butter traditional Scottish Shortbread biscuits (ingredients: Wheat Flour, Butter (33%), Sugar, Maize Starch, Salt).
  • ‘Botham’s of Whitby’ tea biscuits which I get at Booths supermarkets (ingredients: wheat flour, sugar, vegetable fat, golden syrup, butter, egg, raising agent: sodium bicarbonate, skimmed milk powder, salt).
  • ‘Uncle Joe’s’ mint ball sweets (ingredients: cane sugar, oil of peppermint, cream of tartar – on the allowed ingredients list)  Available from Tesco.
  • Lightly salted ‘Kettle’ chips, ie. crisps (ingredients: potatoes, sunflower oil, sea salt).
  • ‘Walkers’ ready salted crisps (ingredients: potatoes, sunflower oil, salt).
  • ‘Hoola Hoop’ crisps (ingredients: Potato, Sunflower Oil (26%), Rice Flour, Maize Flour, Salt, Potassium Chloride – a harmless mineral salt).
  • Tesco lightly salted Tortilla Chips (ingredients: Maize, Sunflower Oil, Salt).
  • ‘Carrs’ Table Water Crackers/Biscuits (ingredients: Wheat flour, Vegetable oil, Salt).
  • ‘Romneys’ plain Kendal Mint Cake.


  • Ambrosia’ Rice Pudding dessert pot (ingredients: Full Cream Milk, Skimmed Milk, Whey, Rice (9%), Sugar).
  • Tesco Finest Meringue Nests (Sugar,Pasteurised Free Range Egg White)


  • Melon (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew)
  • Blueberries
  • Organic apples
  • Rhubarb
  • Mango
  • Organic grapes
  • Unwaxed lemons
  • Passionfruit
  • Avocado
  • Pomegranate
  • Coconut
  • Passionfruit


  • Organic potatoes & sweet potatoes
  • Organic onions (brown, red, spring onions [scallions], shallots)
  • Organic leeks
  • Organic Butternut squash
  • Organic mushrooms
  • Bell peppers
  • Organic root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, swede)
  • Organic broccoli
  • Organic green vegetables (anything except spinach, eg. broccoli, spring greens, cabbage, kale, pak choi, lettuce)
  • Chillies
  • Organic Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Asparagus
  • Courgette (Zucchini)
  • Sweetcorn
  • Peas & beans (broad, fine, green)
  • Fennel & Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Fresh beetroot
  • Organic Cauliflower
  • Organic Cucumber
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Beansprouts
  • Fresh herbs: thyme, coriander (cilantro), sage, parsley, mint, basil.


  • I occasionally have frozen wild Alaskan Salmon and tolerate it fairly well.


  • Any frozen ‘allowed’ vegetables, eg. peas, sweetcorn, peppers
  • McCain original oven chips (potatoes, sunflower oil)
  • Any frozen ‘allowed’ fruit, eg blueberries
  • Tesco Finest Apple & Elderflower lollies (Russet Apple Juice (86%),Sugar ,Elderflower Extract ,Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid)


  • Quorn Mince (Mycoprotein (88%),Rehydrated Free Range Egg White ,Roasted Barley Malt Extract)
  • Quorn Fillets (Mycoprotein (67%), Rehydrated Free Range Egg White, Onion ,Flavouring ,Milk Protein ,Tapioca Starch ,Pea Fibre ,Gelling Agent: Pectin)
  • Cauldron Foods Organic Falafel (Chickpeas (63%),Onion ,Wheat Flour ,Rusk ,Parsley ,Vegetable Oil ,Coriander,Salt ,Sugar ,Garlic Purée ,Cumin ,Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate ,Black


  • ‘Innocent’ mango & apple juice drink (ingredients: mango, apple: neither from concentrate)
  • Tesco organic apple juice
  • ‘Eden’ organic carrot juice
  • ‘Pom’ pomegranate juice
  • Red or White grape juice
  • ‘Bottlegreen’ elderflower presse (ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, elderflowers, citric acid)
  • ‘Bottlegreen’ elderflower cordial (Sugar, Cotswold Spring Water, Elderflowers, Citric Acid)
  • Coffee
  • Organic white tea (a young tea which is better than green or black)
  • ‘Twinings’ pure peppermint teabags
  • ‘Twinings’ camomile teabags.
  • Carbonated or still mineral water

This list is not exhaustive, but contains a lot of the products I buy regularly.  If there’s anything you buy that you think would be a good addition please use the comment box to contact me and I’ll add it so that others can benefit.

