Fried Chicken > Does fried chicken contain tyramine

Does Fried Chicken Contain Tyramine?

Tyramine is a compound found naturally in some foods that can trigger migraine headaches and hypertensive crises in people taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drugs. For those on MAOIs, monitoring dietary tyramine intake is important.

But what about a favorite food like fried chicken? Does it contain high levels of tyramine? Let’s take a closer look.

Does Fried Chicken Contain Tyramine?

Fried chicken does contain some tyramine, but typically only in small amounts that are considered safe for people on MAOI diets. Tyramine is an amino acid that is produced naturally as foods age and ferment. It can reach dangerous levels in foods like aged cheeses, cured meats, fava beans, and fermented products like soy sauce.

Tyramine causes high blood pressure when combined with MAOI drugs. Chicken meat itself contains little tyramine when fresh. However, as chicken ages and deteriorates, microbial action increases tyramine production. Once chicken is cooked, this microbial activity slows, preventing further tyramine formation.

Frying chicken does not significantly increase tyramine levels in the meat. The cooking process itself does not create or destroy tyramine. What matters most is the freshness of the chicken. Freshly prepared fried chicken, whether cooked at home or ordered at a restaurant, contains minimal tyramine.

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The tyramine risk increases as fried chicken sits after cooking. Leftover or reheated fried chicken contains progressively higher tyramine due to continued microbial action during storage. So fried chicken that has been sitting in a warming bin for hours or days-old leftovers contain much higher tyramine content.

In summary, enjoying freshly cooked fried chicken in moderation poses little tyramine risk. To keep tyramine low, fried chicken should be eaten soon after cooking. Leftovers should be refrigerated and reheated no more than once.

Old or improperly stored fried chicken is higher in tyramine and is best avoided on an MAOI diet. Consulting your doctor is advised to discuss proper precautions for your specific MAOI medication.

What is Tyramine?

Tyramine is an amino acid that regulates blood pressure. It is found naturally in many foods at varying levels. Tyramine can be toxic when consumed in high amounts, interacting with MAOI drugs and causing high blood pressure. Foods high in tyramine include aged cheeses, smoked or processed meats, soy products, chocolate, and fermented foods like sauerkraut.

Tyramine Levels in Chicken

Fresh poultry like chicken contains low to moderate amounts of tyramine. However, as chicken ages and deteriorates or becomes processed, its tyramine levels increase. So fresh chicken contains less tyramine than chicken liver. Frozen or refrigerated chicken breast contains minimal tyramine.

Tyramine in Fried Chicken

The preparation method also affects tyramine levels. Frying chicken does not significantly increase its tyramine content. Both fresh and fried chicken are considered low in tyramine for those on MAOIs as long as the chicken is fresh. Old, stored, or reheated fried chicken contains higher tyramine levels.

Tips for Enjoying Fried Chicken on an MAOI Diet

    • Use fresh, just-prepared chicken fried at home or from a restaurant. Avoid pre-made, packaged, or frozen fried chicken.
    • Consume fried chicken soon after cooking. Do not let it sit for extended periods.
    • Avoid eating old leftover fried chicken or chicken broth. Only reheat unused fried chicken once.
    • Request that any restaurant fry chicken fresh. Do not accept fried chicken that has been sitting under a heat lamp.

So in summary, fresh fried chicken contains minimal tyramine and can be enjoyed in moderation by those on MAOIs. Just take care to eat it freshly cooked. As chicken sits or ages, tyramine content increases, so avoid eating large amounts of older fried chicken. Monitor your body’s response and consult your doctor with any concerns over tyramine reactions.

Is chicken low in tyramine?

Fresh, raw chicken contains low to moderate levels of tyramine. As chicken ages and deteriorates, microbial action increases tyramine production. Cooking stops this tyramine development. So freshly cooked chicken, whether roasted, fried, or grilled, remains low in tyramine.

Old, spoiled, or improperly stored cooked chicken accumulates higher tyramine over time. For those on MAOI diets, enjoy freshly prepared chicken dishes soon after cooking and avoid eating chicken that has been refrigerated more than a day or two.

Does cooking reduce tyramine?

Cooking itself does not destroy or remove tyramine. However, cooking fresh ingredients prevents microbial action and tyramine formation during storage. Cooked foods start with minimal tyramine but can accumulate higher levels as they age in the fridge or at room temperature.

For those on MAOIs, the key is to eat freshly cooked foods as soon as possible after preparation. Avoid tyramine accumulation by storing leftovers properly and limiting reheating.

Does pizza have tyramine?

Freshly baked pizza contains minimal tyramine. However, tyramine can accumulate in pizza over time after baking. The highest tyramine risk comes from lengthy storage, the use of aged cheeses like parmesan or mozzarella, cured meats like pepperoni, fermented doughs, and spoilage.

Day old leftover pizza likely contains significantly higher tyramine. For people on MAOIs, freshly baked basic cheese pizza is a better choice than piled-high pizzas with aged cheese, pepperoni, and other preserved meats. Eat freshly made pizza promptly and avoid eating refrigerated leftovers.

Does Chinese food have tyramine?

Some Chinese dishes contain high tyramine, especially those using fermented bean or soy products. Soy sauce, fermented tofu, fermented black beans, and hoisin sauce are very high in tyramine. Fresh Chinese food without those ingredients is lower risk.

Ask about ingredients at restaurants. Enjoy fresh dishes made with chicken, rice, vegetables and avoid fermented sauces for a lower tyramine Chinese meal.

What foods should be avoided on a low tyramine diet?

Aged cheeses, processed meats, smoked fish, fermented foods, soy sauce, sauerkraut, overripe fruit, chocolate, and fava beans are highest in tyramine. Also avoid aging, spoiled, or improperly stored foods.

Does cooking reduce tyramine levels?

Cooking does not significantly reduce tyramine, but improper storage and reheating can increase tyramine content over time. Freshly cooked foods are lowest in tyramine.


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