Monday, January 03, 2011

Trying tomato

Sometime ago I reported eating out in an Italian restaurant and having to eat a dish packed with tomato and herbs. The dish seemed to be fine because it was fish, rather than meat.

I've now had the same experience again. We found a reasonably-priced Italian restaurant with a good variety of choices. The dish I chose was linguine and king prawn. I didn't expect it to have quite so much tomato in it - that wasn't advertised. But it was delicious, really tasty. And there have been absolutely no side-effects, zero side-effects. I did leave most of the chunks of tomato - but there was plenty in the pasta sauce also.

It helped no doubt  I took a montelukast that day and also helped I was eating a sea-food meal. But after a Christmas season which was quite difficult - and that may have been down to drinking white wine - it's fun to enjoy a meal with strong tastes and suffer absolutely no after-effects.

Now, if I remember right, my last list suggested tomato was low in salicylate - not high and not zero. But I've avoided it as I've avoided onion (see a current discussion on this site), because it seemed strongly implicated when problems first started. I vividly remember that meal of celery and cherry tomato when I was on a near-starvation diet and how my mouth just swelled up. The allergy consultant was also impressed by that story.

And Italian food was strongly linked to my initial symptoms. My body could not handle spaghetti bolognese and pizza. So should I try to introduce more tomato into my diet?



Oscar's Mum said...

I use the handbook from the RPAH Allergy Unit in Sydney Australia as the list of salicyclate foods for my son. Tomato is listed as very high, or high if it is peeled. One of the things with salicylate foods is that the salicylate level drops as the food ripens. You could start off by trying very ripe peeled tomatoes, whcih is what we are doing with Oscar at the moment. Our dietitian advised starting to reintroduce high salicyalte foods at 25g or 1/8 cup every 2 days.

Alison said...

I use the food lists in a recipe book by several doctors from the RPAH Allergy Unit in Australia -- book is titled Allergy Friendly Food: The Essential Guide to Avoiding Allergies, Additives and Problem Chemicals -- and it also lists tomato as very high.

More importantly, the book spells out that it's often the accumulation in the body of food chemicals (like salicylates) that cause a reaction....not necessarily one single exposure. A little bit here at this meal, there at this meal, and then again...and once your individual body's threshold is crossed...then, BAM, side effects.

Given enough time (I've been told three days), our body can clear much of the food chemical from our body. This might explain why your two separate instances of eating tomato did not cause any side effects.

Please keep us posted! I miss tomatos

Alison said...

That would be tomatoes! :)