I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor; please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.
This Master Fruit List for a Food Intolerance Elimination Diet provides a detailed list for eliminating certain foods or food groups — to help you reach your health goals.
For some, specifically removing fruit allows new progress with health conditions like leaky gut, interstitial cystitis or autoimmune conditions.
Those who are intolerant to fruit often need to avoid it completely, but a master fruit list is elusive and varies depending on the source.
Because I put my own interstitial cystitis into remission by eliminating all fruit (read more on this here), I’ve gained insight into fruits that others may have missed.
This post shares that master list if you, too, would like to eliminate all fruits to see if it helps you in your wellness journey.
What foods digest as fruit
Know of a food that digests as fruit that I missed? Please feel free to share in the Comments section below the post.
My Master Fruit List does not list every obvious fruit (such as apples and kiwis). Rather, the purpose of this list is to share lesser known fruits, foods than many of us didn’t realize digest as fruits, causing stagnation in the gut due to the genetic inability to digest this food group.
I will add to this list over the years as I learn of more foods that fit this classification.
How fruit relates to IC
See this post to read more about fruit and interstitial cystitis specifically, as well as food intolerances’ role in IC.
What does the term food intolerance mean
Read this post to learn the difference between food intolerances, food sensitivities and food allergies.
These three labels have very different definitions that can mean the difference between getting well or having a hard time making progress with one’s health challenges.
Benefits of eliminating fruit from the diet
What other conditions can be reversed by eliminating fruit?
That list may be as long as the list of illnesses.
I have a friend whose daughter put her serious asthma into remission by eliminating fruit.
It all depends what your food intolerance is and what your health challenge is.
The first step for many is to find what your food intolerance is OR to eliminate all fruit to see if it makes a difference.
Of course, being on a wellness diet at the same time is usually necessary, because the wellness diet reduces inflammation in the gut and allows healing to begin.
Such wellness diets include the Vitamin A Detox diet, the GAPS diet, the AIP diet, the Wahls Protocol and a well-sourced Keto diet. Less strict versions of these diets include the Paleo diet and the Weston A. Price diet.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below, or follow links ^^^ 🙂 in this paragraph to learn more about these options.
Secondary Food Intolerances (Combining Foods)
Keep in mind that most, if not all, patients also have a secondary food combination they are intolerant to, in addition to their one to two primary foods.
For me, and many with fruit as their food intolerance, this is potatoes + grains eaten within six hours of each other.
I must avoid this food combination with as much vehemence as I avoid fruit.
The potato + grain combination will likely affect many of you who also can’t digest fruit, so know that potatoes and grains can come in various guises in our modern world:
- Potatoes masquerade under names like “vitamin A palmitate” and “Ascorbyl palmitate” in supplements. Low-fat and non-fat milk products contain vitamin A palmitate.
- Potato is also found in all brands of baking powder except the Rumsford brand.
- Most yeast contains potato, except the Red Star brand.
- Jicama, tapioca, arrowroot and cassava are all considered potato.
- Dextrose is usually potato.
- Iodized salt contains dextrose.
Grains that are sneaky or subtle include:
- Flax and sesame. So if you eat flax or sesame within six hours of any potato containing food or supplement, you can trigger IC symptoms or an autoimmune flare.
- Other grain-containing foods include whiskey, bourbon, scotch, beer, vodka (including herbal tinctures made with vodka), rice or malt vinegar and malto-dextrin.
Keep all these eliminations in mind if you wish to pursue a really clean elimination diet.
Which fruits really aren’t …
Beyond the Master Fruit List, know, too, that certain foods we call fruits actually are not.
These foods are safe to eat on a fruit elimination diet: all melons including watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew etc, tomatoes, rhubarb and yacon.
Pineapple was recently added to this list! See how you do with it.
Master Fruit List
Special attribution and thanks go to Dr. Jared Zeff from whom I received my original fruit intolerance list. I have added to his list over the years based on my body’s response to certain foods that I now understand to digest as fruit. My list below is, I believe, the most updated. The original food intolerance observations and discoveries came from Dr. Otis Carroll.
All obvious fruits (i.e. apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, all berries, peaches, mango, papaya, grapes, figs, dates etc.)
All sometimes-lesser known tropical fruits (i.e. mangosteens, jackfruit, cherimoya, lychee, durian, goji berries, acai etc.)
Olives, olive oil
Palm, palm oil
Dried flowers, especially the red ones: hibiscus, rose hips
Bergamot and Earl Grey tea
Allspice, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, curry powder
Cream of tarter
Wine and all vinegar (except rice vinegar, rhubarb vinegar or another made without fruit)
Citric acid, acetic acid and malic acid
Vitamins with bioflavonoids or citrates
Amla (Indian gooseberry), camu camu, acerola cherries, kakadu plums (all foods very high in vitamin C often used in supplements)
Schizandra (Schisandra sinensis [an adaptogen, often used in herbal blends])
Tribulus fruit, triphala, pippali, forsythia (used in herbal supplements)
Glycerin (used in herbal tinctures)
Some honeys contain fruit (this comes from the orange rind sometimes used in the honey making process to keep out small fruit flies)
White flour (which sometimes contains citric acid as a preservative)
Arrowroot starch/powder (I have only seen the evaluation done for Bob’s brand.)
