The Failsafe Diet Explained

An introduction to the failsafe diet for ADHD, with diet charts

Amine Content of Selected Foods

Very few foods have been tested systematically for amine content. Amines are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables, however in the case of meat, dairy products, alcoholic drinks and other fermented foods, amines are usually formed by bacterial degradation. This means that the amine content of foods is highly variable and very hard to quantify. The below information is therefore for illustrative purposes only.

Cheeses, beers and wine are extremely variable in amine content, with content varying between different brands and even different batches of the same product. Live, 'wild' beers and cheeses from small breweries and dairies can sometimes have a very high amine content and should be treated with caution.

Five milligrams is a reasonable starting point from which to determine sensitivity. Most unaffected people tolerate much higher doses of amines (up to 100mg), though individuals sensitive to amines are known to tolerate as little or less than 5mg of tyramine. Ideally amines should be reduced to near zero before attempting to determine sensitivity levels as specific reactions are rarely noticed during chronic consumption.

Please bear in mind that you are not automatically allowed to eat these foods on the elimination diet as some appear low in amines in these lists, but experience tells us that they are not necessarily safe, or they are likely to contain salicylates or glutamates which must also be avoided. It is not possible to determine whether you have a problem with food chemicals merely by eliminating all amines or specific amines. You must also eliminate glutamates and salicylates at the same time. If a food is not listed do not assume that it is safe. Foods that are not listed have not been tested. If you have done the elimination diet and have determined you are only sensitive to amines (an uncommon scenario), you may use this table as a starting point, but it should not be relied upon as a reference.

Hard Cheeses

Histamine Content of Selected Foods

Food Group Food Type Food Name and Details Milligrams per 100g Reference
Alcohol Beer lager, pilsener 0 1
  Beer light 0.6 1
  Beer non alcoholic 0 1
  Beer pale 0.5 1
  Wine Hungarian 0.1 2
  Wine white, German sekt 0.7 1
Animal Food Sausage   63.8 2
  Mackerel   0 1
Dairy Buttermilk   0 1
  Cheese appenzeller, 11% fat 15 1
  Cheese appenzeller, 32% fat 17 1
  Cheese blue, Roquefort 50 3
  Cheese camembert 7 3
  Cheese cheddar, extra sharp 21 3
  Cheese cheddar, medium 14 3
  Cheese cheddar, mild 19 3
  Cheese cheddar, sharp 11 3
  Cheese colby 7 3
  Cheese emmental 2.3 1
  Cheese gouda 7.5 3
  Cheese gruyere 6.6 1
  Cheese quark, fresh 0 1
  Cheese rouquefort 6.5 1
  Cheese sap-sago 260 3
  Cheese tilsit 27 1
  Cream sour 0 1
  Cream whipping 0.2 1
  Milk whole 0.1 1
  Yoghurt whole 0 1
Fruit Grape juice 0.01 1

Tryptamine Content of Selected Foods

Food Group Food Type Food Name and Details Milligrams per 100g Reference
Alcohol Wine Hungarian 0.01 2
Animal Food Sausage   36 2
  Tuna canned, in oil 0.1 1
Dairy Cheese blue, Roquefort 20 3
  Cheese camembert 2 3
  Cheese cheddar 0.1 1
  Cheese cheddar, extra sharp 2 3
  Cheese cheddar, medium 2 3
  Cheese cheddar, mild 3 3
  Cheese cheddar, sharp 4 3
  Cheese colby 13 3
  Cheese edam 8 3
  Cheese gouda 7 3
  Cheese limburger 16 3
  Cheese mozzerella 10 3
  Cheese muenster 6 3
  Cheese port-salut 12 3
  Cheese port-salut 28 3
  Cheese sap-sago 15 3
  Cheese swiss 19 3
Fruit Apple   0.53 4
  Banana   1.13 4
  Orange   0.1 3
  Pineapple   0.62 4
  Pomegranate   0.47 4
  Strawberries   0.47 4
Grains Barley   2.52 4
  Rice   4.01 4
Seasonings Garlic   1.39 4
  Ginger   3.71 4
Vegetables Cabbage   0.77 4
  Carrot   1.58 4
  Cauliflower   1.98 4
  Chives   0 2
  Corn   6.17 4
  Cucumber   1.28 4
  Onion   0.92 4
  Potato   0 4
  Radish   1.47 4
  Tomato   0.4 1
  Tomato   0.93 4
  Turnip   2.12 4

