7 Most Common Food Allergies

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

7 Most Common Food Allergies. Which food allergies should you watch out
for? Food allergies are dangerous and sometimes
can be life-threatening. To avoid a potentially hazardous situation,
it’s important, especially with children, to be aware of what the common food allergies
are and the kinds of food that contain these allergens. We spoke with Dr. Clifford Bassett, a food
allergy specialist, who helped us compile a list of some of the most prevalent food
allergies. Dr. Bassett rounded up seven of the most common
food allergies that you should watch out for. Some of the items listed can be disguised
in other foods and you might not even realize that you’re eating them. For example, if you are allergic to milk,
did you know you should read the label for canned tuna? Read on for some of Dr. Bassett’s tips for
how to avoid common food allergies and to learn where some allergens might be hiding. His advice for anyone with food allergies
is to always “ask before the first bite.” As much as we would love to not have to worry
about allergic reactions, it’s a reality that many of us must face on a daily basis. To avoid serious harm, get checked out by
your doctor to determine exactly what foods you are allergic to. And remember, make yourself aware of these
common food allergies, always read labels, and don’t be afraid to ask for ingredients. Eggs. This allergy is more common in young children,
and in many cases may be outgrown by the time kids reach school age. However, an egg allergy is the second most
common food allergy in children. Eggs and egg products are frequently present
in a variety of foods with “glazing,” or in baked goods with an “egg wash.” In most cases, the egg white is the food allergen,
although if you’re allergic you need to avoid the entire egg due to the white’s cross-contact
with the yolk. Fish. The most common individual fish allergies
are salmon, tuna, and halibut. If you have a fish allergy to one type of
fish, about one-half of those affected may react to another type of fish. Cross-contamination in prep surfaces and storage
in fish markets, seafood restaurants, and the like are responsible for the increased
risk of finding this common food allergen present in your dish. In fact, in some restaurants, fish can be
found in a variety of sauces, marinades, and even marinara pasta sauce to enhance their
flavors. Cow’s Milk. Cow’s milk is the number one food allergy
in infants and young children, but there’s good news — most young children outgrow
milk allergy by school age. Milk proteins may be found as “hidden” ingredients
in many food items, though, even in canned tuna! A milk allergy is frequently confused with
lactose intolerance, an intestinal inability to properly digest cow’s milk (lactose sugar)
that is responsible for maldigestion with symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach
upset. Testing can help determine if you have cow’s
milk or lactose intolerance or a true cow’s milk allergy. Nuts. Nut allergies rank high on this list due to
the changing nature of various diets and a high risk of exposure on menus at bakeries;
dessert, ice cream, and yogurt shops; and Mexican, Thai, and other Asian restaurants,
where nuts are common ingredients. If a food label says, “may contain nuts,”
take it very seriously. According to researchers, even a minute amount
of the allergen can wreak havoc and send your child to the local ER. In most cases, if you are allergic to one
nut, it is prudent to avoid all tree nuts, especially with the ease of cross-contamination. It is estimated that about one in 10 individuals
who are sensitive and react to tree nuts may outgrow their allergy. Peanuts. One of the most common food allergens is the
peanut, and it’s not the same as a tree nut. In fact, peanuts are actually below-ground
grown legumes. Having a peanut allergy does not imply you
are allergic to other legumes. About 20 percent of those with peanut allergy
can outgrow this often scary and serious food allergy, but for those who remain allergic,
it is one of the leading causes of serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions
in the U.S. Government researchers have found a doubling
in the number of sufferers, particularly children, over the past decade or so. The allergy appears to be more prevalent when
peanuts are “roasted” rather than “boiled,” as is more common overseas, and particularly
in Asia. Shellfish. This widely popular food source is fast becoming
by far the number one food allergen in adults in the U.S. There are two main types of shellfish allergies:
first, crustacean allergies, such as lobster, shrimp, and crab, and second, mollusk allergies,
such as scallop, clam, and mussels. In many cities and towns, there has been an
explosion in the number of sushi, seafood, or Asian-based dining venues where shellfish
is prevalent on the menu. It is very unlikely that once a shellfish
allergy is established that one will actually outgrow it; in fact, that occurs in less than
one out of five shellfish-allergic persons. Soy. Soy is one of the top causes of food allergies
in the U.S., particularly among babies and children, and is required to be labeled by
the FDA since the advent of revised food allergen labeling laws. However, most children outgrow a soy allergy
by the age of 3. Soy is very prevalent in the food supply,
particularly in processed foods, and may be found in a very large amount of foods, particularly
packaged ones. In some cases, one can react to soy milk but
perhaps not tofu or edamame, as it is unclear whether there are distinct differences in
these various forms of soy.

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