Citrus Free Diet

A list of foods to avoid for people sensitive to citrus fruits.

Citrus-Free Diet

The fruits to avoid in this diet are all those of the citrus family.

What to Avoid

Citrus Fruits: citron, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine and ugli fruit. All these fruits should be out of the diet during the ctirus avoidance period.

The whole fruit, the juice, or just the skin, are used in cooking; the flavor is also used in manufacturing. Sometimes citrus fruits can be the source of certain preservatives, like citric acid or ascorbic acid, and there is no way to know from the label.

Below there is a list of foods to avoid in a citrus-free diet, either because they contain citrus fruit or might contain additives prepared from citrus fruit:

  • Fruit juices, fruit squashes and drinks – fresh, canned, frozen or in cartons.
  • Sweets and confectionery, candied peel, cakes, cheesecake, biscuit, cookies, sponge.
  • Ice cream and flavored yoghurts.
  • Jellies.
  • Lemon tea.
  • Garnishes, when slices or wedges of lemon, lime or orange are used and drinks decorated with citrus, i.e. sodas or alcoholic drinks.
  • Sauces and dressings in general, mayonnaise made with lemon juice, lemon-oil salad dressing, sweet and sour sauce made with orange juice, in particular.
  • Fish, seafood, meat and poultry dishes that contain citrus, like prawn cocktail, lemon baked fish, lemon chicken, pork, chicken or duck in an orange sauce, etc.
  • Marinades, pickles and chutneys.
  • Lemonade, lemon-barley water.
  • Angostura, angostura bitters, and any cocktail drink containing them.
  • Citrus flavored toothpaste.
  • Bioflavonoid supplements, unless synthetic or from other known non–citrus source.
  • Foods containing citric acid or ascorbic acid, unless certain of source.
  • When additives are labeled as E numbers, foods should be avoided when the following E numbers are in the label: E330, E331, E332, E333, E334, E440(A), E450(B), E470(C). All this numbers indicate the inclusion of citrus.

Always check with a health specialist or food administration, as new additives from citrus source could be added to the list of E numbers .

Suggested Alternatives

Choose other fruit juices, apple, pineapple, grape or pear, instead of citrus, making sure they do not have citric or ascorbic acid. Careful with cranberry juice which usually comes mixed with orange juice. Organic products tend to have less additives and it should be easier to find suitable food. Again, read carefully the list of ingredients. You might find that the only difference in the organic version is that lemon juice has been used, instead of citric or ascorbic acid, and a lemon is a citrus fruit, even if it is organic.