Along with the other features I have planned for 2013, I also hope to bring back my Ask the Readers feature. It never really went totally away, I just stopped posting it as often. For this year though I hope to share a couple of Ask the Readers questions a month.
I love learning from all of you and Ask the Readers is a great way to share our knowledge with each other and brings a sense of community to this site that I love.
If you have a question you would like to submit for my Ask the Readers feature, you can find out more information and submit it here.
Now for today’s Ask the Readers question. This question come from one of you. This is a subject I am clueless on, so I am hoping some of you might be able to help.
Does anyone eat sulfite-free? If you do, do you have a good resource for finding a safe food list. It seems extremely complicated, however my husband is supposed to try a sulfite-free diet to see if his severe asthma and allergy symptoms improve.
Do you have any thoughts, tips, or resources for eating a sulfite-free diet that you can share?
I would be interested in this. A friend of mine told me he has a friend that gets migraines if he eats anything with sulfite in it. Since I have suffered for over forty years with migraines maybe it might help me. I do look at some labels but I’m not very good at it.
It can get quite complicated, but the simplest guide I’ve come across is the following:
ALWAYS TELL A RESTAURANT YOU HAVE A SULFITE ALLERGY. The chef can most usually adapt the ingredients to make it safe for you. This means not eating in places where they pre-prepare the food (e.g. McDonald’s, Chinese Buffet, other fast food)
Dried fruit (except for dark raisins and prunes)
Fruit Products like concentrates, syrups, purees and non-organic jams.
Dehydrated vegetables and dehydrated meals for campers
Non-organic soup mixes and sauce mixes.
Shrimp is often sullfited if bought packaged (if it’s fresh, always ask)
Cheap bread and rolls made in big batches (use a sulfite-laden batter softener)
MSG (most often in Asian foods) ALWAYS ASK- every restaurant doesn’t use this
Vinegar and things with vinegar in it (mayonaise, ketchup, mustard)
Commercial pre-prepared potatoes (like fast food french fries)
Wine and alcohol
Commercial fruit drinks
Commercial orange drinks
IN PACKAGED FOODS, ALWAYS READ THE LABELS. Sulfites are often hidden by manufacturers using different names. These include:
Hope that helps. You can see how complicated it can be. It’s a problem for me when I eat at someone else’s home but isn’t usually a problem if we go to a good restaurant. At home, I use ‘whole, unadulterated foods’. Real food doesn’t have to be organic (I just like it better).
Thanks for taking the time to share that.
Sulfites are in everywhere snd hard to avoid label resding is a must. And even tjough fresh fruits and vegtables are not supposed to be sprayed… just err on the side of caution. In reference to your food list I have been advised by my allergist that all shrimp is sulfited on the dock so it is never a safe choice for silfite sufferers. I am very allergic to sulfites, I will not eat any grapes even if organic. Be careful with the raisins because grapes have natural occurring sulfites and they do not have to label them for silfites if they are sprayed in the process of growing them. Wines are almost always dangerous. Please be very careful. Sulfite sensitivity is a very slippery slope. One thing you can do is keep a good journal of everything you eat and any reactions you have later. It may help you pinpoint specific triggers to avoid. My personal list is way too long but my reactions are severe enough that I have little choice. I know this post is a little old but I hope it helps. If you want to get a deeper understanding of the sulfite problem go to http://www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites. Or google the words headache asthma fries and a cola.
don’t forget Sulfur dioxide
Thanks for this list. My life changes with 2 sips of wine, no more sulfites, s this is not going to be easy, I can see that.
It is difficult, but it can be done. I have anaphylactic reactions to sulfites. You must read labels and ask questions!
Can you help me l am desperate never had problems before but sulphites are just slowly making my life intolerable. I don’t know what to eat or drink anymore without a reaction.
My response isn’t so much about the sulfites as it is about a diet example. One year I tried the Blood-type Diet by D’Adamo, to lose weight. As with all diets, I lost 20 pounds and then tried to find a way to make it liveable for me and my family because it is about lifestyle changes and me not eating pizza again is not a realistic lifestyle change, but I digress. I followed the diet for a year and then decided to try something else because I missed pizza and other foods and needed to lose more weight BUT what I found in looking back over that time period was that I did NOT take a single sudafed/anti-histamine the entire year! It wasn’t until I had some stuffiness and a headache brewing after changing up our diet that I realized I hadn’t had a single issue with stuffiness the whole time I was eating for my blood type (which is A-, btw). I was simply astounded!!! Problem is that many foods I love are foods that I should avoid for my blood type. Ugh! That was several years ago and this year, I intend to see if can figure out which foods are causing these symptoms.
