Common Dietary Sources of Fluoride

My e-guide to fluoroderma is in the final editing stages.  One of the chapters is about common sources of fluoride exposure.

I receive this question on a regular basis, so here is a quick reference guide on the subject.

Foods with Fluoride

non-organic poultry products, especially mechanically de-boned chicken such as chicken nuggets, ground chicken, chicken hot dogs, etc.; also, chicken soup made from bones (fluoride from pesticides on feed accumulates in bones, fat, and skin)

sardines, canned salmon, etc. where bones are eaten along with the rest of the fish (I did not eat these foods when I was dealing with fluoroderma so I can not verify if they caused outbreaks or not. I recently bought a can of sardines to conduct a self-experiment… I will let you know how it goes)

cereal (when made from fluoridated water during the extrusion process)

produce sprayed with cryolite (including grapes, potatoes, broccoli, squash, berries, lettuce, tomatoes, citrus fruits and several other common fruits and vegetables)

foods sprayed with sulfuryl fluoride (fumigant used in food warehouses; food products are not removed from the facility when fumigation is conducted)

foods cooked with fluoridated water, such as rice, pasta, steamed vegetables, etc.

Beverages with Fluoride

fluoridated water (some well water has high amounts of fluoride, but this isn’t common in the U.S.)

tea (fluoride-based pesticides accumulate in tea leaves)

wine (from cryolite pesticide sprayed on grape crops in California)

soft drinks, beer, etc. (when made with fluoridated water)

certain fruit juices (from pesticides or fluoridated water added to the juice from concentrate)

What is Left to Eat?

Looking at that list, one might start to wonder what is left to eat.  After avoiding fluoride for the past year, I can tell you it’s not all that difficult and it tastes a million times better (not to mention the other health benefits that come with eating real food).

Here is what I eat in place of the fluoridated foods and beverages above:

Instead of normal chicken from the grocery store, I eat organic, free-range poultry preferably from a local farm (but sometimes from Whole Foods).

Instead of cereal, I eat organic oats.

Instead of foods sprayed with cryolite, I eat organic produce.

Instead of prepackaged foods that come from warehouses spraeyd with sulfuryl fluoride, I eat real food from farms.

Instead of fluoridated water, I drink spring water (from a source I know is low in fluoride).

Instead of normal California wines, I drink wine that is either organic or imported.

Instead of American beer that could be made from fluoridated water, I drink beer from a country that doesn’t fluoridate (Belgium is my favorite!).

Instead of fruit juices that contain fluoride, I drink 100% fresh-pressed organic fruit juice not from concentrate (Lakewood makes some great ones).

These foods cost more than what I used to eat before I healed my acne, but I make up for it by saving money on facials, expensive skincare products, and acne treatments.   🙂

*This post is part of Fight Back Friday hosted at FoodRenegade.

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Rufus says:

Saw this today and thought of you!


Thanks, Rufus. I’m excited that Dr. Mercola is onboard with the anti-fluoridation effort! I believe it’s only a matter of time before the truth about fluoride is widely-accepted.

Monkeymome3 says:

God, how I wish that was true. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t trust the government to tell the truth about fluoride any time soon. BTW, I also read that there is fluoride in non stick cooking sprays.

kimberly pinnock says:

hi everybody im giving a comment for the first time and that too on this website i’m using this website to do my food and nutrition homework at vere technical high school mrs. Ricketts in jamacia which holds the fastest man in the world usain bolt. this website is helping me a lot so great job whoever created it.


I’m glad it’s been helpful, Kimberly! Thank you for your comment!

martin lake says:

This might be bad news but

Organic food producers still can use the tap and tap water contains fluorine. By picking organic you aren’t avoiding Fluoride and I’d guess most organic producers don’t even realise they are adding a chemical when they water the crops with common water.

Also Organic produces are still allowed to use a whole host of chemicals – they just aren’t allowed to use those on the organic list.

It’s a scam to feather someone’s nest.
My advice is if you want something doing properly – do it yourself and live in a community that supports you. To be healthy we pretty much need to isolate ourselves from mainstream culture.

Erica says:

Hi Melissa,

I get my fish heads from a fish monger who probably washes them with fluoridated and chlorinated water. Do you know if this water is somehow stored in the fish head? If so, should I avoid purchasing fish heads from them?


I don’t worry about foods that are washed with fluoridated water. It’s more important to make sure they are quality fish (wild instead of farmed, no dyes added, etc).

Erica says:

Thanks so much! I figured that our local farmers also use fluoridated and chlorinated water for their animals, too. You are right; it’s best to buy good quality foods and not worry about what kind of water they are washed in 🙂


Thankfully, a lot of farms use well water. We’re lucky to have a resurgence of traditional farms going on!

Erica says:

Wow, then our farmers probably use well water, lol. That would make much more sense since many don’t live in the city to have access to muncipal water… lucky them 🙂

Laura says:

Hi Melissa! I’ve recently got a few more cysts along the same right side of my mouth so I’m thinking some foods are still bothering me. (or I’m just not being patient enough since it’s only been a week since I stopped the major sources of fluoride!). I have some questions I hope you can help with. I am still eating the chex but am thinking about stopping. I also eat ArrowHead Mills puffed corn and rice. Do you think puffed organic cereals also have fluoride. Other potential problems could be Pace Salsa, Mission Corn Tortillas, and mustard all which have water as ingredients. What are your thoughts on these?
I’m struggling a bit with what I can eat if I cut these out. Is organic rice ok? What about items like masa to make my own tortillas? I saw someone else mention grains being an issue but I’m hoping that’s not the case with me! I’m thinking about getting some organic oats, some veges like kale and squash to eat (organic). Any other food items you can suggest for me who’s gluten free? Thank you so much for any advice you can give!


Unfortunately, any processed grain cereal like that could contain fluoride if it’s made with fluoridated water. It’s hard to say with the salsa, tortillas, and mustard. You could call the company and see if they use a fluoridated water source, or you could cut them out for a couple weeks and see if it makes a difference. That’s why I did. once my skin was completely clear, I added in suspect foods like that one at a time.

Organic oats are a good option, especially if you soak them overnight in an acidic medium such as yogurt. Organic rice is good, too. I like eating eggs for breakfast and some yogurt with fruit. For lunch, I usually go with a big salad with lots of chicken or beef and also a lot of fats (sour cream, cheese, various oils, etc). For dinner, I’m good with another protein source (fish, steak, shrimp, liver…) and a heap of veggies with butter. I hope this gives you some ideas, Laura!

Laura says:

Hi Melissa! I called ArrowHead Mills and they said that they could not tell me if they use water to manufacture their puffed cereals as it was part of their proprietary processing. So that was unfortunate 🙂 I have cut out the mustard and cut back on the tortillas and bought masa to make my own! I have been eating organic rice with vegetables instead and it’s fantastic! (With fresh parmesan cheese) I have gotten organic, farm fresh eggs and organic turkey tenderloins from Whole Foods and just found a local farmer to get farm fresh eggs! It’s funny how excited i am about eating all these fresh foods! Do you have a brand of organic oats that you prefer? I bought Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats and then realized that they’re not organic.
I have a couple more questions if you don’t mind answering them! (And thanks so much for answering all the others I have had!) Is Iodine something I should still be concerned about? I currently don’t have much fat in my diet (I eat egg whites, don’t use butter, etc) but would like to start eating the healthy fats that you mention. I have read that egg yolks and butter contain a good amount of iodine. Do you think it would be ok to introduce in egg yolks and then maybe the Kerrygold butter? Or even Olive or Canola Oil if butter has too much iodine. What are your thoughts on kale as well? I have heard it’s a great vegetable but can hinder thyroid function.
You mention in your fluoride guide to be cautious of pharmaceuticals. Does that include vitamins and supplements? I currently take a multivitamin and calcium supplement (due to Osteoporosis). I called Puritan’s Pride and they are looking into the water that is used in the creation of their calcium. I will let you know what they say so your reader’s can have that information!
Thank you for the food ideas you gave – those are fantastic! It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten real food and so far I am loving it! Hope you are doing well!


How bizarre that Arrowhead wouldn’t tell you if they use water in their puffed cereal. I would assume they do, but that’s just strange. Your rice dish sounds yummy. Quality cheese makes everything better! And you’re so lucky to have found farm fresh eggs! Even the organic ones at Whole Foods don’t compare to eggs that are straight from the farm. I like Bob’s Red Mill Oats just fine (I often buy them here).

About your iodine question, I don’t notice a fluoroderma reaction at all from the iodine in egg yolks or butter, and I eat both in abundance. However, I was wondering recently if the raw milk I occasionally drink in South Florida makes me break out because of the high iodine content. When I drink raw milk from Pennsylvania I don’t notice a reaction at all. I’m afraid I can’t offer much insight on Kale. I didn’t know if was supposed to hinder thyroid function! I’m more of a “swiss chard” kind of girl, myself. 🙂

I was confused about the pharmaceuticals issue myself when I first started exploring fluoride sources. Unlike with cereal, the fluoride in pharmaceuticals isn’t from water. Your question made me realize that I don’t know why some drugs are fluorinated! Here is the explanation from Wikipedia:

Positron emission tomography is commonly carried out using fluoride-containing pharmaceuticals such as fluorodeoxyglucose, which is labelled with the radioactive isotope fluorine-18, which emits positrons when it decays into 18O.

Numerous drugs contain fluorine including antipsychotics such as fluphenazine, HIV protease inhibitors such as tipranavir, antibiotics such as ofloxacin and trovafloxacin, and anesthetics such as halothane. Fluorine is incorporated in the drug structures to reduce drug metabolism, as the strong C-F bond resists deactivation in the liver by cytochrome P450 oxidases.

Fluoride salts are commonly used to inhibit the activity of phosphatases, such as serine/threonine phosphatases. Fluoride mimics the nucleophilic hydroxyl ion in these enzymes’ active sites. Beryllium fluoride and aluminium fluoride are also used as phosphatase inhibitors, since these compounds are structural mimics of the phosphate group and can act as analogues of the transition state of the reaction.

I don’t know if that clears anything up, though! You can find a list of fluorinated pharmaceuticals here: In addition to the ones on that list, I might also be suspicious of mineral supplements that are made from animal bone (it’s called Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate, or MCHC), especially if the animals aren’t grass fed. I hope this info is helpful!

Laura says:

Thanks so much Melissa! This is so very helpful. I am slowly taking out all the “bad” in my diet and trying to replace it with good. All the cereal is gone now and I am waiting on some organic oats to be shipped. I plan on eating egg yolks soon and am even getting organic popcorn to air pop with organic butter. (I’ve been eating bagged popcorn for years!) On a separate page on your site I asked what coconut oil you like to use as I am interested in trying it. I don’t get enough good fats in my diet aside from a large bowl of ice cream i eat every night. (I’ve eaten it for years as being a recovering anorexic I struggle to get enough calories to even try to gain weight!) Hopefully one day i can ditch the ice cream once i get used to eating all these good for you foods and fats! Thanks again Melissa – I plan on giving you a fluroderma update once I am a few weeks past stopping the cereal and processed tortillas!


It sounds like you are on an exciting adventure, Laura! I’m looking forward to hearing how it progresses. You are going to LOVE the popcorn. It’s so much better when it’s hot and fresh. I found some red kernels at Whole Foods that are pretty tasty. I like cooking them in coconut oil, and then adding a ton of butter when they’re done popping. Sometimes I’ll add cheese or nutritional yeast flakes (high in B vitamins) if I want an extra zing. So yummy!

Nick Cleary says:

You may need to rethink know your calcium/osteoporosis issue. Accessive amounts of calcium without enough magnesium to compliment it, worsens bone strength. Calcium is added to everything cuz it creates another idustry.

Jack says:

Hello Melissa,

Really great job on your article. No one in my family takes the fluoride issue seriously other than me.

I just recently found out about fluoride in tea bags and have gone from 3 cups per day to none straight away.

The biggest problem for me is water, we don’t really have wells in my part of the UK so I’m looking at a good quality filter that gets rid of most of it (I’ve read most have no effect on fluoride levels). In the mean time I’ve been drinking bottled water which I have been told by the company doesn’t contain any fluoride but I’m susceptible. Is there any way you know that I can test or know for certain is a water source contains fluoride?


Tim says:

I am glad to have come across this website. For quite a while now I have worked to limit my fluoride exposure, but I’ve been trying to remove what has accumulated over my life. Prunes are something to be bought first thing tomorrow morning.

One thing I can’t work out is whether or not I should water my garden vegetables with tap water. Right now I use reverse osmosis filtered water, but it gets quite pricy as you might imagine.

Daniel says:

Organic all the way

(real name ) lee hauser . says:

i was browsing quickly to repost a list of foods and bev …i came to your sight . i discovered a few years back though social media and then did some research my self …what i found made me so mad then sick …then mad again … im a father of three grown children …. and i as a kid took fluoride pills so when the dentist suggested them i did not refuse nor did i know at the time about fluoride and was happy to know it was in the water . but now i am so angry all three children had problems with yellowing teeth and pits ….clearly overdoses of fluoride most of there younger lives ….thanks for your page , time , and effort …good luck


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