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Tags: low histamine food groceries

45 thoughts on “Low Histamine Shopping List

  1. Maria

    Just been diagnosed and it has HIT me hard as I am an athlete who lived on canned tuna and cottage cheese. But my high histamine is now so bad, even anti histamines dont work anymore (panic attacks, eczema, hives, splinter in eye feeling, allergies to LOTS of things – pets, cosmetics. etc etc)

    where can I get my source of protein from safely?


  2. bertieandme Post author

    Hi Maria

    I’m not an expert so don’t feel qualified to give advice on diet and nutrition – all I can tell you is what works for me personally. If you’re a meat eater you can still eat meat on a low histamine diet so long as certain rules are followed and certain processed meats avoided (see the Low Histamine Diet page for guidance on allowed meats). As I don’t eat meat I get my protein from dairy, beans & legumes, and nuts if tolerated. Cottage cheese is banned on some low histamine diets, but allowed on others – my rule is try it and if you don’t react fine, and if you do react avoid it! Ricotta & Mascarpone cheese is usually on the allowed list, as is Quark. I personally sneak in the odd mild cheddar or mozzarella and am fine with that. I also eat wild frozen salmon now and again and don’t have any reactions to that, though other people have to avoid fish altogether.

    We’re all different in our reactions – what affects one person won’t affect another – that’s why it’s impossible to give general dietary advice. It really is a game of trial and error – start off with very low histamine for a few weeks then slowly re-introduce foods one by one and note any reactions.

    Jak x


  3. Maria

    Thank you Jak — my God, Ive been in tears because the histamine sides are so scary. So far, Normal porridge with water & sugar passes test, along with rice cakes. Coffee with milk and sugar also fine. minced boiled plain turkey tonight – no reaction but just a sore tum Its only the 3rd day for me. What are the warning signals you get if you get a reaction? Do anti-histamine tablets (Phenergan) work for you? Also, how do you manage to eat out? :o/

    Warm hugs

    Maria x


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Maria

      I’m unsure which country you live in or what you’ve been diagnosed with and by whom. Histamine intolerance and Mast Cell Activation Disorder are different diseases and need different treatments, though both are often helped by a low histamine diet as this lowers the histamine burden in the body, lessoning some reactions.

      If you have MCAD, are reacting to almost everything you eat and H2 anti-histamines (eg. Zantac, Tagamet) aren’t helping, has your doctor discussed mast cell stabilizers with you?

      Or if you have HIT are you on DAO supplements?

      I had a very bad 3 months last Spring where I reacted to almost everything I ate and lost loads of weight, but since then my reactions after eating have lessoned and are now almost gone after 6 months on a low histamine diet. If I do react to something I’ve eaten it’s fairly obvious: within 10-20 minutes I get palpitations, flushing, feel faint, anxiety, immediate ice-pick headache/pain, nausea.

      My hives and other symptoms aren’t down to food and are my mast cells reacting to environmental, emotional & other stimuli so aren’t really helped by a low histamine diet and would ideally need drugs to control (h1 & h2 antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, plus supplements in the form of high dose Vitamin C & Quercetin). I’m currently only on H2 antihistamines (for me it’s Tagamet as Zantac made me nauseous) and have yet to try H1 antihistamines like Benedryl.

      Jak x

      p.s. I forgot to say that I manage to eat out fine now. As my histamine levels are lower I can ‘cheat’ now and again with histamine-containing foods and my ‘bucket’ doesn’t overflow and cause a reaction. It’s early days for you, and you need to give yourself some time in a strict environment to get your symptoms under control with the right diet and medication before trying to eat out – that would be my advice based on my own journey anyway.


