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Common foods and adverse reactions

Certain foods can trigger adverse reactions in the body and cause problems such as indigestion, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, skin reactions, a candida overgrowth and allergies. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, then try the following meal suggestions. To get excellent results, these need to be eliminated 100% from the diet. Even 1 bite of a forbidden food on a Monday and again on a Thursday, can be enough to keep the body in a constantly irritated state, causing an adverse reaction. 100% compliance is essential.

The following foods can cause an adverse reaction in the body:


This includes all forms of added sugar. These are the ones that have been included as an added ingredient, not the naturally occurring ones that show in the Nutritional panel under carbohydrates.

These can be written as sugar, glucose, sucrose, honey, fructose, maltose, corn syrup, maple sugar, maple syrup, invert sugar, molasses, malt dextrose, corn syrup, sorbitol, aspartame, saccharin. It does not matter if it is a healthy sugar, such as honey, or an artificial sugar such as NutraSweet.  These sugars ferment in the gut & must be eliminated 100% or they may cause an adverse reaction.

There is a sugar substitute available, called Stevia, which you can use freely. It comes in small tablets that you can take with you and add to sweeten your beverage, like tea or coffee, also sachets and liquid.  You can also get this Stevia cookbook.

Limit the amount of dried fruit you have to an absolute minimum. Raisins, sultanas, dates & prunes are some of the worst, as these are very high in natural sugars. You will need to avoid some fresh fruits but particularly pineapple, all melons, banana, kiwifruit, grapes, as well as over-ripe fruit. Summer fruit can be a problem. Avoid mushrooms, fungus & nuts also, as these may cause an adverse reaction..

You will need to start reading the labels on everything you buy, to ensure you do not purchase foods that contain ingredients which may cause an adverse reaction. Do not trust what it is saying on the front of a label.  Make sure you read the ingredient section on the product to make sure these do not contain sugar or anything else that is not permitted or that could cause an adverse reaction. This also includes medicines that are in a syrup (like cough mixture & pamol) and coated tablets & lozenges.  

Antibiotic Use...


If you must take antibiotics a 1 month course of a probiotic, such as Ethical Nutrients Inner Health Plus or Natures Way Reuteri is essential, to replenish the beneficial bacteria depleted from this. Do remember there are natural alternatives to antibiotics that may work as effectively, so long as they are taken at the 1st sign of unwellness. The contraceptive pill may be a problem and another reliable form of birth control found.

Foods containing culture e.g. sour cream, soft cheeses...

These foods which contain culture e.g. sour cream, cream cheese, all soft cheeses such as brie etc., but particularly blue cheeses should be avoided, as they may cause an adverse reaction.  This does not include unflavoured unsweetened yoghurt.  The only “safe” cheese to eat for some people is a Mild or Edam & possibly a little goats feta.  Plain cottage cheese should be ok for most people. 

Fermented foods and drinks and foods containing yeast... 

All fermented foods and foods containing yeast e.g. savoury yeast, vegemite, marmite, bovril, promite, natex, vecon, all soy sauces, vinegars, all alcohol and cider, bread, buns, cakes and doughnuts etc may cause an adverse reaction, unless you have made it yourself and know that it does not contain sugar or yeast or any other "forbidden ingredient".

Foods containing monosodium glutamate or MSG...

All foods containing monosodium glutamate, or MSG - written as Flavour or Flavour enhancer 621. This is contained on most foods that have a powdered flavouring – like flavoured rice crackers, flavoured potato chips, packet soup, KFC, on Chinese takeaways. If its yummy & salty, its probably MSG.

Other foods and additives...

Avoid Oxo, bisto, Maggi stock & any other stock or gravy mix. Anything labelled “Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein”, which can also be written as soy or vegetable broth. This is found in flavoured tins of tuna & salmon - like lemon pepper etc. You can only have tinned fish in brine, water or oil, or you may experience an adverse reaction.

Avoid sausages, sausage meat, bacon, luncheon sausage, pressed ham and other processed meats. These all contain either sugar or bread.

Chicken is also a problem, as is eggs, unless they are organic or free range.  

Avoid All nuts. Seeds are ok and generally do not cause an adverse reaction.

Ideas for meals that do not contain these reactive foods...


Fruit salad consisting of apple, berries, pear & NZ orange (or other low GI fruits, most stone fruit fit into this category as they are lower in naturally occurring sugars, however do not eat when over ripe), or stewed fruit, such as apple with plain unsweetened yoghurt. Spices like cinnamon or coconut can be added to create more flavour.

Healtheries puffed grains, such as Puffed Millet, Kamut etc. Whole oat Porridge. You could make your own Muesli that does not have sugar or honey. Tahini or seeds, such as sesame, pumpkin or sunflower, can be added to breakfast.  Natures Path cereals usually only contain a juice concentrate, so may be able to be tolerated in small amounts.

Make Leanne’s bread & have toast with sardines; a poached egg; avocado; tomato; hummus etc or a tiny bit of St Dalfours jam as a treat. Choose whole grains only like rye/spelt not processed / refined grains as these will encourage yeast overgrowth in the body and hence an adverse reaction.

You could make a Smoothie by adding berries, Red 8 Protein Powder, milk or water, yoghurt and tahini & blending these together.  


Water, Caro, Dandelion coffee, Herb tea or 100% vegetable juice. There is no reason why you could not have a tea or coffee (without sugar. Use Stevia instead). Black tea is fermented green tea leaves, but most people are ok with this. Consider the Madura Range of Black tea, which is naturally 100% tannin free and 98% caffeine free.


Dovedale breads (all yeast & sugar free, except for their Gluten free range) lightly toasted with avocado, tomato, sprouts, lettuce, hummus, tuna or salmon etc.

Leanne has a yeast free bread recipe, please ask for a copy.

