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Eating to Promote Health: The Low-Sulfur Diet

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Every year it seems that a new diet emerges that alleges to fix all your health issues and overhaul your life completely. One of the latest diets to gain some traction online is the low-sulfur diet. Unlike some avoidance diets like the gluten or dairy-free diets, sulfur is an important mineral for the body, which is why this diet stresses a low-sulfur over a sulfur-fee approach. So, the question is: does this diet work, and what does it mean to be sulfur-intolerant?

The Foods to Avoid

In your diet, there are two main contributors of sulfur, and those are the amino acids methionine and cysteine, which both contain sulfur. Most animal sources of protein or meats lie turkey, chicken, eggs, beef, and fish, contain the amino acid methionine. However, methionine can also be found in a number of plant-based foods too like most nuts, grains, seeds and legumes.  There is some cross over as a number of the foods that contain methionine also contain cysteine like turkey, eggs, lentils, oats and soybeans. 

However, the foods which contain sulfur are not limited to those two amino acids only. There are a number of other foods which also contain sulfur too. For example, you can also find sulfur in cruciferous and allium vegetables, organ meats and other dairy products too. Depending on where you live, your water might contain sulfur too. From this, you may be wondering how you can avoid sulfur when it seems to be so many different foods. Luckily, you can check out the Ruscio Institute’s guide to a low sulfur diet; it details how you can make the switch easier. 

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How is Sulfur Used in the Body?

Sulfur can be found most predominantly in the body in some amino acids, as mentioned above. Amino acids perform a number of different functions within the body, including the regulation of your immune system and metabolism. However, some amino acids cannot be produced by your body which means you have to get them through your diet. This is why you should do your research before you embark on any diet, and that includes the low-sulfur diet because your body does need these extra nutrients that it may not be able to get elsewhere. 

The Potential Effects of Getting to Much Sulfur

If our body needs sulfur, then how can it cause issues? While it is true that your body needs these amino acids, when you get too many, it can also cause issues. For example, having high levels of certain amino acids has been linked to obesity and diabetes. In addition, there are a lot of symptoms that could be related to consuming too much sulfur. It includes symptoms like asthma, bloating, gas, fatigue, rashes and hives, headaches, and nausea. 

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The trouble is that the symptoms listed above are not specific enough; they could result from a number of different illnesses, sensitivities, intolerances or conditions. This is why there needs to be more in-depth research done into this digestive problem. Without more being known about sulfur intolerances, it is hard to pin down any specifics. However, there are people who have reported a reduction in the symptoms mentioned after trying a low-sulfur diet which does speak to the efficacy of this diet.

How to Get Started with a Low-Sulfur Diet

First things first, you need to do some research. You can look online; there is a wealth of resources on the internet which could prove themselves invaluable to you as you start your health journey. You should also touch base with your doctor and ask them for their recommendations and outline your concerns. They may be able to do some tests and determine whether or not you are suffering from a sulfur intolerance. 

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Some people are able to make a low-sulfur diet work with just a few minor adjustments. For example, a low-sulfur diet would be relatively easy for someone who already follows a vegetarian or vegan diet. However, when you are trying any new diet, especially one that is restrictive or constitutes a change to your body’s homeostasis, the trick is to go slowly. Make a gradual transition to your new diet to ensure your body suffers from minimal disruption to your digestive tract.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, there has not been enough research done into the idea of a sulfur intolerance for there to be any conclusive evidence. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence which has found that those who have tried a low sulfur diet have seen improvements in their overall health and wellbeing, but these claims have yet to be substantiated. That being said, if you are in the position to try this diet, having consulted a professional and done your research, then trying this diet may be beneficial to you.

About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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