  4. Maria

    Hey Jax
    Thanks for your reply. Your words are comforting
    I am in the UK (south Wales) and I shop at Tesco! 🙂
    Although its only been only a few days since ‘without doubt’ histamine intolerance is my prob, (self diagnosis) It has been a problem building up for years. Initially I let go of my beautiful cat, thinking it was a reaction to him. Then I started to get splinter in eye feeling after he left, always right eye, never left. then a lot of facial eczema I blamed on cosmetics… (always on the right side) It was only after I monitored myself after high protein meals, I realised the prob. I will mention it to Dr., but he’ll probably accuse me of being a Google hypochondriac
    I am still eating protein, I have to as my sports training demands it, so im putting up with sides. Throughout the day I use Phenergan, Citerizine, fexofenadine & loratadine although I dont know the difference with each pill .. in all honesty I dont think they help now. I have not heard of any other possible diseases you mentioned… Im afraid to dig too deep as the net and health searches can scare the hell outta me
    Ive just ordered a trial of DAO supplement Diosin, just to see if it helps although I dont plan on using something long term which is £1 a pill.

    Hope you are well today! and thank you for your help I will make notes to mention to my NHS doctor, but dont expect much help 😦
    Mary x write to me at:


    1. bertieandme Post author


      Sounds like you’re having a rough time – I’m sure we can all relate! I do think you need a proper diagnosis though – taking all kinds of medications and supplements without knowing what you’re doing isn’t safe and ultimately won’t be helpful.

      You could try printing off some brief info for your GP and asking for a referral to an Immunologist who specializes in complex allergies or mast cell diseases. The best one for your GP would probably be: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Mastocytosis-and-Mast-Cell-Disorders.htm. If you want more info on mast cell disease the humongous paper by world expert Dr Afrin is the best around https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=42603 (scroll down and click the download PDF link for the full paper, though sadly this can’t be printed off or saved as it’s copyrighted). If your GP won’t help and you can afford to go private the best doctors to see for mast cell issues would be Dr Clive Grattan (GP referral needed) or Dr Seneviratne (no GP referral needed) in London (you can Google them for details).

      You at least need some allergy tests, like IgE (a blood test which shows the total allergy burden) and skin prick tests (which show if you are allergic to anything specific) which can be done on the NHS. You can also have tryptase done on the NHS – it’s a simple blood test and shows your mast cell burden.

      I don’t know much about Histamine Intolerance as that isn’t what I suffer from (I have mast cell activation disorder) – have you read Genny Masterman’s book ‘What HIT me?’ (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004PLNOBM/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title) which might provide you with some help in that direction.

      Good luck


  5. Maria

    Hey Jak
    Thank you for your reply I TRULY appreciate it.
    Thank you for the links. It seems that the GP has no idea (today) but he did diagnose fluid in my ears He gave me Citerizine and told me lf ears dont clear up in 6 weeks he’ll send me to ENT. I dont expect much NHS support. I will look into visiting a specialist via your links – thank you x
    I did a test today – tinned tuna, within 2 hours, severe headache, itchy spots on tummy, tight throat, nausea, foggy. So no more tuna. I have discovered Im ok with egg and rice cakes.
    THANK YOU again, I cannot tell you how helpful you have been, I hope every day for you is a good day. I will update after I have had a formal diagnosis
    Warm hugs.
    Mary./Maria xx


  6. Maria

    Hey Jak

    How are you? hope you are well
    Post my Dr S appt, firstly I want to thank you for suggesting this Dr. Nice guy! I had all prick tests with Dr S, and even before visiting TDL straight after skin scratch test in his office, he had a confident look on his face it is histamine intolerance caused by mast cell activation disorder. so it seems I’m a new member to an exclusive club. (albeit a very expensive one) I am quite literally £2,000 worse off, (the TDL bill alone was over a grand including urine, which I took, just in case) but at least I have a diagnosis and he can hand me back to NHS for Mast cell stabilizers. It was worth it, just for the reason that I can shove the results under the noses of the useless GPs who all wrote me off as a hypochondriac woman who was using pretty fancy medical conditions as an excuse not to eat, my last Dr saying last week “anorexia can present itself in different ways dear, Maybe one day you will admit it” I could have punched her! EVEN THOUGH she saw my Eczema etc
    Anyway, I’m happy, but at the same time gutted!! allergies comfirmed on scratch are histamine, horse, cat, dog, mould, dust, pollen, but neg. to wheat, lactose, nut, egg, which doesn’t help really as it depends how these foods are prepared before swallowing.

