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Safe Food for Nut Allergies: What Should You Eat and Not Eat?

Safe Food for Nut Allergies: What Should You Eat and Not Eat?

When we think about structuring a diet and building a life around allergies, we usually only think about having to avoid it as an ingredient. However, this isn’t the case for peanut, tree nut, and nut allergies because cross-contamination can pose a huge risk to someone’s health. So what is considered safe food for nut allergies?

What to avoid

It should go without saying but avoiding nuts, peanuts, tree nuts, and any of their byproducts should be your first priority. This means always reading food labels and avoiding whatever you’re allergic to. Allergies to nuts, peanuts, and tree nuts don’t always come all together so make sure to check with your doctor if any of your favorite foods are safe for you to consume.

However, it’s important to know that tree nuts and peanuts often are manufactured and processed using the same or similar equipment which could put them at risk of cross-contamination.

This means that even if you’re not allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts, eating the one you’re not allergic to might still cause allergic reactions due to cross-contamination. This is the same for anything that could come in contact with your allergens, making them food to avoid for those with nut allergies.

Hidden allergens

When reading food labels or an ingredient list, peanuts and peanut by-products could not be made obvious. It’s important to do your research on any ingredients that you might not be familiar with, especially when you’re trying it for the first time.

Some ingredients to avoid are

  • Arachis oil
  • Artificial nuts
  • Beer nuts
  • Cold-pressed peanut oil
  • Groundnuts
  • Mandelonas
  • Mixed nuts
  • Nut meat
  • Nut pieces
  • Byproducts like peanut butter, peanut flour, and peanut protein hydrolysate

Most candy, including chocolate candy, is processed with the same equipment as peanuts. This means that you may need to avoid these as well.

When ordering food

Though it’s preferable for you to only consume food made by you or someone you trust who is aware of your allergies and knowledgeable in handling them, there’s no need to completely miss out on ordering food as long as you scrutinize what goes into it.

Make sure to read food labels and be vigilant in asking about ingredients for food prepared by others. This involves informing them about your allergies and the extent of their effect, ensuring that food is prepared in a sanitary way to avoid cross-contamination, and asking which dishes don’t have any of your allergens. It’s also important to ask about the glazes and marinades used in the dishes.

Make sure to pay attention to the sauces and garnishes you’re using as well. Chili, chili oil, and other premixed spices could either include nuts or have come in contact with it. The same goes for egg rolls, hot sauce, gravy, mole, enchilada sauce, and salad dressing. Food served with pancakes, ice cream, or nougat, and marzipan such as sweets like pudding and other baked goods could also trigger allergic reactions so it’s best to stay away.

Common misconceptions

A common misconception is thinking that being allergic to peanuts means being allergic to tree nuts and nuts in general. However, this isn’t the case because peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re legumes.

Another common misconception is thinking that refined peanut oil is not safe food for nut allergies. As long as they’re of good quality and manufactured in a sanitary way, they usually pose no risk even to people with peanut allergies. In any case, it’s best to consult your doctor to make sure if food with refined peanut oil is food to avoid for nut allergies or not.

Key Takeaways

It’s best to avoid the food that you think has not been prepared properly. In addition, make sure to always have medication ready and stay vigilant about what goes in what you eat.

Learn more about Special Diets here.

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Written by Tracey Romero Updated May 17
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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