WHAT IS SALICYLATE INTOLERANCE?

Salicylate intolerance occurs when the body has a reaction to salicylates, which are a natural chemical found in plants. Plants use this chemical to protect themselves from disease, bacteria, fungi and insects. Common salicylate intolerance symptoms include airway inflammation/asthma, GI inflammation, diarrhea and hives. Salicylate amounts vary depending on the food, but are commonly found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, alcohol, coffee and tea. Salicylates may cause issues for some people, including those with mast call activation syndrome (MCAS), however recent research shows they may have anti-inflammatory effects. A low salicylate diet is not for everyone, so talk to your healthcare provider to understand if this dietary change is best for you.

 

WHAT IS A LOW SALICYLATE DIET?

A low salicylate diet allows you to consume foods that contain no, or very low levels of salicylates. The goal of the diet is to reduce symptoms of an intolerance. Usually, you start by eliminating foods that contain salicylates, then reintroduce them slowly to identify whether salicylate intolerance is an issue; this process should be done with careful guidance from your healthcare provider.

 

FOODS THAT ARE HIGH OR LOW IN SALICYLATES

Many studies have been done to report salicylate levels in certain foods, however the results are variable due to differences in testing methods, type of food processing, and food source. This food list should be used as a general guide in consultation with your healthcare provider.

 

Various colorful tropical fruit selection on rustiv wooden background

FRUITS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
BananaApple – golden deliciousApple – red deliciousApple – all other varietiesAll dried Fruits
Canned Pear**Nashi PearCanned or dried FigCanned Morello CherriesAvocado
LimePapayaCanned Pear**CantaloupeBlackberry
Pear (ripe and peeled)Paw PawCustard AppleGrapefruitBlackcurrant
TamarilloLemonKiwi fruitBlueberry
LoquatLycheeBoysenberry
MangoMandarinCherries – all other kinds
Passion fruitMelonsCranberry
Pear (w/peel)MulberryCurrant
PersimmonNectarineDate
PomegranatePeachGrape
RhubarbSugar bananaGuava
Fresh TomatoWatermelonLoganberry
Orange
Pineapple
Plum
Raisin
Raspberry
Redcurrant
Strawberry
Sultana
Tangelo
Tangerine
Tomato
Tomato
Youngberry

** Canned Pear has negligible amounts of salicylate if it is in sugar syrup, but if it is in natural juices/syrups, it has a moderate amount of salicylate as these often contain some peel, which contains salicylates.

 

organic vegetables

VEGETABLES

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
Bamboo ShootsBean SproutsAsparagus – trimmedAlfalfa SproutsCanned Green Olives
Beans (dried – not borlotti)Borlotti beansAubergine – peeledArtichokeCapsicum
Cabbage (green or white)Brussels SproutsBeetrootAubergine – w/peelChampignon
CeleryCabbage – redBlack OlivesBroad BeanChicory
Green Split peasChickpeasCanned AsparagusBroccoliChili peppers
Lentils (brown)ChivesCarrotCanned black oliveCourgette
Lentils (red)ChokoFresh TomatoCucumberEndive
Lettuce (icebergFresh AsparagusFrozen SpinachEggplantGherkin
Peas (dried)Green BeansLettuce (other than iceberg)Fresh SpinachHot pepper
Potato (old/white and peeled)Green PeasMarrowOkraPeppers
SwedeLeekMushroomsRadishRadish
Mung bean sproutsParsnipsSweet PotatoTomato
OnionPotato (new and red Pontiac)Water chestnutTomato Products
Potato (white w/peel)PumpkinWatercressWater Chestnut
ShallotsSnow PeasZucchini
Yellow split peasSprout
Sweet corn
Turnip

 

nuts

NUTS & SEEDS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
Poppy seedCashewsDesiccated coconutBrazil nutsAlmond
HazelnutsPeanut ButterMacadamia nutsPeanuts w/skins on
PecanPumpkin seedsPine nutsWater chestnut
Sunflower seedsSesame seedsPistachio
Walnuts

 

Homemade chocolate mini cakes

SWEETS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
CarobCaramel**MolassesChewing gum
CocoaGolden SyrupRaw SugarFruit Flavors
Homemade Caramel**Malt ExtractHoney
Maple SyrupHoney Flavors
White SugarJam (except pear, preferably homemade)
Liquorices
Mint flavored sweets
Peppermints

** Caramel can be made from just sugar and water or sugar and milk – both are salicylate free and therefore caramel is generally alright. However, store bought caramel can have a variety of additives and added flavorings that do contain salicylate – so be careful when buying/eating caramel and be sure to read the ingredients.

