I feel like I need to include every sort of disclaimer here because these foods are not perfect and I am sure many will find reasons to criticize them. However, I will absolutely admit how hard it can be to switch your family to a whole food based diet when coming from the standard American diet. While theses foods are not ideal and can be very inflammatory due to poor quality oils, sugar, non-organic, high in x,y,z etc. they may help reduce free glutamate exposure and/or are slightly cleaner options when switching to a whole food diet. Strictly avoiding processed sources of free glutamate has been essential to our health, especially our son’s neurological health. Please keep in mind that many of these foods can also feed underlying pathogens which can additionally create a surge in glutamate. The following items have been linked via Amazon and/or Thrive Market affiliate accounts where I may earn a commission from. Products may need to be sourced based on availability and/or pricing.

Several of the items found on this page are not brand, specific. Rather, brands that we have been able to easily source.

Grains:

Organic and certified gluten free grains are REID approved in moderation (see REID Perfect Plate). Though they are allowed, they can be a source of inflammation and many REID familes have to go grain free at some point (our family had to go grain free for 3 years). When someone consumes too many grains, they can start to ferment in the gut and as part of this fermenation you can see an increase in pathogens, glutmate, propionic acid (also a type of glutamate receptor), clostridia, yeast/candida, parasites, etc and also contribute to pyrroles.

If you do consume grains, they should ideally be in a fairly unprocessed form, as the processing (acid hydrolysis, fermentation, de-fattening, etc.) will result in free glutamate and increase inflammation. For example, gluten free flours often undergo hydrolysis or fermentation to strip the fiber from the grains or a de-fattening process to remove oil. These processes result in a fairly substantial amount of free glutamate that some* may react to. A reaction to these will be based on individual sensitivity. The risk of free glutamate will increase when you start to see more processed grains like brown rice “flour”, rice bran, parboiled, germinated or even white rice. Black and brown rice are preferred.

I understand, the process of making homemade flours can be extremely overwhelming so don’t worry about this step as you’re transitioning, but you’ll want or need to eventually take this step as diet evolves if you’re still struggling with high levels of underlying glutamate. However, flour blends containing “gums” and tapioca flour should be strictly avoided as they often times contain some of the highest levels of free glutamate. The reason why you will see me using more grain free type of recipes, is because most gluten free and grain based recipes call for the use of gums, which cause a reaction for our son.

Tip: Ground pumpkin seeds or tahini can be used in replace of almond flour if there is nut sensitivity or a substantial oxalate issue. Nut flours may also constipate some, so keep that in mind. Coconut flour can be very tricky to use and doesn’t act as an equal substitute to other flours.

Organic Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats

We were grain-free for roughly three years but have enjoyed being able to have a real bowl of oatmeal on occasion. We always search for certified organic and gluten free as there is a lot of cross contamination with grains, but especially oats. Additionally, there is less glutamate risk with steel cut oats compared to rolled or quick oats because of the processing. We personally avoid store bought packaged options of oat-bran and out-flour
Amazon link for Bobs Red Mill Organic Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats
Thrive Market link for Bobs Red Mill Organic Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats

Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats

We always search for certified organic and gluten free as there is a lot of cross contamination with grains, but especially oats. As I mentioned above, there is more glutamate risk with rolled oats compared to steel cut but we will use these on occasion for some baking recipes, granola and/or breakfast. We personally avoid store bought packaged options of oat-bran and out-flour
Amazon link for Bob’s Red Mill Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats
Thrive Market link for Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats

Nuts and Seeds

We do consume a fair amount of nuts and seeds but we do much better by keeping consumption lower.  Because of their high protein content, processed (roasted) nuts can be problematic for those extremely sensitive to glutamate.  They are also high in oxalate, often inflammatory and can greatly contribute to constipation. While we no longer exclude nuts, we are cautious not to go overboard with them.  Nuts.com is also great source for buying nuts.

Go Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a staple in our house as we use them as a low oxalate and nut free version for paleo baking. We are not partial to this brand but it is often easier to find. In fact, commercially sprouted products are not ideal.
Amazon link for Go Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Thrive Market link for Pumpkin Seeds (these are actually a better option)

Go Raw Watermelon Seeds

We are not partial to this brand but it is often easier to find. In fact, commercially sprouted products are not ideal.
Amazon link for Go Raw Watermelon Seeds

Let’s Do Organic Shredded Coconut

It can actually be vary hard to find a clean option for shredded coconut, but this is our favorite! You will want to avoid purchasing the reduced fat option due to glutamate risk.
Amazon link for Let’s Do Organic Shredded Coconut
Thrive Market link for a Similar Shredded Coconut

Artisana Organic Raw Almond Butter

Many clean nut/seed butter options are available but this is ideal as it is organic and raw, without any added ingredients.
Amazon link for Artisana Organic Raw Almond Butter
Thrive Market link for Artisana Organic Raw Almond Butter