Interested in reading more stories about women with IC? I was interviewed for this article as one of ten women who have put IC into remission. Read the stories, and perhaps gain new insight into your cause and potentially helpful steps.
Shelby @Fitasamamabear says
The trial and error of eliminating isn’t easy. But it’s so worth it once you realize how your body reacts to different foods!
So true Shelby!
Michele J says
Hi Megan, I recently did the food intolerance test with Salmon Creek Clinic per your recomendation and have the same food intolerance as you do. Fruit and potato + grain. The fruit intolerance has been incredibly difficult to eliminate because of olive oil and coconut and citric acid. I haven’t been able to find some of my supplements without it. For example B vitamins or Dim. The clinic recommended a b vitamin made from animal liver that I am not comfortable taking. I was wondering if you have any supplement recommendations for those. They gave me a suggestion for vitamin c which I bought. I was wondering how much the small amount in supplements effects you. They also said himalayan salt reacts as potato. even the cleanest brands with no fillers or caking agents. I have interstitial cystitis and that is how I found your blog. I was wondering if fruit in your lotions, facewash, shower filter (coconut shells in carbon) effect you ALmost all of my skincare products have some form of fruit – mostly coconut and sometimes fruits. I use all natural products and that is why. Do you have any suggestions for that or is it ok in skincare?
Btw, love a lot of your recipe videos!
Thanks for your help!
Hi Michele, happy to help! What I’ve ended up doing for B vitamins is buying them separately. It may seem like more supplements, but over time I’ve eliminated others, so I don’t mind. Plus, I don’t like the complexes anymore, because they include B6 which has now been linked to neurotoxicity issues. I buy B1, B2 and B3. (The other B vitamins are needed by some people and not by others [excluding B6]. Sometimes I take them by pulsing them, just not everyday.) For B1, I choose an inexpensive option by NOW or Nature’s Way, this one: https://amzn.to/3wp7voo. For B2, I choose a good brand (Thorne), this one: https://amzn.to/3gidXYx For B3, I use NOW’s: https://amzn.to/3pKBZ1z … If you need Folate, I buy this one: https://amzn.to/3wmBI7e; Biotin, this one: https://amzn.to/3vieOwC. For B12, I inject myself once a week for best absorption. For my older kids, I buy this oral B12: https://amzn.to/2TqCiT6 Re citric acid, I generally avoid it in all supplements, but if it’s in just one supplement I take, I don’t notice it. Re body products, I use just castor oil for all my lotion type needs. It’s wonderful. I love it. For shampoo, I use one with only a few ingredients, super clean, but it looks like they’ve changed the formulation since I bought it last. However, it still has great reviews, and is still very natural. I mix mine about 40:60 ratio with aloe gel to get the right pH for my scalp. I keep the aloe gel in the fridge and just have a little bowl I put some in right before I take my shower. Here’s the shampoo: https://amzn.to/3pMxJhP It’s pricey, but lasts forever!! (3 years for me!) It does have citric acid, but the aloe neutralizes it. Again, not positive but my guess is the new formulation is also fine. It has a lot more ingredients than it used to, but I think they help with the pH which is why I need the aloe. I’m not sure about coconut shells in your shower filter, but I have used activated charcoal from coconut shells and haven’t had a problem with it. I do avoid all other coconut, like in skincare products. Not having olive oil gets easier. Thanks for the update about H. salt reacting as potato. I didn’t know that, but I’ve never assimilated it well. Good to know.
Regarding DIM, this is the one I take: https://amzn.to/3wkAYQe Have you tried it?
Michele J says
Megan – Thank you SO much for these incredible suggestions!! I didn’t know that about B6 and have been taking that for years and have had numbness in my fingers. Maybe that caused it! How do you do B12 shots yourself? Does a dr have to prescribe those?
I have so many shampoos, soaps and lotions with coconut and olive oil and fruit bases. I guess will have to get rid of. Losing a lot of money lol! I will try your castor oil idea. You are so generous to help others!! If anyone needs a good maynesium suuolement that doesnt nave any fruit, grain or potato and is a clean product bioschwartz on amazon is great and it is chelated for good absorption: Magnesium Bisglycinate 100%… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076S3CSCB?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
You’re welcome, Michele, so happy to help! 🙂 Yes, the B12 needs an Rx from a doctor. Mine taught me how to do the injections. It is really easy once someone shows you how (and I used to be afraid of shots). Thanks for sharing your Mg recommendation. Blessings on all the pieces! 😉
Teryl Lynn Barrett says
You have put so much wonderful work into all this. One of things I’m really bummed about is Annattto. I just ordered a special Vit E from Dr Barrie Tan. This was supposed to help my heart. So I guess I should send them back without opening them. Oh my goodness. So discouraged… Teryl Barrett
Hi Teryl, I know that varying information from different sources can be discouraging. I responded to your email and look forward to talking more.
Tessa Simpson says
I would never have guessed some of these additions! SO helpful!!
So glad Tessa. Thanks for commenting. 🙂
Raia Todd says
I’m kinda confused. I thought melons were fruit (botanically speaking) and so were tomatoes. What about squash, eggplant, green beans, peppers, and peppercorn? Aren’t they botanically fruit, as well? I totally didn’t know all that about potatoes, though.