I hope this real life example can be some help. D’Adamo’s book is “Eat Right for your Type”,
I’m not yet good at it, but I have been trying to avoid sulfites, as I really think they give me headaches. I have found a few other dried fruits at Whole Foods that do not use sulfites. I have to read every label! And there is also an organic wine that has no sulfites. I was going to start having a glass of red wine at night but still haven’t tried it so I can’t say if it’s good or not. I keep trying to make as much homemade items as I can so thank you, Lynn, for the Cheeseburger Helper!!
Thanks Elizabeth for the list of things, really appreciate it. And thank you for the input from the other girls.
Be aware of sulfites in condiments. Eating in a Japanese restaurant has landed me in the hospital twice. It’s not the food that made me sick, but the stuff that comes with the meal – soya sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, vinegar or lemon-based flavourings. It seems sulfite consumption over time has a cumulative effect. For example, one day I had breakfast at a fast-food place. I had hashbrowns made from frozen pototoes, sandwich bun made with dough conditioners (sulfites), processed cheese, then followed that up with dinner at the Japanese restaurant. That combination lands me in the hospital every time. But if I’ve been eating sulfite-free most of the day, I may just get a belly ache from my Japanese meal.
Cooking sulfite-free is more work but the food tastes much better. You must chop your own garlic and ginger, squeeze your own lemons & limes and make tomato sauce from scratch unless you can find preservative-free tomato sauces (Cortina canned tomatoes imported from Italy are good).
Hello I do eat sulfite, milk Free because I have allergies and asthma, yes it does help your asthma its been two and half years now and I feel so much better, rough going with the food but gotten a lot better.
I have sulfite and dairy allergies I been eating sulfite free for two years it gets better and better for me, we do have to cook from scratch but I like cooking just need new recipes to learn, my asthmas has gotten better and I feel better, if there is anyone out there who wants to share recipes would like share.
I am new to this whole no sulfites thing and I am trying my best to be good but I’m tired of having salad with just olive oil and chicken and burgers with no seasoning. I’m of hispanic descent so onions and garlic are a staple in just about every dish and I love it so…I’m sure you can imagine I’m sufferring without being able to eat them. I am so glad to have found you cause I’ve been on the hunt for sulfite freerecipes for weeks. I greatly appreciate your help with some recipes. Many thanks and blessings in advance.
Hope I last email went threw let me know
please email me recipes . im asthmatic and its getting worse because i don’t know which food to really avoid .
I also live with sulphite and lactose intolerance I am lucky because I don’t have asthma so a sulphite reaction will probably not kill me. I carry an epi-pen and an antihistamine I like Benadryll I’ve never had to use my PEN.. I have also had laminated cards ( business size) printed up with the different sulphite names so when I go into a restaurant I simply hand the server a card and it makes the whole issue easier .
I have learned to order foods without a lot of sauces and creams because they are usually preserved therefore have sulphites ,it’s a common preservative it’s also scary to find that a lot of servers and some restaurants don’t even know what sulphites are. I have learned to read labels and simply avoid all wines and food cooked with wine I do however enjoy a drink with vodka and mineral water. Fresh fruit and vegetables are by law sulphite free in USA and Canada
I’m not sure about elsewhere. Any food prepackaged is suspect when I’m just not sure I try a tiny taste on my tongue
I can usually tell in no time if I can eat it or not. There are also salade dressings that are preservative free and they are quite good. It’s a learning process and frustrating at times . but so far o.k Marnie
what salad dressings do did you find without sulfites.
I know I’m posting this late but I too suffer from sulfite allergies. Also tree nuts, lactose intolerance, melons and many other allergies like bees, pollen, mold etc. I was going to get an epi-pen but read it contains sulfites. So you might want to double-check with your doctor.
Hi would you send me some recipes please? I’m sulfite free and milk intolerant. It’s a big change. I’ve stuck with fresh meat and veg but would like some new tastes.