    Anyway thanks again and heres to good health for the both of us!

    Maria x


  7. Deborah

    I have been diagnosed with mastocytic enterocolitis so definitely have an issue with mast cells and histamines. I am also celiac so can’t have gluten. I was diagnosed with the mast problem about 10 months ago but didn’t know anything about a low histamine diet until I stumbled upon your posts. I am going to try to eliminate more things from my diet but right now feel quite depressed about the whole situation. I love fruits and veggies and hate that so many of my favorites are now forbidden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Deborah

      So sorry to hear you have such a lot to cope with. I totally understand your depression about the food situation – I feel the same way myself. The one thing that wasn’t affected despite all my illnesses was my stomach – my appetite used to be excellent and I *loved* food. Then 2 years ago it all went south 😦 I now just eat because I have to really and don’t get any pleasure from it as, like you, most of the foods I love are forbidden.

      My friend, who is coeliac, tried to feed me for 2 days and said she doesn’t know how I cope. She thought coeliac was difficult until she tried low histamine! I miss chocolate sooooo much!! I also feel that my diet is much less healthy than it was. I used to eat loads of fruit, probiotic yoghurt and fish almost every day. Now I stuff my face with pavlova just to have *something* that tastes nice!

      Saying all that the reactions I was getting after food were awful and really scary and at least I can now eat and not feel anxious I’m going to have anaphylaxis.

      Jak x


  8. debbie845

    Hi, very interesting and informative post and convo later with Marie. I am funnily enough going to see my GP tomorrow morning about Histamine Intolerence. I suspect this is happening but I am also gluten intolerent and have been on a diet for the last year to build my barriers up as I suspect that my histamine issues are gut related rather than mast cell but who knows! I am grain and dairy free and the thought of giving up choc is seriously depressing. Any tips for the GP would be very welcome, if her doesn’t play ball I’m going to have a DAO enzyme test and counter blood histamine test which cost £200 (not £2000 thank goodness) but still I’d rather be putting that towards xmas than on my silly tests!! Sigh.

    Thanks for the diet tips though, I will bookmark this list 🙂

    Deb x


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Deb

      Glad you’ve found the list and blog helpful. The list is just a starting point – we’re all different and react to different things. It’s important to keep a detailed food diary and work out what affects you personally, which will determine how strict or not you have to be.

      Re seeing your GP: don’t expect any help is my advice! They have no clue about histamine intolerance. The best you can hope for is that they won’t look at you like you’re a hypochondriac or totally mental, at least here in the UK 😉 My GP only got interested when I said I was paying to see the head immunologist at St Mary’s in London, as that gave me some credibility! Saying all that yours might be a gem – they are out there. Good luck and let us know how you got on x


  9. Deborah

    I have been diagnosed with mastocytic enterocolitis; something that hasn’t been addressed yet in this blog. I am very glad I found this blog because it was very difficult to figure out why I was still having digestive problems after being diagnosed with celiac and removing gluten from my diet. For the past week or so, I have been very good about following the low histamine diet and my stomach is definitely noticing a difference. I think I will try a few things (like fish) and see how I do. But I plan to be really careful about not eating more than one food with histamine at any meal.


