Updated: May 2019
The low histamine diet is a guideline based on an educated guess, not precise rules.
Many people follow a low histamine diet, on-and-off, without really knowing if it is helping. A systematic trial will help you determine it is beneficial.
- The low histamine diet should be your only change. If you start a low histamine diet and new medications at the same time, and you feel better, you would not know which change was responsible for the improvement.
- Eating a healthy diet is just as important as following the restriction. Consider booking an appointment with a registered dietitian to ensure you are eating nutritiously during your restricted diet trial.
- The low histamine diet encompasses a few different theories, and it is helpful to test these theories separately. This approach will ensure you don’t follow unnecessary restrictions.
- Step 1 (one week): Cut out alcohol, because it is the most common symptom trigger.
- Step 2 (two weeks): Eat your regular diet but follow “Minimize Histamine Formation during Food Storage.” After two weeks, if these changes have not helped, leftovers are not a concern for you!
- Step 3 (two weeks): Restrict fermented foods – such as aged cheese, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, aged sausage, etc.
- Step 4 (three weeks): Follow the full low histamine diet – either my version (Wendy’s Low Histamine Diet Guidelines- see below) or a different one. Change your diet gradually over a few weeks. Sudden dietary changes are hard on the body.
- Note: if a step is not helpful, continue to the next step, but include that step in your diet. For example, if step #2 - minimize histamine formation was not helpful, you can eat leftovers during step 3 and 4.