Eager to try new things!
I’ve had a sulfite allergy for 11 yrs . I’ve notice the list that some people left , I gave up all alcohol and caffeine .i only use fresh veggies and the only thing from a can would be beans. Only organic brown rice because I had a reaction to regular brown rice.absolutely no pop ,or any sugared drinks or sugar period. Brown rice syrup is a good substitute. All shellfish contains sulfites,it us formed on the exterior of the shellfish this also includes calamari. No preserved meats your ham ,bacons sausages . But not only do you need to worry about what you eat, you need to be careful of medicines as well no NSAID ,and always let your pharmacists know about your sensitivity to sulfites . I will post recipes for you at a later time but I’ve been checking out other sites and you really need to be careful of some of the recipes because some are not sulfite free. Hope this helps
I’m living with my newfound sulfite allergy. At least I now have an explanation for why I’ve felt sick so often for so long. Appreciate reading all your comments and welcome more at my Web resource for sulfite-intolerant people. So much to learn and I find a lot of conflicting information online. Also, my doctors including allergist are no help.
How are you doing now Always-Stuffy. I’m deducing I have sulpha and sulphite allergies that are increasingly severe……in ER after sulpha antibiotic; YEARS of severe migraines, IBS, “Fibromyalgia”, etc. like mentioned above the sulphites accumulate producing inconsistencies. Looking for ANY help. RF
I have a sulfite allergy for the last 20yrs. I get asthma symptoms if I eat certain foods The only solution 20yrs ago was asthma medication and no test for sulfite allergies. 10yrs I had enough of asthma attacks and allergy pills, I decided to work on the foods I ate and permanently removed the offending foods. It worked but other food intolerances did not subside. I just lived with it. Recently my gallbladder failed and now the foods I couldn’t eat years ago I can now eat again. I also discovered what I thought was a harmless nickel jewelry allergy actually affected my system internally too depending on what foods high in nickel I consumed. Which at the time, I was a vegetarian. All leafy green veggies are high in nickel so I was filling my system with toxins instead of healthy. I removed those foods and my symptoms disappeared. In conclusion nickel is nickel sulfite. And is made sense since I was allergic to sulfites , nickel sulfite would be one too. I hope this helps others who are in my same predicament. I eat extremely cautiously. No fast food or the reactions just suck. Sometimes I need steroids but those have sulfites too. Benedryl which is suppose to stop an allergic reaction actually gives one to those with asthma, says it right on the box. Dr’s suggest I use this until I remind them what clearly written on the box. You really have to do the research yourself for your own body, don’t always count on Dr’s to do it. Good luck to you all.
Hi all I too am struggling to come to terms with not eating fave foods se I just don’t know if I am doing it Wright I have just found out about rapeseed oil after being very ill it was in my bread and butter which I have ate every day trying to gain weight I struggle for lunches (sandwiche fillings)and desserts just don’t know what to have no more socialising I have a different life and I miss my old life very much miss having a tipple very depressed is there any one from England to share ideas with I would love to hear from you sorry for the moan !
I’m not from England but hopefully my experience may help you. A bit over a year ago, I discovered sulphite allergy was the cause of all my undiagnosable health problems. I still struggle every single day but it has gotten better. Everyone’s sensitivity and reactions are different, so what works for me may not help others. I happen to be VERY sensitive. Consuming as few as 4 or 5 McDonald’s french fries will cause severe vomiting within 2 hours. Eating out, or with any sort of convenience, has been the biggest problem. Always attempt to research a restaurant’s ingredients if possible. Rule of thumb, ALL fast food is a no go, unless you have access to Chipotle’ (Oh, the irony!) The safest options in restaurants is to order cuts of meat without sauces and with “light” or no seasoning. Baked potatoes are safe but don’t eat the skins. Unfortunately, the butter and sour cream may not be okay so choose wisely and use sparingly if you’re unsure. Avoid salads as the lettuce often contains hidden sulfites, but steamed vegetables are usually safe. Again, NO sauces or gravies of any sort. For beverages, you are now a “water only” kind of person out side of fresh brewed coffee or fresh tea (no instants, pre-mades or flavored). Lemon, lime or other fruit is okay to flavor the water with, but only fresh, no concentrates or “flavors”. In social settings, I often make sure I eat ahead of time and just inform people I have severe food allergies and won’t be eating much (or at all).
