What Is Tyramine?

Tyramine is found in many foods, such as wine, ripe cheese, and aged food.

Why Should I Eat This Way?

People who take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may need to be on a low tyramine diet. This is found in some medicines that treat problems like depression, Parkinson disease, and infection. Taking these and eating foods that are high in tyramine can cause health problems. Some of these are high blood pressure, headaches, and chest pain.

Eating Plan

Food Type Foods to Eat Foods Not to Eat

Grains

  • All store bought breads (except sourdough)
  • All baked goods
  • Hot and cold cereals
  • Pasta, rice, grits
  • None

Veggies

  • All fresh, frozen, and canned veggies (as long as they are not too ripe or spoiled)
  • Fava beans, Italian broad beans, sauerkraut, Chinese pea pods, pickles and olives

Fruits

  • All fresh, frozen, and canned fruit (as long as they are not too ripe or spoiled)
  • Banana peel

Milk

  • 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 “foods to eat” list, aged cheese, cheese sauces

Meat and Beans

  • Fresh or frozen meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Nuts, peanut butter
  • You can eat small amounts of fresh sausage and pepperoni, canned sardines, caviar and pâté (1 ounce or less)
  • Liver
  • Smoked or dried meats
  • Smoked, pickled, or dried fish
  • Meat with tenderizers
  • Salami
  • Fermented and dry sausage
  • Fermented soybean products

Oils

  • Salad dressings without aged cheese
  • Vegetable oils
  • Nuts, peanut butter
  • Olives
  • Dressings made with aged blue cheese

Drinks

  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Decaffeinated coffee and tea
  • You can have these drinks, but do not have too much: chocolate drinks; coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks; white wine; bottled or canned beer; and clear spirits (if your doctor says it is okay)
  • Tap beer, ale, chianti and vermouth wines, sherry, champagne, and mixed drinks

Other

  • 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 "Foods Not to Eat" list
  • Marmite spread
  • Vegemite spread

Tips

  • Fresh food is less likely to have high levels of tyramine.
    • Cool or freeze foods right away.
    • Use or throw away leftovers within 48 hours.
    • Eat fresh meats within 3 days.
    • Eat cheese within 3 to 4 weeks.
  • People taking MAOIs should stay on this plan for 4 weeks after they stop taking it. Ask your doctor how long you should stay on it.