Raia, I understand your confusion. This classification for fruits was created by Dr. Otis Carroll based on how foods digest; so not the botanical definition. I think his discovery is more accurate, but they are both valid, given that the focus of the definitions is different.
Wow, I always learn so much from your posts! That’s quite a list, with some surprising stuff included. What amazing information!
Aleta Lafferty says
I also have stomach upset from cumin (in addition to some of those other spices – allspice and cardamom). Is cumin related to that list of spices? Or does it have anything to do with curry being on the list?
I always learn so much from reading your posts. Thanks so much for sharing!.
Carol Little R.H. says
Great post. SO helpful and informative!
Will definitely share and thanks for all the research!!
Hi! Great posts!To clarify, are you suggesting that folks with IC are more likely to be sensitive to fruits or that they are more likely to have intolerances in general due to leaky gut? I’ve also heard that vit C as a supp can exacerbate? Have you had that experience?
Hi Brianna, Everyone has food intolerances, but those who have IC are more likely to have fruit as their food intolerance. Yes, vitamin C is fruit-based almost always, so it does trigger my symptoms.
As someone with a severe potato allergy, and significant fruit intolerance, this article is so insightful. The most common reaction I get from people upon hearing I’m allergic to potatoes is, “who’s allergic to potatoes?” I think it’s more common than anyone knows.
Again, thank you! Getting new baking powder, I had no idea!
I’m so glad it was helpful Maren!
Hi Megan. Thank you so much for this article. It’s so interesting; fruit, who knew? And I am just amazed at that list! I too will replace my baking powder! I just completed the Food Intolerance with Dr. Zeff and am waiting to hear back. This information is mind blowing! I am hoping to find the source of my IC and get better so I can sleep at night. At this point, that’s all I want…a good nights sleep. I appreciate your knowledge and sharing. Your website is a God send to me. Your articles are so interesting to read, I lose all time! I now keep a little timer by my computer to remind me!
Ashild Bork says
Thank you so much for all the information you provide. I just found out today that I am intolerant to fruit and the potato/grain combination as well. What oils do you cook with? Items such as full fat coconut milk and avocado oil/olive oil are kitchen staples for me. I am already on a dairy and gluten free diet and I feel almost claustrophobic with all the foods I cannot have. I am at this point trying to focus on what I CAN have versus the opposite. Does your cookbook have a lot of recipes that someone with my intolerances can have? Thanks again for all you do. I got my testing done by Dr. Zeff as well.
Hi Ashild, I’m sorry for your overwhelm and understand. Personally, I use a lot of Kerrygold butter (I’m sorry dairy is out for you for now!) and pasture-raised lard. I even use fried garlic in butter or lard with sea salt on top of my lettuce for salad dressing. (I also enjoy hulled tahini a lot on salads.) But actual oils to consider are algae: https://amzn.to/2YvKEGj and perilla: https://amzn.to/2HlKtaV. I learned about both of these because they’re also low-lectin. You can also consider walnut oil and occasional use of toasted sesame oil. Just be aware with the potato + grain combo that the grain category includes sesame: So no perilla, tahini or sesame oil if you’re having potatoes or anything on the potato list. It DOES get easier once you get into a rhythm. Re the cookbook, do you tolerate eggs, nuts and seeds well? If so, then yes! (If not, then no.) The cookbook has little dairy, no grains, no potatoes, and limited but some fruit. I think it will provide a lot of new recipes for you, and you are welcome to email me if you need a sub for something in a recipe. You would just need to avoid the fruit recipes or sub in something else. For example, several recipes use a small amount of coconut flour. This can be replaced by chia flour, flax seed meal, tiger nut flour etc. Also, the ebook is returnable. If you find it just isn’t providing enough recipes to be worth it, you can email me, and I’ll refund you. Best wishes!
Hi Megan! Have you been able to bring fruit back into your diet? Or are you completely off them?
Hi Tara, completely off. I can have a very small amount of certain things (curry, for example) if I’m in a sunny climate and detoxing well, but day to day nothing at all. I can also handle the smallest amount of coconut oil, but I don’t eat it on purpose. I stay away from all fruit.
I see 🙂 How about lemon/lime? Have you also found any correlations with oxalate/salicylate/histamine issues? Do foods high in fructans bother you?
I’m sensitive to a lot of fruit (peeing issues) and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, lentils, and also avocados. It blew my mind when I saw avocados on this list so it makes sense that I have to find a bathroom in 20 minutes after eating guac! I’ll have urgency and it also sprays everywhere.
I was on several ABx for a chronic UTI 2 years ago and I still have pain even though all my tests have been clear for 6 months. But now I have chronic yeast infections and mystery rashes and more food sensitivities than ever.
Lately, the spraying has gotten much worse. It gets everywhere and makes a huge mess! Did you have anything similar when you were having fruit? I’m planning to do the OATs test soon.
Hi Tara, no spraying issues. But I do have histamine issues that I’m working very hard on. And lectins are a huge no-no for me. You might find this post helpful on treating yeast infections: https://eatbeautiful.net/2015/08/16/how-to-heal-yeast-infections-and-treat-pathogen-overgrowth-part-2-candida-and-more/ I give very specific information on how I overcame this difficult stage in my wellness process.
