Sulfite Sensitivity Questions!

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kalechips
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/12/2017 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello! I am completely new here but I see that there are a lot of people with fabulous advice and experience! So I recently discovered that when I eat foods high in sulfites, I have a mild reaction. Nothing terrible, often my throat gets tight and get sores in my mouth. I avoid sulfites as much as I can because these things are both annoying and painful! From my internet searches, I can find plenty of lists of foods to avoid but the info is never super clear. I was hoping for some help!

Cream of tartar has sulfites...correct? So then can I use yeast to leaven my baked goods? Or does yeast produce natural sulfites? I have also heard that anything made from/with sugar cane and sugar beet is high in sulfites...so if yeast is grown on sugar, is it out?

If I react to cheese (provolone in particular), do you think I could have goat cheese? I have seen that softer cheeses are more tolerated...is goat cheese in that same boat?

Do ALL processed foods have sulfites? Even if it is something as simple as chopped and frozen veggies?

And finally, is there a way to know my tolerance? Are there test strips available that I could see how much sulfite a food has? Or do I just have to wing it and guess my threshold?


Any input from experience would be awesome! Thank you!

P.S. I have been on an elimination diet for the past 446 days and have been eating fresh fruit, veggies, and meats. No sugar, grains, seeds, nuts, eggs, and dairy. I cook all that I eat from scratch. However, I have been gradually reintroducing some foods (hence my questions about goats milk). I track what I eat and how I feel each day and sulfites are definitely the cause of my issues!

Thank you once again!

Post Edited (kalechips) : 4/12/2017 3:49:43 PM (GMT-6)


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4928
   Posted 4/15/2017 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum, kalechips. You might want to avoid those too. Check the ingredients.

The best primer on sulfites is the free ebook by Rick Williams
www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/book.htm
The old website has changed, so you want to read the original ebook!

Throat getting tight is a bad reaction. You may be developing the true allergy. You really should see an allergist. I'm not a doctor, so I'll assume for this discussion that you "only" have the intolerance. What you need to do is read in Rick's book the part about how much sulfite is in the foods you are eating. It's not like a peanut allergy where just a touch is lethal. You can calculate the amount in your foods from rick's formula and tables. weight in grams x parts per million = micrograms of sulfite
www.learningtarget.com/nosulfites/knowing.htm
Seriously study this page!

You'll find that cane sugar isn't really too bad in small amounts, about 2 micrograms per teaspoon. The little bit you use making your own bread shouldn't be a problem for you with only an intolerance. It's the "dough conditioners" that are used in store and restaurant breads that are the real problem. If it doesn't spoil sitting on the counter for 3 days there's a preservative in it!

I'm not aware that there is sulfite in cream of tartar. You can substitute with white vinegar or baking soda in some recipes.

Cheese. Are you lactose intolerant? Soft cheeses have little sulfite. Hard cheeses have more, but still not a lot unless you are very intolerant. Milk doesn't have sulfite, but if you react to a glass of milk with nothing added you are probably lactose intolerant. Milk also has a protein you can react to, but the milk sugar is more common.

No tests needed for the food. No test strips. Learn the calculations from the ebook.

There aren't any tests for the allergy/intolerance either. The food journal will help you though.

Many processed foods contain sulfites as whiteners and preservatives, and most of it isn't even declared. Fresh, frozen, canned or ground corn contains no sulfites. It's the processing into starch or sugar that adds it. Corn starch may contain up to 50 ppm sulfite.

Your diet still contains sulfites. Pork especially, and beef have it. Some fruits, grapes and some vegetables like onion family have a lot. Fermented foods are high.

Read tables you can look up. Don't worry about the low sulfite foods.

kalechips
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/15/2017 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Alcie, thank you SO much! I will definitely look into the book you recommended, it looks like a huge source of information! I have definitely found that I react to onions, so it looks like those are out too! I am happy to finally be making progress! Thank you for the information!!

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4928
   Posted 4/16/2017 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
It probably depends on how much you eat of your trigger foods. A little onion for seasoning, not half or a whole onion, might not bother you.

You have to add up ALL the sources of sulfite in a meal, if you think you are sensitive. For me it wasn't the hamburger patty, it was the store bought bun and the condiments. The meat alone didn't have enough sulfite to bother me. I have a big problem with ketchup, but not tomatoes. It's the vinegar. Rice vinegar doesn't have sulfite.

When you take all the sources and multiply the grams of each of the items by the parts per million of each to get the micrograms and total them, you find your tolerance. I tolerate about 2000 miligrams sulfite, which means I can have one soda, but not two, if I didn't eat too much of my other sources. You soon get to know what you can eat without all the arithmetic.

Of course this is assuming sulfite is the trigger in the first place. It can be confusing because there are plenty of other food triggers. I have nephews with salicylate and other sensitivities, but don't have sulfite triggers.

Many of the foods have more than one possible trigger! Keep the food journal for a few months before jumping to conclusions.

kalechips
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/17/2017 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh...I see. But am I harming my body over time by eating small amounts? Or is the ONLY bad reaction when I overdo it? Also, are ALL fermented foods high in sulfites? Even if I make my own using fresh veggies, water, and salt? And if I can't use rice vinegar, is apple cider vinegar an option or is it high in sulfites as well? You have been so incredibly helpful! Thank you!
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