If you or someone you know has an allergy, you know how important it is to be careful about what you eat. Some food items can trigger serious reactions, and it’s important to know which ones to avoid.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss which food items need extra caution around allergies. We’ll also provide some tips on how to stay safe when eating out or traveling.
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Foods that commonly trigger allergies
There are eight foods that commonly trigger allergies, and they are:
Allergies to these foods can cause a variety of symptoms, from mild (rash, hives, itching, swelling, trouble breathing) to severe (anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening). If you have any type of food allergy, it’s important to know how to avoid your triggers and what to do if you have a reaction.
Allergy-safe alternatives to common trigger foods
There are many potential triggers for allergies, and it can be difficult to avoid them all. However, there are some general strategies you can use to reduce your risk of exposure. One is to choose allergy-safe alternatives to common trigger foods.
Some safe alternatives to common trigger foods include:
-Non-dairy milk (such as soy milk or almond milk) for dairy milk
-Oat milk for cow’s milk
-Rice milk for cow’s milk
-Potatoes for wheat/gluten
-Sweet potatoes for wheat/gluten
-Quinoa for wheat/gluten
-Sorghum for wheat/gluten
-Amaranth for wheat/gluten
-Buckwheat for wheat/gluten
Tips for avoiding cross-contamination of allergens
When it comes to food allergies, even the most vigilant consumer can’t be too careful. Cross-contamination is a real concern, and even trace amounts of an allergen can trigger a reaction. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the potential for cross-contamination and to take steps to avoid it.
There are a few key areas where cross-contamination is most likely to occur:
-In the food manufacturing process, where allergens can be introduced during handling or packaging
-In restaurants, where foods may come into contact with surfaces or utensils that have been contaminated with allergens
-In the home, where Foods may come into contact with surfaces or utensils that have been contaminated with allergens
Here are some tips for avoiding cross-contamination of allergens:
-Read labels carefully and look for warnings about potential allergens
-Wash hands thoroughly after handling any foods that may contain allergens
-Wash surfaces and utensils thoroughly after they have come into contact with any foods that may contain allergens
-Keep food separate from other food items to avoid cross contamination
How to read food labels for allergens
If you or someone in your family has food allergies, it’s important to learn how to read food labels for allergens. Knowing how to read labels can help you avoid foods that may contain ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that food labels include information about the presence of any of the eight major food allergens. These include:
Manufacturers must list these allergens in plain language on the ingredient label. If a product contains an ingredient that is derived from one of these allergens, the label must say so. For example, if a product contains whey, which is derived from milk, the label would have to say “Contains: milk.”
In some cases, manufacturers may use other terms on their labels to warn consumers about potential allergens. For example, they may use the following phrases: “May contain,” “Processed in a facility that also processes,” or “Manufactured on shared equipment with.” These phrases are not required by law, but some manufacturers may choose to use them voluntarily.
What to do if you have an allergic reaction
If you have an allergic reaction, it is important to:
-Call your doctor or get to an emergency room right away.
-Tell the doctor or allergist what happened, when it happened, how much you took, and how long ago it happened.
-If you have a severe reaction, the doctor may give you a shot of epinephrine (Adrenaclick, EpiPen). Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for a severe allergic reaction.
-If you have been prescribed epinephrine, make sure that you carry it with you at all times.
First aid for severe allergic reactions
If someone you’re with has a severe allergic reaction, you should give them their emergency medication if they have it with them. If they don’t have any emergency medication, or if the reaction doesn’t start to go away after giving them the medication, call 911 right away.
While you wait for help to arrive, try to stay calm and follow these instructions:
-Lay the person down on their back and raise their legs up slightly. This will help blood flow through their body and decrease swelling.
-If they are having trouble breathing, give them rescue breaths. If you don’t know how to do this, perform CPR until help arrives.
-If they are vomiting or bleeding from their mouth, turn their head to the side so they don’t choke on their vomit or blood.
-Apply a cold compress to the affected area to help reduce swelling.
-Do not give them anything to eat or drink, even if they say they feel better.
When to see a doctor for allergies
If you have a food allergy, it’s important to know when to see a doctor. Some symptoms, like a rash or swelling, can be treated at home, but others, like difficulty breathing, can be life-threatening.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor right away:
-Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
-Dizziness or lightheadedness
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should call 911:
-Passing out or unresponsiveness
Types of allergy testing
There are two general types of allergy testing: skin prick testing and blood testing. Skin prick testing involves placing a small drop of an allergen on the skin and then making a small prick in the skin to allow the allergen to enter. If you are allergic to the allergen, you will typically develop a small bump or hive at the site within 15 minutes. Blood testing for allergies is a little more involved. A blood sample is taken and then exposed to different allergens. If you are allergic to any of the allergens, your body will produce antibodies in response. The level of antibodies present in your blood can be indicative of how severe your allergy is.
Living with food allergies
If you have a food allergy, you need to be careful about the foods you eat to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction. But did you know that there are some foods that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than others?
There are eight foods that account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Some people are allergic to one or two of these foods, while others may be allergic to several.
Some people outgrow their allergies as they get older. For example, children who are allergic to cow’s milk often outgrow their allergy by the time they are five years old. However, people who are allergic to peanuts may never outgrow their allergy.
If you have a food allergy, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your condition and how to manage it. You should also talk to your doctor about what you can do to minimize your risk of a serious reaction.
Resources for families with food allergies
If you or a family member has a food allergy, it’s important to be vigilant about what you eat. Some food items need extra caution, as they are more likely to cause reactions. Here are some resources to help you make informed choices about what to eat:
-The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network provides information and resources for families dealing with food allergies. They have a list of common allergens, as well as tips for avoiding them.
-The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also has a list of common allergens and tips for avoiding them. They also have an allergy-friendly recipe section on their website.
-AllergyEats is a website that allows users to search for restaurants that are friendly to specific allergies. You can search by allergen, as well as by city or state.