Lunches and low weight are also a huge problem for me. To start, you should forgo ALL breads and other baked goods. Many things will never again be an option unless you learn how to make it for yourself using alternative ingredients. I found a local bakery that has some sulfite free products, so that will have to be a personal mission for each suffering individual. I make my own jelly and sandwich fillings like chicken or egg salad. Again, you must read every food label and search for products that are safe. Crackers are usually a problem, as well as chips, so major diet changes will have to be made there.
I very truly share your pain and can only tell you determination is needed and it will get better with time.
I hope this helps.
No processed foods. No dried fruits or veggies!!! No poatoes that have been frozen (hasbrowns, fries). No lunch meat, bacon, sausage, etc. Sweeten with maple sryup (from a tree) and honey. No powder sugar or brown sugar. White sugar is OK. No grapes period (even organic grapes can be sprayed with sulfites and not need to be labeled as containing sulfites). The only vinegar I can take is simple white. Top salads with fresh lemon juice. No fruit juice. No wine or beers, only highend vodka. No canned tomatoes of any kind! Including ketchup. Mustard is OK. I have tolerated home canned pickles and green beans. Flour, baking soda and powder are OK. Nuts are great!
eating out is very hard! Baked potato seams to be my only safe restaurant meal. Most restaurant salads start with boxed lettuce that has been sprayed.
In the last six months my allergist has determined I’ve developed a sulfite allergy. Staying away from sulfites has given me better concentration and quick weight loss. I’ve also become more aware of my body’s reactions to food and can detect sulfites by physical symptoms, stop eating it and take a benadyl before a full blow reaction. It’s hard, but very much worth eating fresh veggies, fruit and meat. Learn to make your own bone broth (from organic chicken)!!! Well worth the time to flavor food and give great national boost.
I would love a list of sulfite free foods. It seems very easy to find a list of foods containing sulfites, but harder finding without. I especially would like a list of sulfite free sauces like soy sauce, BBQ sauce, balsamic vinegar, salad dressings, ketchup, cheeses, etc.
Like you I would love a list of sulfite free foods, sauces etc. I only find foods you can’t eat. Can you help me. I get sever hives and can’t find anything I can eat,
I have to eat a sulfite free diet. I have learned that there are sulfites in most foods….meat, eggs, cheeses, many fruits, cabbage family, nuts, chocolate and so much more…if someone is still interested, let me know and I’ll give more info that I have found. Does anyone know of bee pollen supplements help with sulfite allergies?
Hi Linda I would love to get some recipe ideas from you, I’m finding this hard.
I write down in a book all the recipes I see.
Thank you for all your help in advance.
I have been eating sulfite free for about a month after being on life support 12 times for severe anaphylaxis and asthma episodes. There are not many resources out there unfortunately, but by making most things from scratch and using simple things like organic eggs for making food rise instead of baking powder it’s a bit easier.
Labels don’t have to say sulfites unless it’s a primary ingredient, if it’s there as a secondary ingredient such as modified corn starch they don’t have to put it on the label, so be cautious. The other issue is everyone has a different sensitivity to sulfites. Your’s may be that you can tolerate some where I seem to be unable to tolerate any.
I have started putting together a cook book a little at a time and can pass along some recipes if you would like.
I would LOVE some recipe ideas from you, since figuring out finally after years of suffering many tests and procedures that its sulphites that bother me.
I’m having trouble finding meals to make there really isn’t much out there.
I would love some of your recipes, this could be a a profession,being sulfite free. Sulfites are in everything, well almost.. Already I am tired of doing research and it has been just over a week since hospital stay. But I can do this! with a little help from my new friends.
I would love to learn about sulphite free recipes too! I feel like I have trouble researching because the internet says all different things and I really can’t determine what is sulphite free or not! Please help!
Would love some recipes! [email protected]
I would greatly appreciate some recipes!!! This is all new to me and being covered with hives every time I eat is driving me crazy..
I am newly diagnosed with food allergies and had anaphylaxis from sulfite last week. I would love some food ideas, as I am afraid to eat anything now.