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Deborah

      Sorry to hear about your mastocytic enterocolitis diagnosis. It’s not addressed here as the blog is just about my personal journey and it’s not something I suffer from or know anything about I’m afraid. I hope a low histamine diet helps and at least alleviates some of your symptoms. Jak x


  10. Jen

    I’m new at the low histamine diet, and I have some questions about my other, possibly-related food allergies. I have oral allergy syndrome- basically, I’m allergic to pollen and my mouth will itch when I eat fresh fruits or veggies that have that pollen on them. Usually it isn’t so bad that I can’t eat the food, so most of my life I’ve eaten them anyway and just dealt with the itchy mouth. However, now I’m thinking that doing this is increasing my histamine levels. Should I avoid all of those foods now? (Most of therm, like oranges, are on the ‘do not eat’ list already..but not all of them)


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Jen

      I’m not an expert and don’t feel qualified to give advice to be honest, so all I can tell you is what I do personally. I also have oral allergy syndrome, due to having a Birch pollen allergy – I find if I eat apples or kiwi fruit my mouth burns and my lips tingle. I do now avoid these fruits as I don’t want to add to my histamine burden, but I’m not fanatical about it. For example, on New Year’s Day my Mum did a roast dinner and made apple sauce – I had some and didn’t feel guilty about it. But I don’t eat apples or drink apple juice every day like I used to.

      It’s going to be a personal choice for you about how much you think food is adding to your symptoms and how full your histamine bucket is at any given time. Some days I just know my histamine burden is really high (for example, if I have a hive outbreak, or have my period, or it’s the Birch pollen season) and during these times I’m quite strict on my diet. Other times I can tell my histamine burden is much lower, and during these times I’ll have the odd “cheat” without any consequences.

      Jak x


      1. jen

        Thank you for responding! I figured the advice would be to avoid the things I’m allergic to (duh….) but I just really was hoping there would be some sort of exception! I’m feeling good though, and I know over time I’ll be able to cheat every once in a while as well, so I just need to keep going!


  11. DJ

    Wow, this is all so interesting!! I,m 55, and started eating a paleo/primal diet a couple of years ago, and experienced many wonderful health benefits from it (arthritis pain went away, no more hot flashes, more energy, mood improvement, better cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings, better dental results, and more!) Over the last 6 months though, I’ve started having reactions to certain foods I eat. I researched it and am 100% positive I’m at least having histamine intolerance (haven’t been tested for anything with mast cells). When I looked at the food lists of high histamine foods, I realized that is almost everything that I eat on a daily basis (meat, and although it’s grass fed/organic and I cook it fresh I eat lots of meat leftovers, processed meats like bacon and beef sticks and smoked sausage, fish including canned fish, eggs, sauerkraut, raw milk yogurt, lots of aged cheeses, very dark chocolate and cocoa on a daily basis, lots of cinnamon, chile powder, and curry powder, nuts, berries, all the things that are high in histamine!!) I’ve known for awhile that I have a reaction to wine and alcohol, but have not wanted to give it up. This past Valentines Day hubby and I went out for dinner and I had an appetizer of scallops and main dish of crab cakes. That night my face was flushing and throbbing like crazy. I’ve never had a reaction like that to shellfish in the past! So I started researching, and here I am. I’ve started keeping a food journal of things I have a reaction to. My reactions have never been really severe, mostly flushing and throbbing skin on my face (I also have rosacea which is one thing the paleo diet did not clear up), some heart palpitations, and lately my tummy has been reacting more and more to the foods I eat. This is so disheartening trying to combine a paleo diet and now a low histamine diet, because I’ve given up eating most all grains except for a little bit of rice, and I don’t eat beans and legumes. I’ve been very depressed about it all the past few days. My husband thinks that rather than trying to limit all high histamine foods that I should just start by eliminating the ones I have a reaction to. For example, I’ve been experimenting with nuts the past few days. I’ve been able to eat macadamia nuts with no reaction, but I ate some cashews a couple of nights ago and my face started throbbing and flushing shortly after eating them. As hard as it is to face all of this, I’m determined to do my best to get it under control, and hope that I can one day add back in some of my favorite foods. I think my case is mild compared to what I’ve been reading some people suffer with, and my heart goes out to those who can only eat very few foods.


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi DJ

      I must apologise – I missed your comment when it was made as it was just after my Mum’s heart attack and am really sorry it’s taken me so long to reply.