I did end up resolving my histamine and lectin issues. Here’s the article I wrote about how I did it: https://eatbeautiful.net/mcas-histamine-lectin-intolerance-tips/
I too was diagnosed by Dr. Zeff with a fruit intolerance as well as the potato/grain combo. I felt so much better after eliminating everything but have recently speculated that garlic might contribute to my IC issues. Any idea why this would be? I was also diagnosed with candida overgrowth and have begun taking a few supplements to help eradicate the yeast, but I always feel horrible taking supplements. Even probiotics make my IC symptoms worse. Any idea why this would be?
Hi Jenny, Garlic and probiotics can both cause fermentation in the gut for those who have SIBO. If you have small intestinal overgrowth, it would coincide with the candida overgrowth. It’s best to avoid any foods that cause bloating, for example, until you’re ready to challenge them. I don’t know which supplements you’re taking or if “feel horrible” means “die off”? Here’s a post that walks you through how to overcome candida overgrowth, expecting some die off symptoms as part of the process: https://eatbeautiful.net/2015/08/16/how-to-heal-yeast-infections-and-treat-pathogen-overgrowth-part-2-candida-and-more/ An IC flare doesn’t surprise me, as symptoms often get worse when we are detoxing. You may also benefit from a Low-FODMAP diet, which will eliminate garlic for a short time: https://eatbeautiful.net/2016/05/01/low-fodmap-high-fodmap-food-lists-gluten-freepaleogaps-diet/ and https://eatbeautiful.net/2014/03/26/low-fodmap-gaps-combination-diet-healing-ibs-pathogen-overgrowth-and-sibo/
Jorge Goncalves says
Hi, Megan. Sorry to be bothering you again, do you have an opinion on corn, namely corn flakes? I’ve seen corn classified as a fruit, too. Many thanks!
Sure Jorge, no problem. The Food Intolerance concept is based on the work of Dr. Otis Carroll. Corn is not considered a fruit. I can’t speak to corn flakes because I don’t know the other ingredients or if fruit got in somehow during manufacturing (contamination). Generally speaking I do stay away from processed foods for multiple reasons. Best wishes!
Jorge Goncalves says
Hi, I also have fruit intolerance. I didn’t believe it, and so ignored it for five years. But now I’m trying again to see if it will help with my symptoms and I’m a bit confused. Where did you get your list from? I would like a more comprehensive list. Is carob a fruit? Also, coriander is not allowed, but can you have cilantro? Also what do you mean about “Arrowroot starch/powder (I have only seen the evaluation done for Bob’s brand.)” what evaluation are you referring to? This page is helpful, I wish there were more helpful supportive communities regarding fruit intolerance, because it feels very overwhelming, confusing, and isolating, to say the least. Thank you!
Hi Jess, I hear you saying you’d like to see a more comprehensive list, but that is why I wrote this post; it is the most comprehensive list available. No, carob is not a fruit, or it would be on this list. 🙂 Again, coriander is a fruit; cilantro is not, or it would be on this list. Please re-read the article above, as all of your questions are answered here and if you follow the highlighted links: Longer articles are written about the evaluation if you read about Dr. Carroll as well as what makes food intolerances unique from food allergies and sensitivities.
Hi, Yes thanks. I read the article. I was asking about the cilantro because it is the same thing as coriander. I guess I assume you are talking about coriander seeds (which I don’t understand how that is a fruit?). I also asked about cilantro because it was my understanding that any part of the plant that contains the “fruit” should not be eaten, so if the seeds are the fruit, then the leaves shouldn’t be eaten either, at least that’s what I thought. And I know you said it’s the most comprehensive list, I just didn’t understand how you came up with it, do you work directly with the Carroll institute? I did read the full post. Thanks.
Nini Lloyd says
I am a little confused – how can one lose the ability to digest fruit all the sudden? (your IC developed, right? – you were not born with it) , I would instead hypothesize that the gut microbiome (SIBO, Candida, etc) shifted, contributing to leaky gut (happens with pregnancies) and perhaps fruits (which can be very high in sugars) could have been causing issues and causing sensitivities. If your microbiome was not optimal, then that easily explains why you kids also were born with issues, as you well know that can be easily passed along.
Ann Marie says
Very interesting article. I too have IC and GI issues. Most IC diets recommend the removal of acidic foods, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, chocolate, soy, cranberries, artificial preservatives and sweeteners, etc. Are you able to tolerate these after eliminating all fruit and controlling your grain/potato secondary food intolerance?
In one of your articles, you mention you are struggling with oxalates. Have you tried the low-oxalate diet? How about the low-histamine diet?
Thank you for your time!
Hi Ann Marie, I’m sorry; I don’t know how I missed your comment when it came through. Yes, I can now eat all of the foods you’ve listed without them triggering any IC issues. I do stay away from spicy peppers because they’re too high in Vitamin A and soy because it’s estrogenic, but I would not have IC symptoms from these foods. Regarding histamines and low oxalates, I was able to overcome those issues and wrote about that process here: https://eatbeautiful.net/mcas-histamine-lectin-intolerance-tips/ 🙂
Natalie Tott says
Thank you Megan for the fantastic article and Happy New Year! ! I just found that I have a fruit intolerance per Dr. Carroll’s Test and im really struggling to find natural beauty products without citric acid and fruits extracts.
Have you happened to find some that you trust?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Natalie, I’m sorry to respond so late! You’re welcome and happy new year!! 🙂 I don’t use a lot of products, but what I do use for face oil is castor oil. I love it. Very simple, effective etc. For make up, I rarely wear any, but when I do, I buy Beauty Counter through my friend Wardee Harmon of TradCookSchool.com. She does 1-on-1 Zoom meetings with her clients, so if that sounds helpful, she could help you find individual products that work for you. For me, I just buy what I need and haven’t ever had an issue. I’ve used a variety of their make up. But if you wear it often, I could see the importance of making sure it’s fruit-free. I hope that castor oil is helpful, and that maybe BC’s products work. I’m not sure what else you may need: deodorant, shampoo? Let me know any specifics, and I’ll let you know what I use.
Hi! Great article and list (who knew for several of these?). Still a bit confused on a few items for the fruit intolerant: Is rooibos ok for vitamin A detox/fruit intolerant people? Is it all right to use castor oil on the skin (is it a fruit)? Do you put fruit products on your skin, if intolerant? What products do you use for soap, shampoo, sunscreen, skin moisturizer, lip balm? And what oil do you recommend for oil pulling?
Hi there! Thank you! No official word on rooibos, but it seems to be fine for both. Avoid for VAD if there’s any doubt, though. My littlest has enjoyed it, though, during his whole detox without any noticeable backlash/side effects. I use castor oil daily and find it to be great. I do not put fruit products on my body usually, but small amounts occasionally would probably be fine, in sunscreen, for example. For oil pulling, sesame oil can be used (expeller pressed). Re body products, I don’t use soap at all, per the GAPS diet, not necessary. 🙂 Just warm/hot water and a washcloth. Sunscreen that doesn’t bother me and is very clean: https://amzn.to/2OiZwo7 For shampoo, this one does have citric acid, so may or may not work well for you: https://amzn.to/3tiQzib I’d like to find a similar (super-clean) one without that. I use castor oil for my skin moisturizer, on face and body. No lip balm needed after going on the VAD diet. 🙂 I hope those help!
Carrie Dodson says
I am revisiting your site to help motivate myself to try again with not only avoiding fruits since I tested intolerant (been doing pretty well with that) but removing the junk food that I have replaced the fruits with!
I was a little confused when you said that you’ve been on the VAD diet now for some time. Are you eating the VAD diet but just not eating the recommended fruits in that diet? You had mentioned in your VAD diet article that in the first couple of weeks of the VAD diet your bladder symptoms returned but that they later resolved which led me to believe that maybe you had brought the recommended VAD fruits back in. I am hoping that this is what you did and that there are some fruits, the fruits in the VAD diet, that I can train myself to tolerate.
Just wanting some clarification please, on whether or not the full VAD diet should be followed by people with a fruit intolerance or if we should try the VAD diet but also eliminate all VAD recommended fruits. Thank you!
Hi Carrie, happy to clarify. I do both diets. I eat zero fruit and low vA. It’s not that bad, and you get used to it. You find other treats, and the sacrifice is worth it, if that’s helpful. One treat I enjoy in great moderation (not very much, just a little!) is crystalized ginger. I also love different teas, nut butters, cucumbers, chestnuts, baked goods etc to try and fill the void that fruit leaves.
Carrie Dodson says
Thanks so much for responding and clarifying your program! Cutting out fruit has already been really helpful in lessoning my symptoms. I agree that adding in the low VA will be an adjustment but hope I will agree it will be a worthwhile one after I see some good results.
I am really thankful to have this information so I can make the dietary modifications that will heal myself. Your lists and resources in sharing your healing journey are super helpful. I don’t take your efforts and time invested here for the rest of us for granted. Thank you.
Oh! I’ve never tasted crystalized ginger! Excited to give that one a go.
Great, Carrie! Thanks for your kind words, and enjoy the ginger (in moderation?)! 🙂
Do barks and peels include cinnamon? Thank you
Hi Ruth, great question. No, they don’t. However, there is new information out about even Ceylon cinnamon that calls it into question as a health food. So I only eat it occasionally, not as a “super food” that should be eaten often. And, I do avoid all cinnamon that’s not Ceylon.
thank you for this article, megan and all the information you have made available for us all! i was tested and found to have fruit intolerance as well as sugar/grain. seeing your list i am confused as there are differences in some of the information i have received from the carroll institute- i have been told that currant, gooseberry, rosehip, hawthorne, pineapple and hibiscus are all fine for fruit intolerance- do not test as fruit. could you explain why you think there is a difference in these lists? do you offer testing for things not listed here? thank you!