I’ve recently been hospitalized in acute care with what is to thought a severe sulfite allergy. Thanksgiving did me in, 2 sips of wine , put me there, with a 2 inch tongue and closed throat. I’ve been allergic to sulfa drugs since age 18. The past couple of years I have coughed when drinking wine, knowing that that was a sign of sulfite allergy, but never dreamed it was that dangerous. Now in my October of my life ( 76) years old, I have to change my eating habits. I just had a grilled cheese, and coughed, so even though I had them check the label in the deli, which said no sulfites in the Colby cheese , there is. . I would appreciate any information that you could share with me. . My email address is; [email protected]. Thanking you in advance. Judy
I have been struggling for over 2 years now and would really appreciate if you had any recipes to forward them to me. I am at the point where eating is so stressful because I have no idea what to make and what I can have. My email is [email protected]. Thanks in advance!
New at sulfite intolerance
Recipes would be amazing-just was in ER twice and still recovering. All the time at home gave me time to research and figure out silfites have been my problem the last 3 years with asthma issues and more recently terrible digestive issues. Appreciate any help!
Please send recipes to [email protected].
My daughter has just been diagnosed with sulfite allergies.
Do any of you use fresh garlic? Eat organic tomatoes, lemons, potatoes? It would be great to see everyone post foods they DO eat!
Hi, good to read these posts! I have been diagnosed a couple of weeks now and I am struggling to eat a diverse range of foods as I am also on the Low FODMAP 🙁
Any recipes are always welcome! [email protected]
Hi guys just found out I am allergic to sulphites & am really struggling to find food, been living on jacket potatoes and salad for the last 6mths and really feed up. I have lost over a stone in weight as I am struggling to find anything that does not make me ill, headaches, sickness, feeling like death is controlling my life.. Is the a good diet book I can by which list all the foods. recipes.. Help !!!
I have been struggling with significant sulfite sensitivity for five years now and have found the “lists” of food that are safe or to avoid are often contradictory. Also, every body chemistry is different so what one person can consume with minimal reaction may make another very ill. For me, I must avoid garlic IN ALL FORMS. I can tolerate only a bit of onion, must always be cooked practically to death. Baking powder, corn starch, soy, balsamic and most vinegars I have to avoid entirely. I have found that I can tolerate Tejava bottled plain black tea because it is microbrewed. Most tea bags are bleached with sulfites but Celestial tea brand claims theirs are not. I can tolerate one Diet Coke a day (my favorite) but no other commercial drinks in a can or bottle. I found rye and wheat bread from a local bakery that is fresh and sulphite free. Lucinis Rustic Tomato Sauce is the only jarred spaghetti sauce I can tolerate and I use it as a base for other recipes as well. Coconut Aminos is my substitute for soy sauce. Organic Triscuits are sulphite free as are True North brand nut clusters. Boulder Olive Oil Potato chips and Simply Ruffles organic potato chips are sulfite free and have saved me from wanting to jump off a cliff many times. Skinny Pop plain or salt and pepper popcorn is also good. I use Tostitos brand Organic blue corn tortilla chips safely. Wild Planet tuna is also safe. I can only eat Fage plain yogurt and Daisy brand cottage cheese. I have found that Sargentos Colby jack does not cause me any reactions and mozzarella and feta cheese are generally safe as well. Be aware that if you suffer from this problem you must consume packaged foods that use only sea salt, olive oil, or sunflower oil to be safe from reactions. I have found only a few trusted things that come in a package, box, or bottle that are safe for me and in the process have discovered brands that really do use ingredients that are pure and sulphite free. I make a salad dressing from olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Fage yogurt, fresh ground pepper, and sea salt. My salad is either green leaf lettuce or romaine with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and some shredded carrots. It has taken me years to cobble together a grocery list… My life has changed dramatically and for the first time in my life I skipped the family Thanksgiving dinner this year. I was just tired of watching everyone eat delicious food with abandon and then crying all the way home. I am trying to do things that enrich my other senses and have been burning a lot of vanilla candles and buying beautiful flower bouquets. I do know though that however much this condition sucks, I have working arms and legs, my brain functions (most of the time!) and I have a family that loves me and a lovely roof over my head. I lost my partner of 17 years to ALS so I know I shouldn’t complain about anything.
