Tyramine Containing Foods and Guides on Low-Tyramine Diet

The breakdown of tyrosine, an amino acid, produces a compound called tyramine. Naturally present in some plants, foods, and animals, most people experience no issues after consuming tyramine. However, some people may end up dealing with certain complications, including a change in blood pressure, especially when they consume tyramine in large amounts. Knowledge about foods that contain tyramine helps make an informed decision when planning your diet. 

Examples of Tyramine-Containing Foods

Look at this chart for some example of foods that contain tyramine.

High-Tyramine Foods

Moderate-Tyramine Foods

Low- or No-Tyramine Foods

  • Aged or strong cheeses like gorgonzola, or blue cheese
  • Some overripe fruits such as overripe bananas and pineapples
  • Home-brewed beers or tap beers
  • Pickled products such as sauerkraut
  • Smoked or cured fish or meats, such as salami or sausage
  • Soy products such as tofu
  • Some kinds of beans, like broad beans
  • Sourdough breads
  • Some gravies and sources such as teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, or bouillon-based sauces
  • American cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Farmer’s cheese
  • Havarti cheese
  • Brie cheese
  • Wines
  • Avocadoes
  • Anchovies
  • Raspberries
  • Fruits
  • Raisins
  • Soft drinks
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Vegetables
  • Butter
  • Coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Potatoes
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Mustard
  • Cream cheese

When Should You Consider a Tyramine-Free or Low-Tyramine Diet?

Not everyone consuming tyramine-containing foods is going to experience its harmful effects. But in some situations, you should consider a tyramine-free or low-tyramine diet. Here are some examples.

1. When You Are Taking MAOIs

You should be very careful about your diet when you are taking MAOI. Combining MAOI and high-tyramine foods is dangerous. This leads to a quick rise in your tyramine levels, which in turn can cause a spike in blood pressure. Your doctor may ask you to stick to a low-tyramine diet during the time you are taking MAOI.

MAOIs are often used to treat depression, and some of the most common ones are Nardil, Marplan, Parnate, and Emsam.

2. When You Have Poor Ability to Break Down Tyramine

When your body cannot break down certain amines, such as histamine or tyramine, it is better to avoid tyramine-containing foods as much as possible. Otherwise, it would lead to an allergic reaction soon after the consumption of certain foods. This may create certain symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, heart palpitation, and headaches.

Specific Guides on Low-Tyramine Diet

You need to follow certain instruction if you have to stick to a low-tyramine diet. There are certain foods you cannot eat, but there are other food options you can include in your diet with some caution. Here is what you should bear in mind.

 

Allowed

Use with Caution

If on MAOIs

Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs or Meat Substitutes

Eggs and freshly prepared or purchased fish, meats, and poultry

Anything with nitrites

Avoid fermented sausages, such as salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, and mortadella, and improperly stored fish, meat, etc.

Eat no more than 10 oz. of tofu per day; and no more than 4 oz. of processed meats per meal.

Dairy

Fresh cheese; whole, 2-percent milk; soy milk; and soy cheese

Aged cheeses

Avoid cheddar cheese.

Consume no more than 4 oz. of aged cheeses per meal, and no more than 4 oz of combo of processed meats and aged cheese per meal.

Breads, Cereals, and Pasta

Biscuits, coffee cakes, all breads; dry and cooked cereals; and all pasta with allowed ingredients

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Vegetables

All vegetables except those mentioned in "use with caution" and "if on MAOIs"

Raw onion

Consume no more than 1 oz. of broad beans, sauerkraut; and fermented soy products per day.

Fruits

All fruits except those mentioned in "use with caution"

Citrus types, such as lemon, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, lime, and tangerine

 

Beverages

Decaf tea or coffee; decaffeinated carbonated beverage; caffeine-free club soda

Caffeinated beverages no more than 200 mg a day

Avoid tap beer;

Do not consume more than two canned beers or nonalcoholic beers, and consume no more than 4 oz. of wine a day.

Desserts and Sweets

Those made from allowed ingredients, including jam, jelly, hard candies, and honey

Chocolate-based ice cream, cookie, and candies

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Ingredients Listed on Food Labels

Anything except those mentioned in "use with caution"

Nitrates, MSG, aspartame, sulfites, and nitrites

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Fats, Oils, and Misc.

Cooking oils and fats; fresh nuts and seeds, commercial salad dressing only with allowed ingredients; spices

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Marmite or another type of concentrated yeast extract

Tips for Limiting Tyramine Intake

Now you know some of these tyramine-containing foods, here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind when on a tyramine-free or low-tyramine diet:

  • Be very careful when selecting, preparing and storing certain foods.
  • Do not wait more than two days to eat fresh produce.
  • Be sure to check the labels before buying any food or drinks.
  • Never consume aged, spoiled, pickled, or fermented foods.
  • Never thaw food at room temperature; instead, thaw in the microwave or the refrigerator.
  • Eat frozen or canned foods, such as meats and fish soon after opening.
  • Buy fresh meat and fish, and eat them without any delay.
  • Understand that cooking is not going to lower tyramine content of foods.
  • Take special care when eating out because you will have little information about how foods have been stored.
 
 
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