Artisana Organic Raw Walnut Butter

Many clean nut/seed butter options are available but this is ideal as it is organic and raw, without any added ingredients.
Amazon link for Artisana Organic Raw Walnut Butter
Thrive Market link for Artisana Organic Raw Walnut Butter

Artisana Organic Raw Pecan Butter

Many clean nut/seed butter options are available but this is ideal as it is organic and raw, without any added ingredients.
Amazon link for Artisana Organic Raw Pecan Butter
Thrive Market link for Artisana Organic Raw Pecan Butter

Artisana Organic Raw Cashew Butter

Many clean nut/seed butter options are available but this is ideal as it is organic and raw, without any added ingredients.
Amazon link for Artisana Organic Raw Cashew Butter
Thrive Market link for Artisana Organic Raw Cashew Butter

Organic Sunbutter

While unroasted sunbutter is preferred, we use this for nut-free school lunches if I have not made homemade.
Amazon link for Organic SunButter
Thrive Market link for similar Sunbutter

Cacao Nibs

We prefer cacao over cocoa and nibs over powder because of the lower glutamate risk. However, there is a glutamate risk with both as they naturally have a higher protein content and are fermented. Our Vitamin has no problem processing these when added to smoothies or turned into sauces. We did not tolerate chocolate originally, but are fortunate enough that we can consume it now (In moderation) without any reaction. It can also be high in histamine, oxalate and salicylate.
Amazon link for Navitas Cacao Nibs
Thrive Market link for Navitas Cacao Nibs

Otto’s Cassava Flour

We started to use more of this product after falling in love with the yuca root and needing nut-free and grain-free options for baking. This cassava flour is not the same as tapioca flour. Tapioca flour has a higher risk for increased glutamate levels. Heads-up, this flour is high in oxalate.
Amazon link for Otto’s Cassava Flour
Thrive Market link for Otto’s Cassava Flour

Coconut Flour

While we are not partial to this brand, this is often what we use if we do not make homemade coconut flour. There is some glutamate risk with coconut flour because of the processing but we’ve personally never witnessed a reaction to it.
Amazon link for Nutiva Organic Coconut Flour
Thrive Market link for Nutiva Organic Coconut Flour

Aluminum Free Baking Soda

This is our go-to for baking and can easily be found at most health stores and even some Targets.
Amazon link for Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda
Thrive Market link for Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda

Simple Mills Pancake Mix

This item is very processed and not ideal, but we have used this a handful of times without any reaction. Reaction may be based on individual sensitivity.
Amazon link for Simple Mills Pancake Mix
Thrive Market link for Simple Mills Pancake Mix

Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin/Cake Mix

Full disclaimer, we did not use this product or many of their products early on, but this has become a quick option to leave in the pantry for unexpected events.  While this product is relatively lower in glutamate, the processing, flours and some ingredients may be problematic for some.  It can be high in oxalate, phenol, salicylate because of the flours and slightly higher in histamine/glutamate because of the chocolate.

Sweeteners

We consume natural sweeteners in moderation. Refined sugars can be very inflammatory and will result in a surge of glutamate. Here are some examples of sweeteners we use:

Maple Syrup

Look for those processed with lower heat or grade B to lower your risk of glutamate. Otherwise, it may be problematic for some. We purchase ours locally.
Amazon link for Maple Syrup
Thrive Market Link for Maple Syrup

Coconut Sugar

(not daily consumption but would be a better option than cane or beet sugar)
Amazon link for Organic Coconut Sugar
Thrive Market link for Similar Coconut Sugar

Enjoy Life Chocolate Morsels

While there is some glutamate risk with chocolate in general, these (in the red bag) are one of the cleaner options out there and may be used if tolerated. We did not tolerate chocolate originally, but are fortunate enough that we can consume it now (In moderation) without any reaction. It can also be high in histamine, oxalate and salicylate.
Thrive Market link for Enjoy Life Chocolate Morsels

Hu Chocolate Bars

We are OBSESSSED with Hu Chocolate Bars! Again, there is some glutamate risk with chocolate in general but we like that they use cacao over cocoa (lower glutamate risk with cacao) and coconut sugar over regular sugar. We did not tolerate chocolate originally, but are fortunate enough that we can consume it now (In moderation) without any reaction. It can also be high in histamine, oxalate and salicylate. Linking it to Amazon here but far better prices can be found on Vitacost.com or ThriveMarket.com
Thrive link for Hu Chocolate

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans are one of the most expensive crops available and because of this we don’t always buy organic. We use these in everything from baking, homemade vanilla extracts, ice cream, etc.
Amazon link for Tahitian Vanilla Beans

Baking Powder is another to be aware of. It is highly processed and often contains free glutamate in the form of cornstarch. A quick sub for baking powder is mixing equal parts fresh lemon juice and baking soda.

“Extracts” (i.e. rosemary extract in meat, vanilla extract, almond extract, etc.) are also a way in which free glutamate can be hidden. These items can easily be made at home but be sure to use potato* vodka in the process. We make ours homemade or use whole vanilla beans.

Salt– we also only use Himalayan or sea salt to lower our glutamate risk.

Amazon link for Salt