Low Nickel Diet for Nickel Allergy

Careful selection of food with relatively low nickel concentration can bring a reduction in the total dietary intake of nickel per day.  This can lead to fewer and shorter flares but may not completely eliminate all your symptoms.

To see if this will work, it is important that you follow this strictly for 1 to 3 months. If you do not see improvement after following this diet for 1 to 3 months, contact your dietitian and/or doctor.

As with all food sensitivities and allergies, it is recommended that you keep a food diary in order to track what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. To do this write down all foods and also make note of time and type of symptoms you get. Also make note of no reaction.

Things to keep in mind:

The amount of nickel in the soil and water used to grow the food can affect nickel content of foods.

Avoid or moderate canned foods. Processed and canned foods can add nickel via equipment used in manufacturing and leaching from the metallic can.

Run the water in your sink for a few minutes before using it to ingest. Tap water may contain nickel. Hot water can leach nickel from faucets into the water sitting overnight in the fixtures.

Avoid stainless steel cookware and utensils when cooking with acidic foods. Stainless steel cookware such as stainless steel can leach nickel into the food if cooking with acidic foods such as tomato, vinegar or lemon.

Consider vitamin C and/or iron supplementation with meals. Eating foods high in vitamin C and iron can reduce the absorption of ingested nickel.  Avoid or moderate vitamin supplements/drinks containing nickel.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

FRUIT Peaches, pears, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries are all considered to be low-nickel fruits. Any of these can be eaten fresh or cooked, but not canned. Raspberries, pineapple, figs, dates, and prunes should be avoided. Apples, tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are low in nickel content but can exacerbate allergy symptoms

VEGETABLE Recommended vegetables include: bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and cruciferous greens (cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy). Avoid green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, lettuce), bean sprouts and legumes, especially dried beans and lentils,peas, spinach,  soy anything.

DAIRY All plain dairy products–milk, cream, cheese, butter, yogurt–are allowed. Avoid chocolate milk and raspberry or citrus yogurt.

GRAINS Refined wheat and most corn products are permitted on this diet. Pasta, white rice, cornflakes, cornmeal, and white breads are all low-nickel foods. Whole wheat and multigrain flours, however, are high in nickel content. Avoid wheat and oat bran, oatmeal, brown rice, and flower seeds (such as sunflower and sesame), whole wheat pasta, buckwheat, millet, muesli, multi grain breads, brown rice, wheat germ, oatmeal.

NUTS SEEDS SOY Avoid nuts, seeds, and soy.

ANIMAL PROTEIN Most kinds of animal protein are low in nickel content. Chicken, turkey, beef, and eggs are recommended. Shellfish, such as shrimp and oysters, and salmon are higher in nickel. Do not eat canned meats and fish, such as tuna.

BEVERAGES Alcoholic beverages, coffee, and tea (though not from urns or machines) are allowed, as are sodas, and juices from low-nickel fruits. Avoid apple and citrus juices and chocolate drinks.

AGGRAVATING FOODS Various food items and drinks can aggravate nickel dermatitis even though the nickel content of these foods may be low. These include beer, wine (in particular, red wine), herring, mackerel, tuna, tomato, onion, carrot, and certain fruits, in particular, apples and citrus fruits (juice). These vegetables can usually be tolerated when cooked.

SOURCES OF DIETARY NICKEL TO AVOID

All canned items

All nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, soy nuts)

All seeds (sunflower seeds, linseed)

Licorice

Gelatin

Marzipan

Margarine

Commercial salad dressings

Vitamins containing nickel

Baking powder

Beans

Buckwheat

Chocolate and cocoa drinks, especially dark chocolate, chocolate milk and raspberry or citrus yogurt

Cocoa

Dates

Dried Fruits

Fiber Tablets Containing Wheat Bran

Figs Fresh and Dried

Gelatin

Leeks

Legumes: Peas, Lentils, Peanut, Soy Beans and Chickpeas

Lentils

Licorice

Linseed

Marzipan

Millet

Multigrain Breads

Oat

Oatmeal

Peas (Including Split Peas)

Pineapple

Prunes

Raspberries

Red Kidney Beans

Rye

Salmon

Shellfish (Shrimp, Oysters, Mussels)

Soy Products

Sprouts

Sunflower Seeds

Sweets Containing Chocolate

Tea

Tea from Dispensers that may be made with nickel

Vitamin/Mineral Supplements Containing Nickel

Wheat Bran Products (Whole Wheat Breads And Cereals)

Whole Grain

Whole Wheat

FOODS LOW IN NICKEL CONTENT   (GF= gluten free)  Some may aggravate symptoms

1/2 & 1/2

Apple Pie (GF crust)

Apples and citrus fruits and their juices

Applesauce

Asparagus

Banana

Beef

Beer can aggravate symptoms

Beets

Blueberries

Brussel Sprouts

Butter

Cabbage

Cakes and biscuits not containing Buckwheat almonds or other nuts, cocoa,

Cantaloupe

Cauliflower

Celery

Cheddar Cheese

Corn

Cornflakes

Cornmeal

Cornstarch

Cottage cheese

Cranberry juice

Cucumber

Dill

Dill pickles

Eggplant

Eggs

Fish such as herring, mackerel and tuna can aggravate symptoms

Flour, white wheat

GF Mac n Cheese

GF ramen noodles

Grape Juice

Grapefruit

Grapes

Honey

Hot dog

Lamb

Liver

Macaroni

Maple Syrup

Mayonnaise

Meatloaf with GF binder

Milk

Millet or chocolate Muesli and other similar breakfast cereals

Mushrooms

Okra

Onion small amount

Oranges can aggravate symptoms

Parsley

Peach

Pear

Peppers

Popcorn

Potato

Poultry, eggs and fish (except salmon)

Raw tomatoes, onions and carrots

Rhubarb

Rice or corn cereals

Rice, white

Sherbet

Spaghetti

Spinach small amount

Squash

Strawberry

Tomato small amount

Tuna in water (but NOT a can) can aggravate symptoms

Turkey

Turnip

Vanilla ice cream

Watermelon

White rice

Whole grain rye and wheat in moderation

Wine (especially red wine) can aggravate symptoms

 

Sources

Allergy Consultants, P.A. https://goo.gl/gZ6sh3

https://www.happinellas.com/single-post/2017/01/23/List-of-Low-Nickel-Foods-According-to-FDA

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667300/

Penn State Nickel Diet https://goo.gl/kwD33P

Sharma AD. Relationship between nickel allergy and diet. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol.
2007: 73:307-312.

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