 

Bunch of fresh homegrown organic dill, spinach, arugula and spring onion on rustic wooden table

SEASONINGS, CONDIMENTS, SAUCES & TOPPINGS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
Golden SyrupApple Butter (only if homemade from acceptable varieties of apples)Fresh Coriander Leaves (also known as Chinese parsley)All SpiceAniseed
Malt VinegarChivesHorseradishBay leafBasil
Maple Syrup (pure)Fennel – driedMayonnaiseCarawayBlack pepper
SaltGarlicCardamomCayenne
Parsley (except Chinese parsley also known as coriander)CinnamonCelery powder
SaffronClovesChili flakes
ShallotsCorianderChili powder
Soy Sauce (if free of spices)GingerCider vinegar
Mixed herbsCommercial gravies and sauces
MustardCumin
PimientoCurry
Dill
Fenugreek
Fish, meat, and tomato pastes
Garam masala
Ginger
Honey
Jam/Jelly (all commercial varieties)
Mace
Marmite
Mint
Mustard
Nutmeg
Oregano
Paprika
Peppermint
Rosemary
Sage
Tabasco
Tarragon
Thyme
Turmeric
Vegemite and other Yeast Extracts**
White pepper
White Vinegar
Wine Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce

** Yeast extracts are high, but they are different from the yeast used in baking. Baking Yeast is generally ok.

 

Bottles of olive oil on a table

FATS & OILS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
ButterGheeAlmond OilCophaCoconut Oil
Canola OilCorn OilSesame OilOlive Oil
Margarine**Peanut OilWalnut Oil
Safflower Oil
Soy Oil
Sunflower Oil

** Margarine only if it’s made from vegetable oil or canola oil.

 

Different types of cereal grains with ears

GRAINS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
BarleyBreakfast cereals that include fruit, nuts, honey or coconut
BuckwheatCorn/maize cereals
MilletCornmeal
Oats (plain)Flavored breakfast cereals
RiceMaize
Rice cereals (plain)Polenta
Rye
Wheat

 

Grilled Chuck Roll beef steak with salad on wooden board.

MEAT

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
BeefLiverFish canned in an unacceptable oil and/or with seasonings addedProcessed luncheon meats
ChickenPrawnsGravy made from prepared mixesSeasoned meats (e.g. salami, sausages, frankfurters, and hotdogs)
EggsShellfish
Fish
Lamb
Organ meats
Rabbit
Sausage casing
Scallops
Tripe
Veal
**

** Most meat, fish and poultry are salicylate free, but you should avoid meats that have been processed or seasoned as they often contain salicylates.

 

Fresh dairy products

DAIRY & SOY PRODUCTS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
ButterBlue vein cheese
Cream
Cheese (not blue vein)
Milk
Yogurt (natural only)
Ice Cream**
Rice Milk
Goat Milk
Soy Milk*
Tofu

** Be sure the read the label carefully on these things, they are ok only if they do not have any additives or added flavorings. With Ice cream it can be very difficult to find brands that make pure and plan ice cream without all the additives (though there are a few out there), I recommend just making your own.

 

baking ingredients

BAKING SUPPLIES

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
ArrowrootSesame seedsCorn Syrup
Corn starch (also known as corn flour)
Golden Syrup
Malt
Malt extract
Poppy seeds
Rice Flour
Rye Flour
Sago
Soy Flour
Sugar (brown, castor, granulated, icing, powdered)
Tapioca
Wheat Flour

 

Potato chips in a basket with different sauces.

