Usually, the foods causing allergic reactions vary from person to person. However, there are certain common foods that are found to cause allergic reactions in people having food allergies. A list of such typical foods has been compiled here that includes milk, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish, tree nuts, artificial sweeteners, food containing mold, sulfite and salicylates. Consumption of any of these can cause strong reactions in a person allergic to food and may sometimes even need serious medical intervention. Therefore, the best way to deal with the problem is to simply avoid these foods and eliminate them from your diet.
Milk is one of the most common foods that causes strong food allergy. To keep away from milk, you have to remove all dairy products from your diet. In addition to that, many processed or ready-to-eat foods contain milk. Therefore, read the label for the ingredients before buying any processed food. To avoid milk, you have to eliminate a long list of food items from your diet that include milk, milk solids, milk powder, yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, butter, cream, cottage cheese, whey and whey products, ice creams, chocolate, cream candy, custard, coffee creamers, margarine, white sauces, creamed foods, puddings, sour cream, etc. Eating any of these food may result in bloating, stomach pain or even diarrhea. However, since dairy products are good sources of calcium and Vitamin D, you must get yourself the required nourishment with substitute foods like broccoli, spinach, soy products, etc. You can try to substitute cow’s milk with rice, soy or almond milk. You can also try non-dairy ice-cream, chocolate, margarine, cheese and yogurt.
If you are allergic to peanuts then expect to live your entire life with it, as, unlike many of the food allergies, peanut allergy does not go away with time. Peanut allergy is one of the most common and most dangerous of food allergies. It can cause severe life threatening symptoms such as anaphylaxis. Hence, you should avoid consumption of peanut butter, peanut oil, peanut flour, mixed nuts, artificial nuts, ground nuts, nougat, baked foods like cookies and pastries, candy, marzipan, egg rolls, etc. to keep yourself safe from peanut allergy. Thai, Africa, Chinese and other ethnic cuisines often contain peanut. So, be alert when consuming such foods. You should always check food labels for Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein since these two ingredients are derived from peanuts.
Though egg allergies are found in adults too, but it’s infants and young children who are more prone to developing an egg allergy. However, egg allergy often doesn’t last long or for a lifetime. Egg is a common ingredient in many foods and therefore we often consume it without even knowing that it is present in that particular food. Therefore, it is essential for you to be alert and find out the ingredients of the foods that you intake. Read food labels to find out terms like livetin, globulin, albumin, lecithin, phosvitin, apovitellenin, ovovitellin, ovomuciod, ovomucin and ovalbumin which refer to egg proteins. Apart from that, avoid eggs in dried, powder or solid form and in foods like cake, cookies, pudding, custard, cream pies, ice cream, eggnog, egg noodles, egg rolls, mayonnaise, frosting, food cooked in batting, marshmallows, muffins, doughnuts, waffles, souffles, tartar sauce, Hollandaise sauce, etc.
Soy, in different forms, is often used in various kinds of food preparations and processed food items. So, if you have soy allergy then you must be aware of the ingredients of the food that you consume. You must avoid soy and soy products like soy milk, sprouts, nuts, fruits flour, soybean curd, soybean granule, etc. Your diet should also exclude foods like tofu, tamari, vegetable broth, soy sauce, miso, tempeh, ice cream, yogurt, cheese made of soy or containing soy. Soy may be included while making cereals, crackers, baked goods, soups, infant formula, sauces, sausage, deli meats, etc. Read labels for ingredients that say soy protein, hydrolyzed soy, vegetable or plant protein, vegetable gum, vegetable starch, textured vegetable protein, etc and avoid the products, if you are allergic to soy.
Wheat allergy is yet again a very commonly found food allergy. People with wheat allergy are basically allergic to the proteins that are contained in wheat. If you have wheat allergy you have to maintain a distance from wheat products like whole wheat or enriched flour, bran, starch, wheat starch, modified starch, wheat malt, durum, farina, bulgur, high gluten or high protein flour, graham flour and semolina. You must also keep away from foods made with wheat such as breads, cookies, cakes, pasta, crackers, spelt, many cereals, couscous etc. Look out for ingredients like wheat germ, wheat bran, wheat gluten, vegetable starch or gum, gluten, vital gluten, etc. in labels of processed or prepared foods. You can use products of oats, rye, rice barley or corn as a substitute for wheat or wheat products.