Hi Amara, happy to help! You can always defer to the Carroll Institute, if in doubt. I don’t want through this article to set myself up as an authority on the topic over them. My list here is trying to offer more insight from my experience. For me, fruit is a major trigger to a bladder disease I put into remission. Over the years, I’ve been able to test foods on my body and feel my results are accurate. I have discussed them with Dr. Zeff, and he agrees with my experience, but no official lists have been updated. So this list is a reference as you do your journey. If nothing else, the foods I’ve added here that the Carroll Institute doesn’t have listed can be in your “Yellow” zone, so to speak, meaning: proceed with caution with those foods and be aware that for the best healing, you may want to remove them or eat them in extreme moderation. Not everyone’s food intolerances cause noticeable symptoms right away. In a way, I have an advantage to be able to see that direct correlation. I have also tested these foods on my body in larger quantities. For example, I could drink normally brewed hibiscus tea for years, but when I made a concentrate of hibiscus for sorbet, my body couldn’t handle that, which is one example that allowed me to see there is fruit essence in flowers. So you might be able to “get away” with certain ingredients in moderate amounts. It also depends how serious your health issues are. Wouldn’t I be thrilled to eat pineapple again!? LOL. Best wishes!!
Hello! I am very newly experiencing my first bout of IC. Pretty brutal, as you know. Do you have a post or anything about what your daily diet looks like?? Or other posts specifically about IC? Thank you for this post. I am grasping to find relief and most importantly, the cause of this flare.
Hi Becky, I’m sorry for your pain and probably discouragement. Yes, I have a few, because there are a few angles you can take with it. To start with,
-If you haven’t already read my post on IC, it’s here: https://eatbeautiful.net/how-i-healed-my-interstitial-cystitis/
-For the diet that I give the most credit to for deep and long-term healing, this one: https://eatbeautiful.net/vitamin-a-detox-diet-free-printable-food-lists-avoid-eat-toxicity/ (Starting out grain-free and sugar-free.)
For December, I’m planning an article about my current daily diet and supplements after 2.5 years on a low A diet (as outlined above in the 2nd link).
I’m happy to answer more questions if you have them as you read more.
Amazingly useful information! Thank you for compiling this and sharing your experience. I too cannot have fruit or potato +grain combinations.
I was surprised to read about iodized salt as well as glycerin. I could never make sense of why glycerin bothered me, now I know. Thank you!
Something I’m stumped about is why Arrowroot starch/powder would be considered a fruit in how the body handles it. I’ve been looking for information to support this and as yet haven’t found any.
Do you have any links you could share?
Hi Vicky, you’re welcome. 🙂 It was so helpful for me to learn about glycerin, too! Re arrowroot, I can only guess that it’s citric acid used as a preservative, as it can be with some white flours. I can actually tolerate arrowroot flour fine, so perhaps try a brand other than Bob’s, and see how you do. I don’t have a link for you, and I can’t remember exactly, but I suspect from my wording that I was referring to an evaluation done by Dr. Zeff for one of my clients, who sometimes in the past have mailed him in baggies of certain foods to evaluate so they know for sure if a food is safe for them. (As you know, arrowroot is in the potato category, though, so can’t be eaten within 6 or so hours of grains.)
Sarabeth Matilsky says
I read this years ago, and found it very interesting. Now, I am re-reading it because my six year old is still struggling with bouts of urinary frequency even after 2 1/2 years on our vitamin a detox. Her symptoms are better overall, but it worries me that she is still small, hates beans and thus her diet is fairly full of white rice (she does love meat, luckily), and still experiences these issues…
So many things to balance that it is difficult to know what to eat, especially when there are different family members with different intolerances! I am loathe to remove all starches, but I would like to try some sort of modified gaps-ish, low vitamin a, fruit elimination diet (she specifically doesn’t do well with nuts, potatoes, and hates those beans, so I worry about her b vitamin levels among other things. But I also worry about jumping back on the supplement wagon with her being so young…)
Anyway: I am wondering if you were trying to craft a nutritious diet for a child, would you try something short term to test it out? Or jump into something like a meat and rice diet? I really don’t want to do anything extreme with her macronutrients because we did that for too long with too few carbs/too much fat when her older brother was little!
No worries if my meanderings are just too personal…but if you have any random thoughts on Kids’ Issues, I’d appreciate it!
Thanks for all you do,
Hi Sarabeth, definitely not too personal and happy to try and help. Pulling out all fruit sounds like a great place to start, to see. Also, let’s consider other foods with B1, like peeled cucumber. Will she eat that? Usually very gentle. (What about green beans and asparagus? Do you guys eat parsnips?) I agree, best to keep as many foods in as possible while pulling out the most likely culprits. Also, can you tell me her exact current diet? Nice to hear from you! 🙂
Sarabeth Matilsky says
Hi Megan, thanks!! Current diet is a lot like this:
Breakfast: oatmeal, pork sausages, sometimes applesauce or grapes or raisins
Lunches and dinners: rice, meat, beans (except she hates all but fresh ones), and a few vegetables cooked at soup, stir fry, etc., and occasionally homemade sourdough bread (wheat doesn’t make her worse, so she sometimes has wheat, and also sometimes my GF sourdough made with rice/arrowroot/cassava and a little egg). Veggies we eat: lettuce, peeled zucchinis and cukes and green beans (although less at this time of year!), onions and garlic and celery/cabbage/cauliflower, and small amounts of low A spices.
One hesitation I have about trying something new is that I want to have at least some goalposts to look forward to. In the past, we have (I think) tested some diets for way too long – many months without change, in the hope that something MIGHT change, and with anything now I’d like I have a clearer sense: okay, if we don’t notice anything improving in xxxx days or weeks, then we reevaluate…
Hi again, okay. I can’t remember if you all have had your food intolerances done with Dr. Zeff or similar? I see some red flags in what you wrote, which makes me ask if you have followed along as the VAD has changed over the last year? A lot of the foods you have in her/your diet are no longer allowed, and could also be issues. If you “just can’t” tackle that side of things in wanting to keep the diet broad, I understand. But so you know, they are: pork, applesauce only if it’s storebought (homemade is great), onions, garlic, cabbage and cauli. And then back to the main topic for UTI health, the combo of rice + arrowroot or cassava has the same effect as fruit for many with UT issues. So, can you add in a new food like parsnips (they roast or fry up crispy like potatoes and are fabulous), and then in your shoes, I’d pull all fruit and the rice + arrowroot/cassava bread. Don’t bother pulling fruit unless you also pull that bread. The food intolerance issue is a lifelong change. Having results from Zeff would allow you to not worry about trialing it at all. You would just immediately implement it, for life. It’s that key. But if you can’t afford the eval. work from him, then that’s the reason you’d need to trial the diet, and use it as an elimination diet. The cost is $175, so that would be the easier route emotionally.
Sarabeth Matilsky says
Hi Megan, sorry, I should’ve been more clear: applesauce is all homemade, and we only started having the pork after a year and a half on low vitamin a diet, and we all seem to feel good with it. Same with the veggies, we don’t have much of them and only started again with them recently. I agree about the bread, and I think that I will try without having a consultation….just because money is quite tight and I have SO many kiddos with their own Issues…and this sounds silly, but I have kind of sworn off consults after sooooo many of them didn’t work out in the past. ?
But I know what you mean about it being very useful to have actual test results! I guess I’m wondering if you noticed results within a particular timeframe, and how quickly you decided it was worthwhile to continue the diet?
I imagine we will all do this, since I have another kiddo with urinary issues and I have had frequency problems at various time (much improved in low A but not gone). I will try to find parsnips – not easy to find good food where we now live, but I am trying to grow more next year! I also think I could try something like yuca on one day, rice on the next, to cycle through cassava, rice, and oats…
Hi Sarabeth, the cost is definitely limiting; I understand. However, if you ever go that route, you are not paying for a consult, you are only paying for the evaluation. (It is the information that allowed my daughter to put her “incurable” asthma into remission and me, my bladder disease.) Regarding how long an elimination diet takes to convey one’s food intolerance, this is different for everyone based on other factors as well. But, with removing fruit (and potatoes + grains within 4 hours), your daughter could definitely see improvement immediately. Both my daughter and I saw results immediately. And, if we tried to reintroduce those foods, we’d have a flare of symptoms. So that was another great reassurance that we were on the right path. Since you guys have been on a helpful wellness diet for so long, I expect she’d see improvement at least within a few weeks, but I think sooner. I would lay off of the cauli, pork etc before and when she first goes no fruit if you want the best results. Even going off of those things might cause a blip. Yes, yuca is one of our favorites! 🙂 Great idea. I’d love to hear how it all goes.
Sarabeth Matilsky says
Thank you so much! I will keep you posted. We start tomorrow.
Just to clarify: it looks like arrowroot digests like potatoes for the purposes of your food combining, but like a fruit as well, and so therefore is off-limits in all forms, correct?
Hi Sarabeth, great. Correct. It’s possible in the future that a brand of arrowroot may work for you other than Bob’s. But for current purposes, that’s safest.
carie winchell says
Hello. I’m fruit and potatoes and grain. I’ve gotten alot of help from the posts here. Can you tell me the name of your cook book? I don’t do dairy or gluten either. Also I need a good body soap/cleansing option. And are Epsom salts fine? THANKS
Hi Carie, I’m glad the article and website are helpful, and welcome here. 🙂 I have 2 cookbooks; you can see both on the right side of any page of the blog: One is Grain-free, Sugar-free and Loving It, and the other is Secrets from a Bone Broth Kitchen. Both under the heading of Eat Beautiful. Yes, epsom salts are fine for those avoiding the foods you mention. Re body soap, I see you asked a follow up question, so I’ll answer that there.
carie winchell says
I’m sorry another thing in addition to a body cleanser recommendation, I got the shampoo recommended on Amazon, CLEVOS….
But what hair conditioner do you recommend? And are all aloe gels fine? You mentioned above you use it with the shampoo. What brand?
And do you use castor oil as your face cream?
What face wash?
Reminder I am fruit and potatoe and grain.
Do most need to separate potatoe and grain 4, 6 or 8 hours apart?
Is hemp a grain or fruit? I can’t tell when I research it.
I’m trying to find a carrol educated doctor to assist also. Any suggestions? I’m in Seattle WA moving to Montana in spring. I see on the carrol site there’s an option to enter a code to get food suggestions. I want to see a doc who has access to that info.
Changing my entire life!
I was tested 10 years ago and then had several other health things to tend to so I am now revisiting this in order to finally heal. I didn’t know body and hair products could cause problems until I read here.
I’m also wondering about hair color dye. Suggestions or thoughts?
