A-Z Health Topics

Return to Index
by Adams M

Low-Tyramine Diet


What Is Tyramine?

Tyramine is found in many foods, including wines, ripe cheeses, and fermented or aged foods.

Why Should I Follow a Low-Tyramine Diet?

A low-tyramine diet is recommended if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a type of drug found in certain antidepressants, Parkinson’s medications, and antibiotics. Eating foods with high amounts of tyramine while taking MAOIs can cause a drug-nutrient interaction that produces side effects such as elevated blood pressure, headaches, heart palpitations, and chest pain.

Eating Guide for a Low-Tyramine Diet

Food Category Foods Recommended Foods to Avoid
  • All commercial breads (except sourdough)
  • All baked goods
  • Hot and cold cereals
  • Pasta, rice, grits
  • None
  • With the exception of those listed on the right, all fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables (as long as they are not overripe or spoiled)
  • Fava beans, Italian broad beans, sauerkraut, Chinese pea pods, fermented pickles and olives
  • With the exception of those listed on the right, all fresh, frozen, and canned fruit (as long as they are not overripe or spoiled)
  • Banana peel
  • Plain milk
  • Ricotta, cottage cheese, processed cheeses, and cream cheese
  • Cultured milk products: yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, sour cream (limit to 4 ounces per day)
  • All cheese not on “recommended” list, aged cheese, cheese sauces
Meat and Beans
  • Fresh or frozen meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Nuts, peanut butter
  • The following are allowed in limited amounts: fresh sausage and pepperoni, canned sardines, caviar and pâté (limit to 1 ounce)
  • Liver
  • Smoked or dried meats
  • Smoked, pickled, or dried fish
  • Meat processed with tenderizers
  • Meat extracts
  • Salami
  • Fermented and dry sausage
  • Fermented soybean products
  • Salad dressings without aged cheese
  • Vegetable oils
  • Nuts, peanut butter
  • Olives
  • Dressings made with aged blue cheese
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Decaffeinated coffee and tea
  • These are allowed, but should be limited: chocolate drinks; coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks; white wine; bottled or canned beer; and clear spirits (if approved by your doctor)
  • Tap beer, ale, chianti and vermouth wines, sherry, champagne, and mixed drinks
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Bouillon and bouillon-based soup
  • Chocolate
  • Lasagna, casserole, pizza, or other food made with meat or cheese on the "avoid" list
  • Marmite spread
  • Vegemite spread

Additional Suggestions

  • Limit caffeine intake. While there is no tyramine in caffeine, consuming too much caffeine can result in high blood pressure.
  • Fresh food is less likely to contain high levels of tyramine.
    • Promptly refrigerate or freeze foods.
    • Use or toss leftovers within 48 hours.
    • Eat allowed fresh meats within 3 days.
    • Eat allowed cheese within 3-4 weeks.
  • Do not eat combination foods that contain foods on the “avoid” list.
  • Continue this diet for 4 weeks after stopping your MAOI’s (or as directed by your doctor).


Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Dietitians of Canada
Health Canada


California diet manual. State of California website. Available at: http://www.dds.ca.gov/Publications/docs/DDSDietManual.pdf. Updated 2010. Accessed February 6, 2017.
MAOI diet facts. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/Pages/maoi-diet-facts.aspx. Accessed February 6, 2017.

Revision Information