6 common foods to avoid with eosinophilic esophagitis

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammatory disorder caused by excess white blood cells called eosinophils. It can be triggered due to allergens in specific foods or environmental allergens. Monitoring one’s food intake is essential to manage the condition in the long term. The most common approach doctors use for this is the elimination method. Patients are asked to remove particular foods from their nutrition plan and slowly reintroduce them to determine the underlying cause.

Dairy
One must avoid milk, milk products, and ingredients that contain dairy. This includes cow, goat, and sheep milk. Dairy foods that can trigger eosinophilic esophagitis are buttermilk, condensed milk, cream, evaporated milk, butter, margarine, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Milk proteins like casein, diacetyl, lactalbumin, lactose, lactulose, rennet casein, tagatose, and whey can have a similar effect.

Nuts
Nuts and lychees can trigger inflammation in people with this disorder. So, patients must avoid them, along with ingredients like nut meal, nut meat, nut milk, nut extracts, nut paste, and peanut oil.

Eggs
Eggs, egg substitutes, eggnog, egg sauces, and egg noodles must be kept out of the menu for managing eosinophilic esophagitis. One must also avoid ingredients like albumin, lysozyme, ovalbumin, lecithin, globulin, and ovovitellin.

Fish and shellfish
All fish and shellfish are harmful, including krill, barnacle, crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp, and prawns. So are ingredients like fish stock, fish sauce, seafood flavoring, surimi, and bouillabaisse.

Wheat
Common wheat foods to avoid are bread, couscous, crackers, most flours, pasta, and pizza crust. Foods made with wheat varieties like bulgar, durum, einkorn, emmer, farina, Kamut, semolina, spelt, and triticale must also be eliminated from the nutrition plan.

Soy
Foods rich in soy, such as edamame, miso, natto, shoyu, soybean, soy sauce, tamari, tempeh, and tofu, can trigger eosinophilic esophagitis. When buying packaged foods, patients must watch out for ingredients like soy, soy flour, soy fiber, soy protein, and textured vegetable protein.

One may swap out these foods for meats like chicken, turkey, pork, or beef and gluten-free foods like barley, beans, legumes, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and corn. Fruits, vegetables, and olive or sunflower oil are also healthy. Although eosinophilic esophagitis can be difficult to manage initially, doctors and trained healthcare professionals can help create a personalized meal plan to control the symptoms.