Thank you for sharing that! I know other readers will find it helpful. And thank you for sharing that you still have things to be thankful for!
Thank you for your list of foods. My mom is 73 and suffering. I’m trying to cobble together a list of foods for her. <3 Ali
Does anyone know of a sulfite free cook book that is available please. Recently diagnosed and struggling to find low sulfite foods to prepare. Thank you in advance.
I have been recently diagnosed as having sulfite allergies. Im finding it very difficult to determine what is safe for me to eat. It’s very frustrating as I’m also trying to follow a diabetic diet on top of everything. I recently went for lunch at a restaurant and instead of ordering a burger I chose the healthier option of a chicken caesar salad. Well halfway into my salad I felt a wave or rush come over me and it was something I have never felt before. I felt very scared that something bad was going to happen. I felt dizzy and almost as though I was about to pass out. I took an allergy pill and it seemed to help but I do also carry an EpiPen with me. I just feel at my wits end with this intolerance.
Someone mentioned that sunflower oil was safe above. Unfortunately, I have had a reaction to the sunflower oil. I guess it depends on the brand. Olive oil has been the only safe oil I have found. Also. They mentioned no canned tomato products, but I’ve never had a reaction to Contadina tomato paste (plain flavor)…However, their tomato “sauce” DID bother me. I’ve had reactions to any produce that comes in plastic bags (this includes organic sometimes) I only buy the produce that’s loose. Someone at FDA told me that plastic perforated bags are sometimes treated with sulfites. Those peeled baby carrots have caused extreme reactions in me (even the organic)
I am lucky, keeping my own food diary, I have found that I am NOT intolerant of lactose, gluten, or eggs. Also I live in Sacramento California so I have access to huge abundance of fresh foods, but thought I was dying for a while!
Excellent websites for folks new to Sulfite Intolerance for what not to eat. https://ignitenutrition.ca/blog/sulphite-intolerance/
Be very careful with fresh meats, If your chicken says may contain up to X% retained water, it should be OK, If it says retained FLUIDS, it is NOT OK. Do not buy lamb, etc imported (eg. from Australia) if in prepackaged plastic bags!!
My dog has been eating gourmet while I make my way through the foods that are poisoning me !!!
Beginnings of what I CAN EAT, Sooo missing sauces, condiments, etc so these are what I have found that I can eat
Dark Chocolate Morsels from https://enjoylifefoods.com/collections/chocolate and carried at Target and Walmart !!!
Red Wine by Our Daily Reds, red blend or Cab carried at Sprouts farmers mkt.
Raw milk is OK for me but I have not been able to eat any other dairy products from pasteurized, homogenized milk, carried at Sprouts Mkt
Bread: Daves Killer white bread, made with UNBLEACHED FLOUR, Sprouts mkt and Walmart
Bobs Red MIll Organic stone ground cornmeal. many grocery stores. Made Cornmeal Griddle Cakes from leitesculinaria.com
King Arthur Flour, Organic UNBLEACHED All-Purpose (sulfites are introduced to flour when it is bleached)
Wholesome brand Organic UNsulfured Molasses from Sprouts mkt.
C&H Cane sugar, make brown sugar by mixing 1 cup cane sugar with 1 Tablespoon unsulfured molasses and blend.
Dying for BBQ sauce and made a very plain substitute with Organic canned tomato paste, white vinegar or squeezed fresh lemon juice, plus brown sugar.
Cold Cereal: Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps cereal with Rice Dream rice milk original enriched no flavorings.
Use seasalt with NO Dextrose added, use organic baking powder with NO cornstarch added.
prepared Mustard from Heinz has NO onion, has turmeric instead.
Since I can’t eat turkey sausage for breakfast anymore, my substitute was homemade honey mustard sauce on plain ground turkey patty .Now I am allergic to Honey so make it with mustard and organic Maple Syrup. (2 t mustard + 1 t syrup.) Cook patty with salt then top with sauce mix.
Things I think I am sensitive to but have to try the raw version as I might have only used a prepared version that was sulfited:
Garlic, there is a similar tasting substitute called Asafoetida used in middle eastern cuisine that I have not tried yet, just got it via mail.
Ginger, anybody found a substitute for this??
GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL AND HOPE THIS MAKES YOUR JOURNEY A LITTLE EASIER