Category Archives: Nickel

Low Nickel Food List

Low Nickel Diet and Food List

Information courtesy of Dr. Matthew Zirwas

Background on Nickel Allergy

21871756-Symbol-for-the-chemical-element-nickel-Stock-PhotoNickel allergy (allergic contact dermatitis to nickel), has always been thought of as a rash that is isolated to the area where nickel makes contact with the skin. However, new evidence is showing that nickel, which is ingested in the diet, can cause systemic contact dermatitis (a rash other than where the nickel makes contact).

In an article published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Drs. Matthew Zirwas and Matthew Molenda, Ohio State University examined three different cases where individuals with nickel allergy also had generalized itching especially on their hands and feet. When the individuals were placed on a low nickel diet, their nickel allergy and generalized itching cleared.

Factors other than the actual food that is eaten can affect the amount of nickel ingested:

  • The amount of nickel in the soil and water used to grow the food.
  • Processed and canned foods can add nickel via equipment used and leaching from the metallic can.
  • Tap water may contain nickel. Hot water can leach nickel from faucets into the water, as can water sitting overnight in the fixtures.
  • Cookware such as stainless steel can leach nickel into the food if cooking with acidic foods such as tomato, vinegar or lemon.

Nickel allergic individuals should consider a low nickel diet if they have either hand dermatitis or a nonspecific, pruritic dermatitis (rash that itches).

The Low Nickel Diet

We’ve outlined Dr. Zirwas’ Low Nickel Diet below.

  1. It may take up to 2 months to see the benefits from following this diet.
  2. Adults should consume no more than 15 points per day.
  3. Children under age 12 should consume no more than 10 points per day.
  4. Very rare individuals are even more sensitive than this and may need to stay under 5 points per day.
  5. In general, even if not listed specifically, avoid anything with beans, chocolate, peanuts, soy, oatmeal, whole grain, or granola.
  6. Only bottled/distilled water should be consumed, either by drinking or in cooking.
  7. Avoid cooking acidic foods in stainless steel cookware. Acidic food include tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus. Types of cookware that are safe: non-stick coated of any type, aluminum, copper, cast iron.
  8. Do not take any vitamins or supplements except for vitamin C.
  9. Take the calcium disodium EDTA with each meal for one month on, one month off. While taking it, you should also take a multivitamin with minerals once a day right before bed or first thing in the morning (the important thing is that you take it at a different time than when you take the EDTA).
  10. The Low Nickel Diet is relatively low in fiber. Patients are advised to take a stool softener such as ducosate sodium to prevent constipation.

The List

Dr. Zirwas has organized the Low Nickel Diet food list by a points system – which corresponds to the point limits mentioned above.

0 Points

  • Apple
  • Beer
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Candy, hard
  • Cheese, cheddar
  • Cheese, Swiss
  • Chicken breast, skin removed
  • Coffee creamer, non-dairy
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Eggplant
  • Eggs
  • Fruit drink
  • Half and half cream
  • Honey
  • Ice cream, vanilla
  • Jelly
  • Lunch meat (chicken, turkey, or ham)
  • Maple syrup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk, white
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Popsicle
  • Salad dressing
  • Shrimp
  • Soda / Pop / Cola
  • Sour cream
  • Soup, oriental noodles-ramen
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce
  • Steak
  • Sugar
  • Tuna, canned
  • Vegetable oil

1 Point

  • Apple juice
  • Applesauce
  • Bacon
  • Bagel, plain
  • Banana
  • Beets
  • Bologna
  • Bread, white
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cheese, American, processed
  • Chicken breast, fried with skin
  • Chicken leg, fried with skin
  • Chicken, roasted skinless
  • Chuck roast, beef
  • Coffee
  • Coffee, decaffeinated
  • Coleslaw
  • Collards
  • Cookies, sugar
  • Corn/hominy grits
  • Cornbread
  • Crackers (non-whole wheat)
  • Cranberry juice cocktail
  • Cucumber
  • English muffin, plain
  • Fruit juice blend
  • Grape juice
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Gravy, canned or bottled
  • Ham, cured, baked
  • Hot dog
  • Lamp chop
  • Lemonade
  • Liver (beef/calf)
  • Lunch meat, salami
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Macaroni salad
  • Meatloaf
  • Muffin, fruit or plain
  • Noodles, egg
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Orange
  • Orange juice
  • Pickles, dill
  • Pork chop
  • Pork roast
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • Rice, white
  • Sausage
  • Sherbet

3 Points

  • Asparagus
  • Beef stroganoff with noodles
  • Cereal, fruit flavored
  • Chicken nuggets, fast food
  • Chicken with vegetables in sauce
  • Doughnut
  • Meal replacement shake
  • Peach
  • Peanut butter
  • Pineapple
  • Pizza, cheese and pepperoni
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Rice, fried & meatless
  • Soup, vegetable beef, canned
  • Stew, beef & vegtable
  • Taco, tostada with beef & cheese
  • Vegetables, mixed
  • Watermelon

4 Points

  • Beef with vegetables in sauce
  • Chicken potpie, frozen
  • Clam chowder
  • French fries
  • Fruit cocktail, canned
  • Milk, chocolate
  • Peas, frozen
  • Soup, tomato, canned
  • Tomato juice

5 Points

  • Granola bar with raisins

6 Points

  • Beans, white
  • Brownie
  • Cereal, granola with raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Pineapple juice

7 Points

  • Lasagna with meat
  • Prune juice

8 Points

  • Burrito with beef, beans, cheese
  • Milk shake, chocolate

9 Points

  • Oatmeal

10 Points

  • Soup, bean, bacon, pork-canned

AVOID

  • Cake, chocolate with icing