Food Allergens

Allergens ~ Nutrition News

It’s estimated that as many as 1.2 million Canadians are affected by food allergies.

And these numbers are increasing, especially among children.

The food products most associated with severe allergic reactions.

Are eggs, milk, peanuts, seafood, sesame, soy, sulphites, tree nuts, and wheat.

And, food allergies can affect people of all ages.

They're particularly common in children.

Egg Allergy

Raw & Cooked Eggs

Some people with a mild egg allergy can safely eat small amounts of cooked eggs, but have reactions to raw eggs.

Although cooking can alter the structure of egg protein.

Some of the allergenic proteins are heat stable.

So cooked eggs can still trigger reactions.

You'll want to consult your allergist.

Before trying any "new" foods that contain or even "may" contain eggs.

Can you outgrow an egg allergy?

Studies show.

For many children with an egg allergy, the allergy will disappear within a few years.

For some, a severe egg allergy can be a life-long condition.

Again, consult your allergist before re-introducing your child to egg products.

Egg allergen in chicken meat.

Eggs are sometimes present in the bodies of slaughtered mature female birds.

Although processes such as rinsing and water-chilling help to remove traces of egg.

Tests have shown that residual amounts can remain in and on the carcasses of mature poultry.

And thus, in products made from mature poultry.

As a result, people with a severe egg allergy have had reactions.

After consuming processed chicken products containing mature poultry meat.

Before consuming products containing poultry meat.

Review the labels for any precautionary statements.

Warning about the possible presence of egg.

Read the labels.

Read ingredient lists and learn to identify other names for eggs, such as albumin.

Milk Allergy

Milk Allergy or Lactose Intolerance

A milk allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to milk proteins.

And it can be life-threatening.

Intolerance to lactose occurs when a person can’t digest lactose.

A primary component of milk, because their body doesn’t produce enough of a specific enzyme.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea.

If you're unsure whether you have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerance.

Consult your G.P. or an allergist.

Outgrowing a milk allergy.

Studies suggest that up to four percent of infants are allergic to milk.

For many of these infants the allergy will disappear within a few years.

A severe milk allergy though, can be a lifelong condition.

Consult your allergist before reintroducing your child to milk products.

Read the labels for allergens,

Read the ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for milk, such as lactose and casein.

Peanut Allergy

Lifelong Peanut Allergy

People tend to develop a peanut allergy in childhood.

And most of these people will remain allergic to peanuts for life.

Tree nuts and peanut allergy.

While tree nuts and peanuts are different.

In some rare cases people with a peanut allergy also react to one or more tree nuts.

Consult your allergist before eating any nut that is not a regular part of your diet.

Read the labels for allergens.

Don’t eat a food or product if the label has precautionary statements such as “may contain peanuts”.

Read ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for peanuts, such as goober nuts.

Seafood Allergy

Fish, Crustaceans & shellfish - Differing Allergies

People with allergies to one type of seafood.

Like fish, crustaceans (lobster, crab, etc.) and shellfish (oysters, mollusks, etc.).

May not be allergic to other kinds of seafood.

Studies suggest that seafood allergies tend to fall within groups.

In fact, many people are only allergic to a single type of seafood.

For example, some people can eat fish safely but react to crustaceans such as crab and lobster.

If you’re allergic to one type of seafood such as fish.

Consult your allergist before trying other types, such as crustaceans and shellfish.

You don’t have to eat seafood to have a reaction

People with a severe fish, crustacean and shellfish allergy.

Can experience allergic reactions even without eating these foods.

Exposure to allergens and proteins carried in cooking vapors.

Such as sizzling fish or steam from a lobster pot.

And on dishes used to prepare and present these foods (such as sizzling skillets).

Have been reported to trigger an allergic reaction.

Lifelong seafood allergy.

Crustacean and shellfish allergies affect adults and are rare among young children.

In North America, fish allergies are more predominant in adults.

While in countries where fish is a dietary staple.

Fish allergies are common among both adults and children.

Allergies to fish, crustaceans and shellfish are usually lifelong conditions.

