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Phenols: Tried, Avoided or Limited

Below is a list of foods that we’ve attempted to introduce into kiddo's diet & the results. I’ve noted where more than one factor may be playing into reactions like family history, allergies, & Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). If the food’s not listed, it has not been tried yet for various reasons. For a more thorough list of foods containing phenols (salicylates) check out this site: Salicylate Sensitivity.


  • Berries – allergic to strawberries, reacts to all others except blueberry

  • Cherry – reacts & on OAS list

  • Red grapes - not sure, had in diet with green & developed asthmatic cough

  • Tomatoes - possible issue still observing & on OAS list, family history

  • Mint – reacts & family history


  • Apples – reacts & on OAS list

  • Peach – mild reaction & on OAS list

  • Mangos - reacts

  • Watermelon – reacts & on OAS list, family history

  • Spinach – reacts, family history

  • Carrots – mild reaction & on OAS list

  • Lettuce – seems to tolerate Bibb (just introduced)

  • Onion – eats infrequently & seems ok


  • Bananas – low reaction except with seasonal allergies, also on OAS list, family history

  • Pears – some varieties tolerated only if peeled

  • Celery – fairly new addition & seems ok

  • Potatoes - won’t eat

  • Fats & Oils – reacts to canola, sunflower & possibly safflower, rest unknown

  • Sugars – reacts so limit frequency

When attempting to follow a diet low in PST enzymes things to avoid/limit are:

  • Artificial colorings

  • Natural flavors/colorings

  • Chemical additives (artificial)

  • Preservatives

  • MSG

  • Vitamin A Palmitate – in dairy & considered a hidden source for corn

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

  • Sulfites/sulfating agents

  • Corn syrup & starch

  • Nitrates/nitrites

Avoid medications that have:

  • Aspirin

  • Tylenol

  • Petroleum

  • Benzoates

Avoid products that have the following as fruit-derived enzymes or fillers:

  • Bromelain

  • Papain

  • Actinidin

Types of Salicylates:

  • Acetylsalicylate

  • Acetylsalicylic acid

  • Ethyl salicylate

  • Isooctyl salicylate

  • Methyl salicylate

  • Monosodium salicylate

  • Octyl salicylate

  • Phenyl salicylate

  • Salicylic acid

My kid has had reactions to a number of the listed avoidances including Tylenol, preservatives, nitrates/nitrites, corn containing products, and benzoates. There are many others on the list that we avoid because of reactions that could be due to multiple factors and family history.

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