Fish and shellfish
Mostly fish and shellfish allergies last for an entire lifetime. It might be that you are particularly allergic to any specific kind of fish in which case you can surely indulge in delicacies of other kinds of fish. Or else, you should avoid any kind of fish consumption. Some of the foods that contain fish are Caesar salad, roe, caviar, Worcestershire sauce and imitation seafood. Varieties of shellfish include crabs, shrimps, oysters, scallops, cockle or sea urchins, abalone, clams, craw fish or cray fish, lobster, mussels, etc. Unless you are sure of the kind of shellfish you are allergic to, it is safe to avoid all shellfish varieties.
Tree nut allergy is a permanent allergy which does not have a solution other than avoiding foods that contain tree nuts in them. Tree nuts include almonds, cashew, walnut, chestnut, Brazil nut, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts and filberts. Products made of tree nuts include, nut paste, nut extracts, nut oil, nut butters, nougat, artificial nuts, etc. It is advised that you stay away from all items that include nuts in them, even if you are particularly allergic to any one kind of nut, as often the threat of cross contamination exists during the processing of nuts in food items.
Foods containing salicylates
There are certain chemicals that are found in all plants which are known as salicylates. These chemicals are often used for preparing medications, and health and beauty products. Salicylates are also present in many vegetables and fruits. The reaction to salicylates allergy can be mild to severe. You may experience breathing troubles, nasal congestion, headache, itching, skin rashes, changes in skin color, hives, stomach ache, swelling of hands, legs or face, etc. In a severe case of allergy, a person may experience the life threatening condition of anaphylaxis. So, with salicylates allergy you must keep away from fruits like apple, dates, fig, avocado, kiwi fruit, plums, grapes, strawberry, prunes, grapefruit, cherries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Vegetables that contain the chemical are cauliflower, mushroom, eggplant, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, radish, alfalfa, broad beans and peppers. Other sources of salicylates are some dry spices and powders, tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, instant coffee, orange juice, wine, apple cider, beer, rum, sherry, tea, nuts, a variety of candies and some medicines like aspirin.
Foods containing sulfites
Sulfites can be naturally present in a food or can be added to a food to enhance its taste or preserve it. You can turn allergic to sulfites at any age and usually the allergic reactions are severe enough to cause anaphylaxis. You can find sulfites in a large number of cooked and processed goods. To avoid sulfite allergies keep away from foods like dried fruits, potato chips, jams, picked goods, baked goods, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, soup mixes, gravies, trail mix, vegetable juices, apple cider, tea, alcohol, wine, beer, bottled lemon and lime juice, fresh or frozen shrimp, guacamole, molasses, etc.
Foods containing mold
We are exposed to a little amount of mold everyday but that doesn’t have any ill effect on us. We often unknowingly consume foods where mold is present. If you are allergic to mold you will get allergic reactions when exposed to an increased amount of the fungus. Mold allergies include itchy and watery eyes, running nose, rash or hives on the skin and trouble in breathing. Therefore, you should avoid foods that are very common sources of mold such as cheese, mushrooms, beer and wine, vinegar, foods containing vinegar like pickles, sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, dried fruits like raisins, dates, figs, etc., pickled and smoked fish and meat, sour breads, meat or fish stale for 24 hours or more and sauerkraut.
Artificial chemical sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners contain ingredients that are mostly man-made substances. You should avoid using artificial sweeteners to sweeten your beverages or other foods and also avoid consumption of soft drinks or other drinks that contain artificial sweeteners. There are around 80,000 products that contain artificial sweeteners in them. Read the label before buying or consuming any processed or packaged food item. You can use Stevia, in liquid or powder form, as an alternative to artificial chemical sweeteners. Stevia is safe to use and has been used as a sweetener in South America and Japan for years.