Tyramine is an amino acid product that occurs naturally in the body and in certain foods. Tyramine is found in large amounts in aged, spoiled and fermented foods, and high levels of tyramine cause hypertension and headaches. Patients taking antidepressant medications known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors should be on a tyramine-free diet, according to Drugs.com. Tyramine interacts with MAOIs, resulting in severe high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke.
If you're following a tyramine-free diet choose fresh or frozen red meat, fish or poultry that has not been in the refrigerator for more than four days, according to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. All packaged or processed meats should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten as soon as possible. Patients should avoid salted, smoked, pickled and cured meats and fish because they contain high amounts of tyramine.
Patients on a tyramine-free diet should avoid aged cheeses such as blue cheese, feta, brick, brie, cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan because they contain high amounts of tyramine, according to Drugs.com. Patients should eat low-tyramine dairy products such as skim milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggnog and unfermented cheeses such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, American cheese and ricotta.
Those on a tyramine-free diet should eat fresh white bread, wheat bread, rye bread, English muffins, crackers, bagels, hot and cold cereal, cream of wheat, rice, pasta, spaghetti, egg noodles and rice because they contain low levels of tyramine, according to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Patients should avoid eating homemade yeast-leavened bread and sourdough bread.
Some fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of tyramine and should be avoided by patients on a tyramine-free diet. Fruits containing high amounts of tyramine include fermented and overripe fruits and dried fruits. You may eat all other fresh, frozen or canned fruits. Vegetables containing high levels of tyramine include snow peas, avocados, sauerkraut, pickles and olives. Choose vegetables containing low levels of tyramine such as corn, asparagus, carrots, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, potatoes and string beans instead.
Small amounts of alcoholic beverages are allowed on a tyramine-free diet. Always check with your doctor before drinking any kind of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages containing high amounts of tyramine to be avoided include tap beer, ale, red wine, white wine and non alcoholic beer.
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