Tyramine Content of Selected Foods

Food Group Food Type Food Name and Details Milligrams per 100g Reference
Alcohol Beer lager, pilsener 0.12 1
  Beer non alcoholic 0.14 1
  Wine Hungarian 0.06 2
Animal Food Chicken liver 10 1
  Ox liver 27 1
  Sausage   12 2
  Tuna canned, in oil 0 1
Beverages Cocoa dry, powder, sweetened 0.06 5
Dairy Cheese appenzeller, 11% fat 5 1
  Cheese appenzeller, 32% fat 6 1
  Cheese blue, Roquefort 36 3
  Cheese brick 52 6
  Cheese brie 4 3
  Cheese brie 26 3
  Cheese camembert 12 3
  Cheese cheddar, extra sharp 27 3
  Cheese cheddar, medium 24 3
  Cheese cheddar, mild 9 3
  Cheese cheddar, processed 11 3
  Cheese cheddar, sharp 21 3
  Cheese cheddar, smoked 12 3
  Cheese colby 21 3
  Cheese cottage 0 3
  Cheese cream 0 6
  Cheese edam 31 3
  Cheese emmental 4 1
  Cheese fontinella 10 3
  Cheese gjetost 12 3
  Cheese gouda 29 3
  Cheese gruyere 52 6
  Cheese jack 13 3
  Cheese limburger 12 3
  Cheese mozzerella 16 3
  Cheese muenster 14 3
  Cheese parmesan 28 3
  Cheese port-salut 12 3
  Cheese port-salut 18 3
  Cheese quark, fresh 0 1
  Cheese romano 14 3
  Cheese sap-sago 52 3
  Cheese stilton 46 3
  Cheese swiss 41 3
  Cheese tilsit 3 1
  Cream sour 0.14 1
  Cream whipping 0.17 1
  Buttermilk   0.22 1
  Yoghurt whole 0.13 1
Fruit Avocado   2.3 7
  Banana   0.7 1
  Orange   1 1
  Raspberries   5 1
Seasonings Sauce soy 0.18 7
Sweets Chocolate dark 0.07 5
  Chocolate light 0.03 5
Vegetables Chives   0.8 2
  Sauerkraut   2 1
  Tomato   0.4 1

References

  1. Souci SW, Fachmann W, Kraut H., 2000. Food composition and nutrition tables 6th edn. (eds), CRC Press.
  2. Kovács A, Simon-Sarkadi L, Ganzler K., 1999. Determination of biogenic amines by capillary electrophoresis. J Chromatogr A. 1999 Mar 26;836(2):305-13. [PubMed]
  3. Voight MN, Eitenmiller RR, Koehler PE, and Hamdy, MK., 1974. Tyramine, histamine and tryptamine content of cheese. J. Milk Food Technol. 37:377-381.
  4. Badria FA., 2002. Melatonin, serotonin, and tryptamine in some egyptian food and medicinal plants. J Med Food. 2002 Fall;5(3):153-7. [PubMed]
  5. Jalón M, Santos C, Rivas JC, Mariné A., 1983. Tyramine in cocoa and derivatives. J. Food Sci. 1983 48 (2), 545-547 [Wiley]
  6. McCabe BJ., 1986. Dietary tyramine and other pressor amines in MAOI regimens: a review. J Am Diet Assoc. 1986 Aug; 86(8):1059-64. [PubMed]
  7. Sullivan EA, Shulman KI., 1984. Diet and monoamine oxidase inhibitors: a re-examination. Can J Psychiatry. 1984 Dec;29(8):707-11. [PubMed]