Causes of Processed Food Troubles

I don’t usually talk about my diet issues, but in the rare cases it comes up, frequently people tell me they cannot figure out what exactly is causing their issues. They don’t think they have any issue with any one food, but they do feel a lot better when they eat out less, or eat less processed foods. Setting aside the fact that they may never have done an experiment on themselves controlled well enough to actually pin point their problem, I wondered what kind of things might be the culprit if we took this statement “feeling better with less eating out and less processed foods” at face value.

Histamine and/or other biogenic amines, mold, additives, even dust, dust mites, or other insects come to mind.

In practice it may be very difficult to narrow down the culprit much further. But then that may not make that much of a difference as there is a lot of overlap in the foods that potentially contain the substances listed above.

More on Biogenic Amines and Histamine Intolerance

As we continued to track our food, we eventually found…

My partner has a problem but is it amines? Histamine? Mold? For example banana is not a problem. In practice the only problem seems to be too much fermented foods.

In my partner’s case, it may not be general amines, but could be a histamine intolerance, or a reaction to mold. My partner’s cluster of symptoms ending with body aches and fever has been repeated a few times. The common factors seem to be an increase in fermented foods, dusty environments, and alcohol. He has dust mite allergy, so it just might be histamine overload from multiple factors. But in day to day life he does not have to eat “low amine” to avoid these symptoms.

For suspected amine sensitivity it seems especially useful to figure out in more detail which foods actually cause symptoms as there are many different types of biogenic amines and one may only be sensitive to certain kinds. It is also helpful to get a sense of tolerance threshold so that one doesn’t have to unnecessarily restrict and make things difficult.