Health Information: Low Salicylate Diet


The aim of the Low Salicylate Diet is to reduce the amount of Salicylates in the diet. Salicylic acid is found naturally in many fruits and flavourings and is a common trigger for Hyperactivity or Hives. Remember these conditions may have many different causes or triggers. It is important to seek treatment and diagnosis from your Doctor before commencing any elimination diet.


The aim of the Low Salicylate Diet is to keep the amount of salicylates below the level at which symptoms appear. This level will vary from person to person and may change in the one person in different circumstances. For example, in times of added stress, you may react to a smaller dose of salicylate than at other times. Complete elimination of Salicylates may make the diet unnecessarily restrictive and nutritionally inadequate.

Diet Should Be High In

1) Vitamin C-rich, low salicylate foods. Reducing foods high in salicylates can also reduce your intake of vitamin C. The following foods are very low in salicylate but high in vitamin C and can be eaten when desired:
- Peeled pear, bananas, golden apples.
- Pawpaw.
- Potato.
- Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, green beans.
- Green peas, shallots, chives, parsley and leeks.
- Dried beans and lentils.
2) Beverages. The following beverages have low salicylate content and can be consumed when desired:
- Decaffeinated coffee.
- Some alcohol: gin, whisky and vodka.
3) Food additives low in salicylates:
- Poppy seeds, cashews, garlic.
- Vanilla, golden and maple syrup, cocoa, carob.
- Malt vinegar, soy sauce and saffron.

Diet Should Be Moderate In

1) Some fruits and vegetables. The following foods have a moderate amount of salicylates and can be eaten occasionally:
- Red apples, lemon, figs, rhubarb, mango, pear with peel.
- Broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus.
- Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip.
- Onion, mushrooms, sweet corn, beetroot.
2) Beverages. The following beverages have a moderate amount of salicylates and can be consumed occasionally:
- Instant coffee.
- Tea: decaffeinated, fruit, rosehip and chamomile.
- Fruit juice, beer, sherry and brandy.

Diet Should Be Low In

1) Fruits and vegetables. The following foods are very high in salicylates and should be consumed very sparingly, or even eliminated:
- Dried sultanas, prunes, raisins, currants.
- Grapefruit, passionfruit, avocado, mandarin, nectarine, watermelon, kiwi fruit, green apples.
- All berries.
- Orange, plums, dates, melons, grapes.
- Tomatoes, radish, capsicum, zucchini.
- Eggplant, live sprouts, cucumber, broad beans.
- Pickles, gherkins, olives, chilli peppers.
2) Food additives:
- Most dried, packaged herbs and spices.
- Yeast products: vegemite, marmite, promite.
- Most artificially flavoured products such as sweet sauces, lollies, toppings, yellow food dye number 5 (tartrazine).
3) Beverages:
- Some alcohol: all flavoured liqueurs, port, wine and rum.
- Tea: all caffeinated black leaf tea, peppermint tea.
- Flavoured coffee or coffee substitute drinks.

Sample Meal Plan

The following diet has been suggested for this condition.


1. 1/2-1 cup of rolled oats porridge with milk and a little sugar or 1-2 crumpets with golden syrup or 1 egg, boiled, poached, scrambled, on 1-2 slices wholemeal toast.
2. One piece fresh fruit - pawpaw, banana, peeled pear.
3. Small glass of milk or 1-2 glasses of water.

Morning Tea

1. 2 wholewheat crispbread with cottage cheese or cashew nut spread
2. 1 cup decaffeinated tea or coffee.


1. Vegetable soup (made with allowed vegetables) or salad - cabbage, celery, lettuce, beans, mung beans, parsley, potato salad (condensed milk and malt vinegar dressing).
2. 2 slices wholemeal bread, scrape of butter.
3. 1-2 slices lean cold meat, chicken, salmon, tuna or 1-2 eggs or 1 slice cheese and 1 slice lean ham.
4. One piece fresh fruit - pawpaw, peeled pear or 1 small mango.

Afternoon Tea

1. 1-2 crumpets or slices of wholemeal toast with golden syrup.
2. Small glass of milk


1. 60-90g lean mince, beef, lamb, pork, veal, chicken or 120-180g grilled fish or salmon mornay (no onion) or 1-2 eggs with 20g cheese or ham.
2. One potato or 1/3-2/3 cup steamed rice or pasta (uncoloured).
3. Small serving of carrot or pumpkin 1/2-1 cup of mixed green vegetables (from allowed list).
4. Tinned pears with plain yoghurt or low fat ice-cream or blancmange with cocoa powder.


Salicylate is a family of chemicals found naturally in many plant foods, especially fruit, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, tea, juices, wines and beer. It is also found in flavourings (e.g., mint and eucalyptus flavours), perfumes scented toiletries and some medications (aspirin is a salicylate). CHECK ALL LABELS for salicylate content.

Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age unless specified by a Doctor.

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