If you suffer from migraine headaches or food sensitivities, listen up. Sulfites, a group of sulfur-based preservatives that trigger these and other health conditions, may be lurking in your pantry. Used in everything from dried fruit to shrimp, sulfites prevent bacterial growth and increase shelf life. It may be wise to avoid sulfites if you suspect you have a sensitivity, says Helané Wahbeh, ND, a postdoctoral research fellow at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. The good news is that most foods with sulfites also come sulfite-free, or “unsulfured.” And although unsulfured foods such as dried fruits may not look as pretty, they taste just as delicious, says Wahbeh.
>> What to watch for on labels
Potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite
Sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, or sodium metabisulfite
>> Most common foods containing sulfites
Shrimp, fresh or frozen