Coconut is no longer recommended for people with HIT

In recent years the humble coconut has increased its status from being considered almost a health risk to being an ever more popular ‘superfood’.

Coconut was originally included as a “safe” food in previous editions of “Is Food Making You Sick? The Strictly Low-histamine Diet”.

The team behind the book is always updating it to reflect the latest scientific research.

A few research sources no longer recommend coconut for HIT sufferers, though some people appear to tolerate it. Coconut has been added to the “foods to avoid” list in the book. Recipes have been revised accordingly. Look for the 2017 edition of the book. The date is printed on the front cover and on the title page.

The Strictly Low Histamine Diet is just that – strict. Our aim is to exclude any foods that possess even a minimal chance of aggravating the condition.

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20 thoughts on “Coconut

    • Did you have canned coconut that had no other additives in it? The native forest brand sells an “organic simple” version with no high histamine gums added. Most other brands have some other additives.

  1. Thank you. I know for sure I cant tolerate shaved dry cocunut. However cocunut water I seem find with. Yes, very confusing.

  2. I have severe histamine intolerance, and I can tell you that coconut oil is fine for me. But fermented coconut, or dried coconut is what poses a problem. When you have histamine issues, food is best in it’s fresh raw state. Not all high histamine foods bother me, but most do. Fresh fish is fine for me, but forget shellfish, there’s no set rules. Everyone is different. I’m fine with chicken and just about any other meat. Just test the foods and you will surely know!!! I can eat tomatos, as long as it’s not a sauce from a jar. Avocados and spinach are big no-nos whether raw or cooked. The only way you’ll know is by testing.

  3. So confusing! I plan to buy a copy of this book. In the mean time, can you please tell me if sesame seeds (tahini) are safe for HIT? There seem to be conflicting views on this.
    Many thanks.

    • Yes Mel, you are right, the literature about histamine-rich and histamine-provoking foods can be very confusing. Measuring histamine in foods is not an exact science because histamine levels fluctuate depending on a number of factors such as food storage conditions, how fresh the food is and so on. With the Strictly Low Histamine Diet we have taken the view that if there is any reasonable controversy about a food’s histamine status, we won’t recommend it. Taking this stance means we are being as safe as possible, but it also means the food list is quite narrow. Fortunately, the great bonus is that once your body’s histamine levels have been lowered by sticking to the diet, you can gradually re-introduce all the foods you have been missing. The Strictly Low Histamine Diet is not intended to be a life-long diet, but a relatively short-term path to wellness. And if your histamine levels rise again, you can always return to the diet for a while to make them fall. So in answer to your question – stay away from sesame seeds while you are on a low histamine diet, but re-introduce them when you feel better. I hope this helps!
      ~ James L Gibb

    • Hello Jana, the latest research casts doubt on coconut and coconut byproducts, so our 2017 updated edition of “Is Food Making You Sick” recommends that coconut sugar should be avoided by people with histamine intolerance.

    • Gillian, all parts of coconut were considered safe until new evidence was revealed. The book “Is Food making You Sick?” was revised in 2017 to reflect the ongoing nature of scientific research and we now recommend that to be “strictly” low histamine, coconut should be avoided.

          • How was this information missed for thousands of years? Can you provide evidence and links to information that proves this theory, please?

          • Hi Rod, Histamine Intolerance has been “missed for thousands of years” the same way helicobacter pylori was missed for thousands of years until 1982.
            It’s hard to detect.
            Its occurrence is due to a complex multiplicity of factors.
            In the 21st century, medical professionals still do not understand the causes of all health problems. We are still discovering the factors that contribute to disease, and we have a long way to go. The reasons why HIT is hard to detect, and the massive list of scientific citations backing up the proof that it exists, can all be found in the book “Is Food Making You Sick?”

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