Food Sensitivity Starter Testing List

The following list will help you to source single-ingredient foods to test suspected reactions using the LNT Coca Pulse Test. When possible, try to test fresh, organic foods (to rule out the possibility of reaction to preservatives or chemicals).

In addition to the items on this list, we advise people to also test foods which they eat frequently – for instance, favorite morning cereals, candy, cheeses, fruits, snacks, vegetables, and beverages. If you are testing a food that you consume often, you may wish to test multiple forms of preparation (such as raw, lightly cooked, roasted, etc) – all separately. Various cooking and processing affects the composition of foods differently. This changes the way our body digests and tolerates them.

Choose at least one item from each section below. The items are listed in order of effectiveness (the best option is listed first).

Wheat

  • Pure wheat berries, boiled until soft in water only, no added oils or seasonings (best option)
  • 100% wheat flake cereal, such as Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Wheat flakes, prepared with water only
  • Cream of Wheat hot cereal, prepared with water only
  • Whole wheat bread: If the above items are not available, try a slice of plain whole wheat bread, although testing accuracy may be compromised due to other added ingredients.

If you discover a sensitivity to wheat, try:

  • Sprouted wheat berries or flours. Sprouted grains are much healthier than non-sprouted grains. Traditional diets soaked or sprouted their grains to make the nutrients within the grain more accessible. This step has largely been lost due to modern processing. Jovial makes a convenient sprouted Einkorn flour.
  • Einkorn wheat berries. Some people who have a sensitivity to wheat can tolerate small amounts of Einkorn wheat. This is an ancient form of wheat which has not been hybridized to contain the higher amounts of gluten found in modern wheat. We suggest purchasing organic Einkorn berries and sprouting them yourself at home.
  • Please note: Eating wheat or gluten in any form is not advised if you have been clinically diagnosed with Celiac disease.

Milk/Dairy

Test pure cow’s milk. Whole milk, with no additives, is preferred. It is okay to test the milk that your family prefers, as long as it has no added sugar or flavorings.

If you discover a sensitivity to pasteurized cow’s milk, try:

  • Raw cow’s milk: Many people who are sensitive to pasteurized cow’s milk can consume raw cow’s milk without an issue. Raw cow’s milk is much more nutritious than pasteurized cow’s milk, and is safe to consume when processed under strict state sanitation guidelines. Visit www.realmilk.com for more information. Raw milk availability varies by state.
  • Goat’s milk is easier to digest, and is often tolerated by people with cow’s milk sensitivity. Raw goat’s milk is also available (varies by state).
  • Organic, whole milk yogurt from cows or goats. Some people with cow’s milk sensitivity can tolerate fermented milk products, such as yogurt and aged cheeses. Look for yogurts that have no additives, such as powdered milks or gums. They should also contain live active cultures (cultured after pasteurization).
  • Aged cheese is often tolerated by those who cannot tolerate fresh milk products. Raw milk cheeses, made from the milk of grassfed animals, are best.

Eggs

Most egg reactions are caused by the white, not the yolk. It is typically impossible to separate yolk from white. For this reason, particularly sensitive people should avoid both the yolk and the white. However, some people that are sensitive to egg white can consume egg yolk with no issues. It is best to test both separately.

You can test eggs in two ways:

  • scrambling the egg separately, carefully separating the raw egg white from the yolk, and scrambling them each separately – dry, or with a little olive oil (unless olive oil has been identified as a reactive food, which is rare).
  • hard-boiling the egg, then separating the yolk from the white

Soy

  • edamame pods, steamed (best option)
  • tofu, unflavored

If you discover a sensitivity to soy, try:

  • tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • miso (bean paste)

Some people who cannot tolerate unfermented soy have no issue with fermented soy, such as soy sauce. Fermented soy is much healthier than unfermented soy. Soy is typically fermented, and eaten in small amounts, in traditional diets.

Be aware that most soy sauce also contains wheat (gluten). Tamari is a wheat-free soy sauce that is typically gluten free. We recommend testing with tamari to rule out the possibility of a wheat/gluten reaction during testing, unless you have already ruled out a wheat/gluten sensitivity. Read the label to be sure.

Both soy sauce and miso can be an issue for people who have sensitivity to yeast, so you may want to test yeast first.

Corn

  • frozen corn kernels, preferably unsalted – added salt only is okay (best option)
  • canned corn, preferably unsalted – added salt only is okay

If you discover a sensitivity to corn, try:

  • masa harina. This traditionally processed flour has been soaked in lime to reduce the phytates/anti-nutrients and increase the nutrient content of the grain. Bob’s Red Mill makes a high-quality, non-GMO masa harina. Handmade tortillas are very simple to make and require only masa harina, water, and salt.