For hair conditioner, I just started using Monat, which I love. I get it through my dear friend, Wardee, who does a free one on one consult to help you see if it’s a good choice for you, your hair and your budget. I don’t find it to be expensive, but she’s very up front on the cost to be thoughtful. My Clevos is just about used up, so I expect to buy shampoo from her in the future as well. If you want to try it, see the pink questionnaire box on the right side of this page, as that’s how to connect with her for it. Re aloe, I buy the Lily of the Desert aloe vera gel. Yes, I use castor oil on my face instead of cream. No face wash, no body wash or soap. I just use warm water and a wash cloth. For my men who sweat a lot, I buy them natural soaps like castile-based ones (Dr. Bronner’s or Kirk’s). Separating potatoes and grains is for 4 to 6 hours, depending on the speed of your digestion. Hemp is a seed. The only Carroll doctor I’ve worked with is Dr. Zeff in southern WA, and his daughter now practices with him as well. I don’t have any experience with hair dye, but I stay away from it myself.
Sarabeth Matilsky says
One more quick question: how have you found tigernuts to digest – similarly to potatoes?
Good question. While my mind does the same thing and seems to want to correlate tiger nuts with potatoes, they’re actually closer to a Jerusalem artichoke and may be fine. I haven’t asked Dr. Zeff to test them, so I don’t know for sure. Maybe best to loosely be aware of the potato connection for your purposes, to be safe, but it may be irrelevant.
Sarabeth Matilsky says
Hi Megan, it’s day four, and we are still standing. 🙂 No huge changes yet, except for two interesting things I noted with the baby: his rash on his butt has cleared up, and he is peeing a lot less during the day.
Something I was sort of pondering, is whether an intolerance to fruit – or pork, or grains combined with potatoes – could be one of those things that, while genetic, could be healed as they got heals. In other words: it seems to me like a gut that is in good shape could handle all sorts of Combinations and foods, while a gut in some stages of dysbiosis might trigger all sorts of otherwise unexpressed “genetic“ issues like these.
Anyway, just wondering if you have thoughts on that. Hopefully we will see other improvements in the next week and a half! I told my daughter we had to give it two weeks to see what happens. (I did make a fabulous GF sourdough bread with rice and oats (plus tallow for the fat) yesterday, and it used only a few eggs rather than psyllium (or other binders, since they all seem to give us problems)).
Hi Sarabeth, well, as I respond, it’s been 6 days for you all now. Good to hear about the baby’s improvements. Your bread also sounds good. I have talked with Dr. Zeff on the topic you asked about, and he would not say that the intolerance heals, but it’s a matter of to what degree the body is thriving and detoxifying. He said that if someone is healed in all other ways and living in a warm, sunny climate, then it’s possible for that person to be able to eat their food intolerance occasionally with no noticeable issues. But for most people who have had health struggles, this is less likely and not ideal. Most of us should stay away from our food intolerances because genetically, they’re still there, and it’s like adding a road block to one’s wellness, or adding a complication.
Hi! I had a question. Do all nuts fall under fruit or just cashews?
Sure, just cashews.
Thanks! I was so confused and had been avoiding all nuts.
Ok so another q. What do you think of if I take dates to help soften my cervix as I am pregnant for last 4 weeks? Would it be detrimental and not effective or it’ll help do the job of softening the cervix but still create health issues?
I would not personally eat dates once you know that is your food intolerance. I would consult your care provider for alternatives. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I am new to all this, and I would deeply appreciate it if you could clarify three foods for me: Chamomile tea and grapeseed oil, are they safe to consume? And why is cream of tartar for a non fruit diet?
Thank you !
Sure, Joyce, happy to help. Chamomile tea is fine, and so is grapeseed oil, as far as the fruit side of it goes. But grapeseed oil is actually a vegetable oil, so it’s inflammatory and should be avoided. Cream of tartar is something produced as a byproduct of wine making, so it has some grape in it.
Thank you so much, that was very helpful!
Also, I was wondering about bell peppers being safe. I was informed that they are a fruit, but they also say tomatoes are:) Oh, and I love to season everything with onion and garlic, would that be safe, even though they often tell IC patients to stay away from onions and spicey foods?
Honestly, I think fruit is my intolerance like you, and I think I can give up fruit, as long as I am clear what I can still enjoy.
Hi Joyce, glad to help! Bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic are all non-fruits. But, that does not mean they aren’t triggers for IC, unfortunately. In fact, I believe they all are. The peppers and tomatoes are nightshades. And onions are garlic are sulphur foods. While this is disappointing, A) they may or may not be triggers for you and B) if they are, it is worth it to feel well. What I’ve found over many years is that peppers and tomatoes especially are not gentle foods. While not everyone gets obvious symptoms from them, they are usually not helpful to long term wellness goals. If you need to remove them, just try to find alternatives that you love to help, and focus on new favorites. It’s so much about mindset, so try to focus on the yummy things you CAN have, and really enjoy those. You’re not alone; many of us have done this, and there’s no comparison with feeling well and being symptom-free.
Oh yes, I completely agree! I just want to stop the pain, and if I have to have a strict diet, so be it. As long as I can still eat a few things, I will be okay.
I am pretty sure tomatoes, onions, and peppers are triggers for me. I still am holding on to hope for garlic, though:)
Thank you again for your help, and kindness.
God bless you
My pleasure! Yes, perhaps the small quantity of garlic will help it to bother you less, too. Some people find that granulated garlic is less triggering. God bless you, too!