COMMERCIAL SNACKS

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
Plain potato chips (read the ingredient list)Apple chips (only if homemade rom acceptable varieties of apples)PopcornChewing gum (all flavors)
Popping cornFruit flavored candy, gelato, ices, popsicles, sherbet, sorbet, and sweets
Licorice (all flavors)
Mint/peppermint/wintergreen flavored candy/sweets
Pickles (and anything pickled)

 

Espresso cup of hot coffee

BEVERAGES

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
Decaffeinated coffeeDandelion coffeeCoco colaRegular coffee
Milk (goat and cow)Store bough pear juiceRose hip teaAll teas
OvaltineRose hip syrupCordials and fruit flavored drinks
Homemade Pear JuiceFruit and vegetable juices
Soy Milk
Rice Milk
Water

 

Tequila in a glass

ALCOHOL

NegligibleLowModerateHighVery High
GinCiderLiquor
WhiskeyBeerPort
VodkaSherryWine
BrandyRum

 

PRODUCT GUIDE

There are a variety of different products containing salicylate and it is sometimes difficult to determine if a product is salicylate free or not. Hopefully this page will help.

 

PRODUCTS THAT OFTEN CONTAIN SALICYLATES

  • Acne products
  • Air fresheners
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Breath savers
  • Bubble baths
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics
  • Detergents
  • Essential oils
  • Fabric conditioners
  • Fragrances and perfumes
  • Gums
  • Hair sprays, gels and mouses
  • Herbal remedies
  • Lipsticks and Lip glosses
  • Lotions
  • Lozenges
  • Medications
  • Mouthwash
  • Muscle pain creams
  • Pain relievers
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Razors with aloe strips adjacent to the cutting edge
  • Shampoos and Conditioners
  • Shaving cream
  • Skin cleansers or exfoliants
  • Soaps
  • Sunscreens and tanning lotions
  • Supplements derived from rose hips or bioflavonoids
  • Toothpaste
  • Topical creams
  • Wart or callus removers

 

TERMS/INGREDIENTS TO AVOID

  • Acetylsalicylic acid
  • Aloe Vera
  • Any coal tar derived dye
  • Artificial flavorings
  • Artificial food colorings
  • Aspirin
  • Azo dyes
  • Benzoates (preservatives)
  • Benzyl salicylate
  • Beta-hydroxy acid
  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Choline salicylate
  • Disalcid
  • Ethyl salicylate
  • Eucalyptus Oils
  • Isoamyl salicylate
  • Magnesium salicylate
  • Menthol
  • Methyl Salicylate
  • Mint
  • Nitrates/Nitrites
  • Octylsalicylate
  • Oil of Wintergreen
  • Peppermint
  • Phenylethyl salicylate
  • Red Dye (#40)
  • Salicylaldehyde
  • Salicylamide
  • Salicylate
  • Salicylic acid
  • Salsalate
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Spearmint
  • Yellow Dyes (#5 & #6)

 

pharmacy shelves

BRAND NAMES OF COMMON DRUGS CONTAINING SALICYLATES

This is not a complete list of all drugs containing salicylate, but it is a start and hopefully will aid and help you in avoiding drugs/medications that contain salicylate. If you are taking a medication and you are not sure if it contains salicylate or not check with your pharmacist or doctor. Never start the elimination diet without checking all medications and first and consulting a professional. Never start taking a medication with salicylate in it directly after the elimination diet and shock can occur from introducing too much salicylate into your body after it has gone a long while without salicylate. This list was put together by the Mayo Clinic.

  • Acuprin 81
  • Amigesic
  • Anacin Caplets and Tablets
  • Aspirin Regimen Bayer Adult Low Dose
  • Aspirin Regimen Bayer Regular Strength Caplets
  • Bayer Children’s Aspirin
  • Bufferin Caplets and Tablets
  • Disalcid
  • Extra Strength Bayer Aspirin Caplets and Tablets
  • Mobidin
  • Mono-Gesic
  • Norwich Aspirin
  • P-A-C Revised Formula
  • Regular Strength Ascriptin
  • Salflex
  • Salsitab
  • Sloprin
  • Joseph Adult Chewable Aspirin
  • Tricosal
  • Trilisate
  • ZORprin