Ryvita or Multigrain corn thins with salad, hummus, tuna.

Roast eggplant, courgette, kumara, pumpkin, yams, seeds, a little fetta etc with salad greens.

Cold wholegrain pasta salad (such as spelt) with tomato, avocado, garlic, basil, mint, parsley, with a lemon & oil dressing.

Corn on the cob with salad. 

A small portion of Basmati rice with stir-fried vegies.

Plain tuna or salmon from a tin, with salad & avocado wrapped in a Mountain bread rye wrap which is yeast free.

Hot spelt or rye pasta with a tomato sauce, made from onion, garlic, oregano, sweet basil & whole tinned tomatoes.

Vegetable soup made with garlic, onion, leek, red lentils, kumara, green beans, broccoli, carrot & grated courgette, you could add organic chicken or lamb if you like.

Pikelets, scones or pancakes from the Edmonds cook book. Omit added sugar.


Salad, consisting of avocado, lettuce, capsicum, celery, carrots, tomato etc with tinned salmon or tuna and an egg. 

Vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, beans, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc with a piece of fish or lean meat.

A small portion of basmati rice with a homemade curry (coconut milk is fine to use) that does not contain yeast or sugar.

Any home made soup is fine providing the stock is yeast & MSG free (best if homemade stock).

Make a homemade pizza using roast vegetables and a small amount of feta, you could use Mountain bread as a base or make your own with wholemeal (spelt) flour using the scone recipe from The Edmonds Cookbook. Use lots of garlic, ginger, onion, basil, coriander, chilli and Braggs liquid amino to flavour stir fries. Fresh packets of herbs, spices & curry powder is fine.

If you eat meat, choose fresh cuts, such as beef, lamb or fish. (Luncheon sausage, bacon or any other processed meats are not permitted). Chicken is a problem unless it is organic.

If vegetarian, or even if not, you could have egg dishes, such as frittata or omelette with grated courgette and carrot, broccoli, beans and kumara. Eggs must be organic, such as Frenz. Or you could have beans, legumes or soy products (make sure these have not been fermented).

Make homemade falafel, hummus & salad wraps.  Corn fritters. Potato & fish cakes.

Use your imagination. 

Pre-prepared foods that do not contain these reactive ingredients

  • Lisa’s plain hummus; Me Organic Middle Eastern hummus; LaBonne’s plain or garlic lovers hummus
  • Corn Thins or Ryvita. These must be plain or salted, not flavoured.
  • Krispa Natural Style Potato Chips - Plain (There are a lot of other permitted plain potato chips - you can not have any flavoured ones such as sour cream, cheese or bacon flavoured etc or any that contain MSG (621)). This is a treat item and should be eaten only occasionally if tolerated
  • Crumpets - ok for some people. Air popped popcorn - as a treat
  • “St. Dalfour” Jams and “Healtheries” Just Fruit Jam, again are treat items to be used sparingly
  • “Olive Grove” Falafel mix
  • “Zito” Organic Tomato pasta sauces – Fire roasted tomato & garlic / Puttanesca / Vine ripened tomato & basil
  • “Asian Home Gourmet” Indian Chicken Curry, Meat Curry.  These are flavour sachets that can be added to food. Remember you can use individual packets of herbs and spices. Not flavour sachets.

Frozen foods and meals

  • Frenz or Cornfed Chickens, available at most supermarkets in NZ.
  • “Mattas Jewel of India” Mild Curry and Rice, Lamb Roganjosh
  • “Ernest Adam’s Super snack” Fish Pie
  • “Watties” Hash browns – ok for some people

Tinned food

  • Ceres tinned lentils / chickpeas / kidney beans or Delmaine tinned chickpeas / butter / kidney / cannellini beans
  • “Old Elpaso” Refried Beans
  • Tinned fruit in its own juice such as Pears & Peaches, make sure there is no sugar added
  • Most tinned whole tomatoes are sugar free - check the label
  • “Campbell’s All Natural” Creamy Potato & Leek Soup is the only one I have found that is permitted


  • For salad dressing use - Fresh olive oil, lemon, garlic, chopped fresh herbs, tahini, & or a tbsp of plain yoghurt
  • Fresh garlic, onion, fresh herbs and any raw green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, parsley and any other “greens”
  • Braggs All Purpose Seasoning is an excellent, very tasty alternative to soy sauce
  • Imagine Free Range Chicken Broth is the only one we have found that is yeast / sugar free
  • Casalare -  Organic spelt (pagados) pasta Spirals or Spaghetti
  • Basmati rice is the best to use as it has the lowest glycaemic index (has the lowest sugar like content)
  • Dovedale breads - Chia grain / Rye & linseed / Corn / Rice.  All Dovedale breads (apart from their Gluten free range) are yeast free & contain unrefined grains only (available at most supermarkets)
  • Mountain Bread - Flat breads - of which the following are all yeast & sugar free - Rye / Barley / Oat & Rice 
  • Ceres Organic rolled oats Jumbo or Harroways Traditional wholegrain oats
  • Signature Range organic rice milk or Aussie Dream organic rice milk
  • Cyclops / Naturalea / Biofarm organic & Dewinkle plain unsweetened yoghurts are rich in good bacteria
  • A little plain Cottage cheese or Goats feta (Puhoi valley or Ornelle fresh) occasionally is not a problem for most people
  • Mild & Edam cheese is also ok for some people
  • Herbal teas are fine. Red seal - Black adder (liquorice & fennel) is nice if you are craving something sweet
  • Barkers concentrate blackcurrant. This could be used in small amounts occasionally to flavour drinks or yoghurt.. 

PLEASE NOTE: The listed foods did not contain any of the "forbidden" ingredients when this list was written. Please check the label when buying, as food ingredients often change.


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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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