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Sulfa, Sulfites, Sulfates: Foods to Avoid with Sensitivities

Sulfa, Sulfites, Sulfates: Foods to Avoid with Sensitivities


Did you know that sulfates are found in just about every personal hygiene product on the market today (unless stated otherwise)? Sulfates, or ammonium laurel sulfate, which is the most common form, is used as a foaming agent in everything from shampoo and conditioner, bar and hand soap, toothpaste, and laundry detergent. They even sneak up on us in supplements and multi-vitamin tablets, usually in the form of zinc sulfate.

Sulfites on the other hand, are a group of sulfur-based compounds that may occur naturally or may be added to food as an enhancer and preservative. “Sulfites are inorganic salts that have antioxidant and preservative properties. Many compounds capable of producing sulfite, called sulfiting agents, have been used as food additives since antiquity to help prevent enzymatic and nonenzymatic browning; control growth of microorganisms; act as bleaching agents, antioxidants, or reducing agents; and carry out various other technical functions.”

Have sulfite or sulfate sensitivities?

Look for labels on products that state they are "sulfate free." Most health food stores will carry such products. As far as food products that have sulfates, if you are sensitive to sulfas, madeleinep.hubpages.com provides a list of considerations that people should...

...exclude from daily diets:

1.) Ammonium Sulfate - Dough Strengthener and Conditioner
2.) Calcium Sulfate - Yeast Nutrient
3.) Ferrous Sulfate ( Iron ) - Nutrient
4.) Caramel Color - Color Additive
5.) Asulfame Potassium ( Asulfame-K) - Sweetener - does not commonly illicit a reaction, but may
6.) Sulfur Dioxide
7.) Sodium Bisulfite
8.) Potassium Bisulfite
9.) Sodium Metabisulfite
10.) Potassium Metabisulfite
11.) Sodium Sulfite
12.) Sulfite
13.) Sulfiting Agents

A Quick List of Foods To Avoid

1.) Dried Fruits & trail mixes
2.) Dry Potatoes ( potatoes from a box), frozen potatoes and potato salad
3.) Grape Juice
4.) Wine
5.) Wine Based Vinegars
6.) Some alcoholic beverages

The FDA requires that any alcoholic beverage that contains more than 10 ppm of sulf- has to put it on their labels. Sulf- is a naturally occurring outcome of the fermentation process, but sometimes companies are able to keep these sulf- ingredients under 10 ppm. Check the label! ( *** Mike's Hard Lemonade falls well below the required 10 ppm. This is the only malt beverage/ "wine cooler" type drink that I have been able to find that has a sulfate ratio low enough for me to not have a reaction )

7.) Most Processed Foods, especially crackers with filings
8.) Pizza/Pie Crusts - store bought
9.) Shrimp
10.) Beet Sugar
11. ) Molasses/Syrups
12.) Some Jams and Jellies & fruits with pectin
13.) Sauerkraut and other pickled condiments
14.) Powdered condiment mixes ( Like Gravies and Soups )
15.) Grape Juice/Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
16.) Eggs and whites
17.) Canned seafood, canned vegetables, dried soup and canned soups
18.) Drugs, tranquilizers, antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, intravenous muscular relaxants, nebulizer treatments for asthma

More about Wines

⚙ Sulfite-free Wines:

Check out this website for many different sulfite free wines, theorganicwinecompany.com
The following wines are deliciously free of sulfa, so people can enjoy their glass of red and white with dinner!

⚙ Coturri Winery
⚙ Stellar Organics

Sulfur free organic wine from South Africa

⚙ Frey Vineyards

Natural Red NV, California

⚙ Donkey & Goat The Prospector Mourvèdre, California
⚙ La Rocca
⚙ Candoni Merlot
⚙ Orleans Hill Cabernet
⚙ Orleans Hill Syrah
⚙ Orleans Hill Zinfandel
⚙ Orleans Hill Coyote Zero

Photo Credit: mustardseedmarket.com

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