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  • Writer's pictureJose Santa Maria Andreone

Low Tyramine Diet

What is a low-tyramine diet?

A low-tyramine diet is a meal plan focused on foods that have low amounts of tyramine. Tyramine is found in aged foods and fermented foods. You need to limit the amount of tyramine you eat if you use an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) medicine. You can have side effects if you take MAOIs and eat foods that are high in tyramine. These side effects include a very bad headache, fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, and high blood pressure.

What guidelines should I follow?

  • Buy fresh foods and cook them or freeze them within 24 hours of buying them. Do not eat meat that has been in the refrigerator for a long time and may be spoiled. All packaged or processed meats should be stored in the refrigerator right away and eaten as soon as possible. Packaged meats include hot dogs, bologna, and liverwurst.

  • Eat cooked foods as soon as possible. Do not eat cooked foods after they have been in the refrigerator for more than 24 to 48 hours.

  • Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian how long you should continue to follow this diet after you stop taking MAOIs.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you can drink any alcohol.

Which foods can I include?

  • All grains, such as bread, cereal, rice, and pasta

  • All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables

  • Cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, or processed cheese (such as American cheese)

  • Fresh dairy foods, such as yogurt, ice cream, and milk

  • Eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and peanut butter

  • Fresh packaged or processed meat, poultry, or fish

Which foods should I limit or avoid?

  • Aged cheeses, such as cheddar, blue, gorgonzola, camembert, and brie

  • Aged, fermented, smoked, air dried, and pickled meats, such as mortadella, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage, and jerky

  • Fermented soybeans and soybean paste (such as miso), tofu, and soy sauce

  • Kim chee (fermented cabbage) or sauerkraut

  • Fermented or spoiled fruits or vegetables

  • Yeast extracts such as brewer's yeast pills or liquid

  • Bottled or canned beer, including nonalcoholic beer (drink only one 12-ounce bottle per day)

  • Red and white wine (drink only 4 ounces per day)

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