      I’ve heard from several people who were doing paleo but found they were actually reacting more to foods. As you say, many paleo foods are really high in histamine. I know one of the guys who writes for the paleo community (Chris I think his name is) has also gone low histamine – you might want to Google low histamine paleo. I think it’s really tough to follow both diets, as paleo obviously depends on fermented foods and slow cooked bone broths, which are the exact opposite to what is needed on low histamine.

      Do let me know how you’ve been getting on. Jak x


  12. Ele

    Fodmap diet is still great but added some fruit that released histamines- but now i can feel what’s going on more clearly- before every part of me hurt and was in such pain that a headache or face flush was the least of my concerns. I have QUERCETIN in the house year round for allergies- pollen is 10 out of 10 here in central California, USA. Have found that quercetin is a life saver when i get a reaction. The low fodmap diet has worked so well and continue to heal – now can add this and that and see how it goes- have to limit fuctose to small amounts with 2 or 3 hours between eating or drinking any thing that has fructose in it and staying away from fructans altogether. I don’t see how a vegetarian does it- but meat and chicken and veggies are my main foods- plus quinoa, basmati rice, potato .and good fats- organic butter, etc. good luck to all.


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Ele

      I’m really pleased you’ve found a diet combination which works for you. Sounds like you might have fructose intolerance – I know people with histamine issues often have other intolerances. I know lots of people do well on Quercetin – so glad it’s helping you. Jak x


  13. christine

    Hi i have chronic urticaria and i feel i wud benefit from a low histamine diet and value your help


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Christine

      Sorry to hear about your urticaria. I’m not an expert or anything, but I’m glad that reading about my own personal journey with mast cell problems is helpful. Wishing you luck with the diet.

      Jak x


  14. Abigail

    Hey there! This was really helpful. 🙂 Though I’m quite confused of what to eat now. I mean, i love yogurt but after learning that it’s high in histamine, I will eliminate (or lessen) it. I’m not sure but I think I don’t have allergies and all it’s just that my histamine level is quite high. Or having high levels mean you’re allergic to something? I don’t know. lol. So I have urticaria (dermographism) and my skin becomes red and sometimes swell depending on the impact of touch. Also, my skin is sensitive in changes in temperature. Creams don’t work for me so I started by researching on what to eat and if it goes well maybe I won’t be needing antihistamines anymore. That’s why I came upon this article of yours. Anyway, thanks again! 🙂


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Abigail

      You can have histamine issues if you’re allergic to something specific, eg. hayfever, dog/cat allergy. A low histamine diet won’t help in this instance because the next time you come into contact with the allergen your immune system will release huge amounts of histamine again.

      Mast cell activation is nothing to do with allergies and in order to be diagnosed with MCAD you should have skin prick allergy testing to discover any true allergies which might be causing your symptoms. In MCAD your mast cells are over-active all of the time, not just in specific instances (though specific triggers will make your symptoms worse). You can reduce the histamine burden on the body by eating low histamine foods – it won’t ‘cure’ the MCAD but will help reduce the amount of circulating histamine and lesson symptoms.

      At least that’s how I understand the situation, but I’m no expert!

      Having dermographia on its own doesn’t mean you have MCAD, you usually have lots of other symptoms too (facial flushing and/or swelling is very common). Dermographia is quite common, though if you have other symptoms it can point towards a problem with mast cells.

      Jak x


  15. Becca

    Really appreciate your blog – thank you so much from a newbie! 🙂

    I was wondering, when it comes to sauces eg. Uncle Bens Lemon Chicken Sauce, what should you be looking out for to check it’s low histamine? Obviously I know sauces with tomatoes aren’t low in histamine but I mean all the other ingredients sauces tend to contain? I hope I’m making some sense!


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Excellent question Becca! To be fair, the Uncle Bens Lemon Chicken Sauce contains lemons, which are forbidden on a low histaminet diet!! However, I do state throughout my blog that I cheat sometimes when I’m very unwell and a little bit of lemon juice or rind now and again is one of my cheats, as long as it’s in small amounts and not done often.