In the United States, food labels are required to list the 8 most common allergens. However, corn (an increasingly common sensitivity) is not required to be clearly listed. This list will help you decipher sneaky food labels, so that you can be aware of products that contain corn.

Fish/Shellfish

Test fish varieties separately. You may wish to test both a lean white and a fatty fish (such as cod and salmon), as well as two types of shellfish (such as shrimp and mussels). Test steamed fresh fish and shellfish; do not add any oils or sauces. If you discover a sensitivity to 2 or more types of fish or shellfish, all types are best avoided.

Tree Nuts, Peanuts

Test raw, unsalted nuts separately – starting with the types you eat most often. It is best to test nuts that are packaged individually, rather than using mixed nuts or blends. Added salt only is okay; avoid testing nuts roasted in oils if possible.

Note that many nuts may also harbor yeast. If you suspect a yeast sensitivity, you may want to test yeast first.

Refined Sugar

  • pure sugar crystals.

If you discover a sensitivity to sugar, try:

  • raw, organic honey, preferably local. Raw honey is a delicious and healthy alternative to sugar. Our bodies prefer sugars consumed with their complementary vitamins and minerals, and not refined in any way.
  • pure organic maple syrup. Some people prefer Grade B maple syrup for its richer, stronger flavor. The jury is out on whether it provides more vitamins and minerals than its Grade A counterpart.

Citrus

  • organic whole orange, whole fruit (not just the juice)

If you discover a sensitivity to orange, try:

  • organic lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
  • other citrus fruits that you regularly consume.

Chocolate

  • 100% cacao nibs, unsweetened
  • 100% cacao bar, unsweetened
  • If 100% cacao cannot be found or is not desired: test dark chocolate with added sugar only (no milk or other additives).
  • 100% cacao powder, unsweetened, dissolved in hot water. If honey has already been tested, you may also add some to make a “hot chocolate” for testing purposes.

Caffeine

  • coffee, black (do not add any creamers or sugar)
  • tea, black

Note that both tea and coffee can harbor molds. If you suspect a yeast/mold sensitivity, you may want to test yeast/mold first.

Yeast/Mold

Yeasts and molds can be tricky to isolate for testing. We advise testing all of the below foods. If at least three test positive, a yeast/mold sensitivity should be suspected.

  • Risen Bread/Baked Good: First separately test wheat (or, if gluten free, other grains/starches contained within the bread), as well as soy or any other possible additives, to ensure there is no reaction.
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Dried fruit, such as apricots or raisins (you may want to test sulfites first – see “Sulfites” below)
  • Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • Cheese, aged, preferably from raw milk (rule out dairy sensitivity first)

If you discover a sensitivity to yeast/mold, try:

  • nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is an inactivated form of yeast. It should not cause issues for those with Candida overgrowth or yeast sensitivities. Nutritional yeast is very rich in B vitamins and other minerals, and can typically be used in small amounts to supplement a healthy diet. It should come from a clean, non-GMO source.
  • raw, live, fermented vegetables, such as traditionally-fermented sauerkraut (made with vegetables and salt only). The fungus kingdom is rich and complex. A sensitivity to some yeasts/fungi does not necessarily mean a sensitivity to all. Many people who are sensitive to yeast are advised to avoid fermented foods. If you test positive for a yeast sensitivity, we suggest testing a ferment as well to see if you are able to tolerate it. Note that reactions to fermented vegetables can also indicate a histamine intolerance – if you have a reaction to fermented foods, discuss this with your nutritionist or health provider.
  • organic mushrooms, both raw and cooked
  • organic raw nuts

In the United States, food labels are required to list the 8 most common allergens. However, yeast (an increasingly common sensitivity) is not required to be clearly listed. Many natural, unprocessed foods can also contain molds and yeast. This list will help you decipher sneaky food labels, so that you can be aware of foods and products that may contain yeast.

Sulfites

Testing for sulfite sensitivity will be more accurate if you first test the fresh fruit. For instance, test a fresh apricot, then a dried one preserved with sulfites.

Sesame

  • pure sesame seeds, raw
  • tahini, no additives (raw, if you can find it – added salt only is okay)

Nightshades

Test at least three of the following separately:

  • potato, baked, plain (no added butter or sauces)
  • tomato, raw
  • eggplant, sauteed until soft in a small amount of olive oil
  • bell pepper, raw

Food Coloring

We do not advocate the consumption of artificial food dyes and colors. However, it can be an important item to test – especially in the case of young children, when overall sensitivities are suspected, but nothing else is testing positive. Confirming a sensitivity reaction to an artificial food coloring may help motivate you to be more vigilant in avoiding it.

Use a package of standard food coloring (red, green, yellow, blue), commonly found in the baking section of most grocers. Test a drop of each color in a small amount of water. If you are testing a child, you may wish to mix into a small amount of tolerated fruit juice. Remind the child not to swallow during testing!

%d bloggers like this: