Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published: November 2011. Next review: 2024.

Test diet - catecholamine / VMA / metanephrines

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To avoid foods high in catecholamines.


Avoids coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate, cocoa and vanilla.


This is a test diet used in the investigation of hypertension.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


The diet is usually required 24 hours prior to, and during, the test period.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishesAll -
Sauces, graviesAll -
Starchy vegetables / pasta / riceAll -
VegetablesAll -
SoupsAll -
SandwichesAll -
Salads, dressingsAll -
Breads, cerealsAllCoco Pops®
SpreadsAll othersNutella and chocolate spreads
Hot breakfast choicesAll -
FruitAll othersBananas
YoghurtAll othersBanana, coffee, vanilla or chocolate-flavoured yoghurts
DessertsAll others


Coffee, chocolate or vanilla-flavoured desserts

Milk and cheeseAllBanana, coffee, chocolate or vanilla-flavoured milk
BeveragesAll othersTea, coffee, cocoa
BiscuitsAll othersChocolate biscuits
Miscellaneous Vanilla


  1. Vorvick L. Catecholamines – blood. Medline Plus. [accessed 14 June 2010].
  2. St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. 2022. 24 hour urine catecholamines and 5HIAA collections. [accessed 21 May 2024].
  3. Weetman RM, Rider PS, Oei TO, Hempel JS, Baehner RL. Effect of diet on urinary excretion of VMA, HVA, metanephrine, and total free catecholamines in normal preschool children. J Paed 1976;88:46-50.
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