      In terms of sauce ingredients the main things to watch out for include: vinegar (in nearly all sauces which is why it’s virtually impossible to find a ready made low histamine sauce), citric acid, soya in all its forms, tomatoes/tomato puree, cheese in all its forms and yeast. Also any kind of artificial preservatives or colourings. Then obvious things like aubergiene if its a vegetable sauce, kidney beans if its a mexican sauce, curry powder if its a curry sauce. You basically end up making all your own sauces to be honest!

      Hope that helps,
      Jak x


  16. Sean

    Hi ive just been to doctor and been told I have post natal drip I can eat all sorts of food no problem but I had 1 can of cider on two separate occasions and I fet my throat tighten up and found it very hard to swallow. it took about 2 hours to go away, can anyone tell me if there are any beers I can drink like corona or cools light. Thanks


  17. Julie

    Hi! I have been dealing with Chronic Urticaria for 8 months. It’s been very difficult to go from being a very healthy woman to someone who is a variety of medications. I am trying the juicing method now. When you mention “beet root”, does that mean regular red beets? I’m not sure what you are referring to. I have to be careful of what I’m juicing so it doesn’t aggravate my hives. Thanks so much! ~Julie


  18. Disa

    Thank you for this very informative website! I see you don’t include bananas on your shopping list, do you avoid them? Also do you know if caffeine (coffee) can cause mast cell degranulation?



    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Disa

      Coffee is fine on a low histamine diet – I’ve just never been a coffee drinker as I don’t like the taste.

      Bananas are also considered low in histamine, but I find they make my brain fog worse which is why I don’t personally eat them. Most people with MCAD or HIT get on well with them though.



  19. Kim M

    Thank you so much, found out what not to eat – it’s nice to see a list of what I can. Have had M.E/ Fibro for 20 years, hallucinations , insomnia and just lately terrible eczema on my hands and feet (my dermatologist said diet wouldn’t make any difference!) Have just weaned myself off Lyrica after terrible side effects and feel so ill I can hardly face the day BUT finding out about this diet has given me so much hope – how long do you think before I start to feel the effects – not started yet – all the best x


    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Kim

      All I can do is speak from my own experience re the diet as I’m just a patient like everyone else. It took 4 months of being really strict for me to see my anaphylaxis lessen and I’ve got to be honest there were times during that 4 months I felt worse than ever and nearly gave up. I was still having occasional reactions for up to a year though and I still have chronic hives 4 years on so it hasn’t been some kind of miracle cure or anything. When I first started on the diet I decided I’d give it 6 months and if I’d seen no improvement during that time I’d stop. Glad I did stick with it as I very rarely have anaphylactic reactions any more.

      Good luck.
      Jak x


  20. heather

    Hi! im new to this low histamine, MCAS world.. and I live in America. But i was wondering, I read everywhere that wheat is bad but almost everything on your list has wheat in it. Thats great you can tolerate it well! Gives me hope! Also, i bought some apple juice, but I believe it says the ingredients are filtered water, and organic apple juice from concentrate. Is this bad? Thanks!


    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Heather

      There are a lot of food fascists around these days and I personally think it’s a load of old tosh – see my post on wheat here https://mastcellblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/wheat/

      Wheat is not high in histamine as far as anyone knows, though I can’t find *any* laboratory which has tested it so the truth is no-one knows the histamine content of wheat (or just about any other food!) – see my post on that issue here https://mastcellblog.wordpress.com/food/evidence/

      I have no problems with wheat, though I know others who do. Our genes are all so individual what works for one person won’t work for someone else.

      I’m not a Doctor or Nutritionist so can’t really give advice on individual food items. Apples are thought to be low in histamine, but again haven’t been tested as far as I know so I’ve no idea where the info on what foods are high or low histamine comes from. I’m allergic to birch pollen, and apples are related so I can’t eat apples as they make my lips tingle but that has nothing to do with their histamine content! No-one knows if concentrated fruit juices are higher in histamine than any other juice so it’s impossible to say whether to include them in a low histamine diet or not.

      My advice would be check the sources of information you read online. How did they decide which foods to include? Are there research references? If so, have you read them! How old are they? Were they double blind randomized controls which were replicated by another lab or published in a reputable journal? Question everything because the stuff online about histamine in foods is mostly based on crap and guesswork!

      Jak x



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