Read the labels.

Don’t eat a food or product if the label has precautionary statements such as “may contain seafood”.

Again, read ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for seafood, such as kamaboko.

Do not consume a food or product if there is no ingredient list.

Or if there is a risk that the product might have been in contact with the seafood that you are allergic to.

Sesame Allergy

Sesame Oil

People who are allergic to sesame seeds should also avoid sesame oil.

Very few sesame oils on the market.

Are refined enough to remove the proteins that can trigger allergic reactions.

Read the labels for the allergens.

Read ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for sesame, such as tahini.

If there is not enough information to make a decision.

You can always call to ask the company or speak to a knowledgeable person at a restaurant.

Soy Allergy

A soy allergy is most common in infants and develops around three months of age.

While for most children, a soy allergy will disappear within a few years.

A severe soy allergy can be a lifelong condition.

Consult your allergist before reintroducing your child to soy products.

Soy Oil

People who are allergic to soy may not need to avoid soy oil.

Soy oils on the market tend to be refined.

Enough to remove all the proteins that can trigger allergic reactions.

But, you should consult your allergist before eating anything made with soy oils.

Read the labels for allergens.

Don’t eat a food or product if the label has precautionary statements such as “may contain soy”.

Read ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for soy, such as edamame.

Sulphite Sensitivity

Allergy or Sensitivity

True allergic reactions only occur after exposure to an allergenic protein.

Since sulphites are not proteins, a reaction to sulphites is not due to an allergy but to a sensitivity.

A sulphite sensitive person.

May experience the same life-threatening symptoms during a reaction to sulphites.

As occurs during an allergic reaction.

Where are sulphites.

Sulphites are added to some processed foods.

To maintain colour, prolong shelf life and prevent the growth of microorganisms.

Sulphites are also sometimes used to bleach food starches.

And, are used in the production of some packaging materials, such as cellophane.

The use of sulphites in food is regulated under Canadian law.

Read the Labels

Read ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for sulphites, such as potassium bisulphite.

Tree Nut Allergy

Nuts of concern for a tree nut allergy.

Some tree nuts are considered to be priority allergens in Canada.

These are;

Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

There are other tree nuts.

Not included in this list that can also cause allergic reactions in rare instances.

Tree nuts and peanuts.

People with tree nut allergies may be allergic to a single type of tree nut.

Or they may be allergic to two or more different tree nuts.

Although the peanut is part of the legume family and not a tree nut.

Some people with tree nut allergies also react to peanuts.

Consult your allergist before eating peanuts or any tree nut that is not a regular part of your diet.

Read the labels

Read ingredient lists.

And learn to identify other names for tree nuts, such as nut meats or filberts.

Wheat Allergy

Wheat Allergy or Celiac Disease?

There are important differences between a wheat allergy and celiac disease.

A wheat allergy causes a person’s immune system to react to proteins found only in wheat.

Celiac disease.

Is a disorder that triggers abnormal immune reactions to the gluten found in wheat. (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, and triticale.

For people with celiac disease.

Eating food with gluten can damage the lining of their small intestines.

Thus impairing their ability to absorb nutrients.

This can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, malnutrition and other serious health consequences.

Consult your allergist or a physician if you suspect you have a wheat allergy or celiac disease.

Outgrowing a wheat allergy.

A wheat allergy develops mostly in infants.

And tends to disappear within five years.

Adults who develop a wheat allergy, are likely to keep it.

Consult your allergist before reintroducing your child to wheat products.

Exercise and wheat allergy.

A rare and poorly understood condition known as food-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

Is mostly linked to wheat.

Although other foods have also been known to trigger this condition.

People with this condition can experience anaphylactic reactions.

When they exercise soon after eating a particular food allergen.

They do not react, if they delay exercise by several hours.

Read the labels

If you’re allergic to any of the above.

The only way to avoid a reaction.

Is to avoid all food and products that contain these allergens and their derivatives.

Don’t eat a food or product if the label has precautionary statements such as “may contain”.

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