Top 10 Most Common Food Allergies

In the list you will find foods that you buy everyday.

1. Milk

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy among children, affecting about 2-3% of children, although many children will outgrow their allergy before school age.2,3 However, recent research indicates that children who have milk allergy may be less likely to outgrow their allergy than they were in previous decades

2.Eggs

An egg allergy is the second most common cause of food allergy in children

However, 68% of children who are allergic to eggs will outgrow their allergy by the time they’re 16.

Symptoms include:

  • Digestive distress, such as a stomach ache
  • Skin reactions, such as hives or a rash
  • Respiratory problems
  • Anaphylaxis (which is rare)

Interestingly, it’s possible to be allergic to egg whites, but not the yolks, and vice versa. This is because the proteins in egg whites and egg yolks differ slightly.

Yet most of the proteins that trigger an allergy are found in egg whites, so an egg white allergy is more common

Like other allergies, the treatment for an egg allergy is an egg-free diet (13).

However, you may not have to avoid all egg-related foods, as heating eggs can change the shape of the allergy-causing proteins. This can stop your body from seeing them as harmful, meaning they’re less likely to cause a reaction

3.Fish

Fish allergy can often cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis. Adults are more likely to have an allergic reaction to fish and shellfish than children, which is probably because adults eat these foods more often.

People who are allergic to one type of fish, such as cod, often react to other types of fish, such as hake, haddock, mackerel, and whiting.

This is because the allergens in these fish are quite similar. Cooking doesn’t destroy fish allergens. In fact, some people with a fish allergy can be allergic to cooked but not raw fish.

4.Wheat

Wheat contains the protein gluten which people who suffer from the coeliac disease are allergic to. In many cases, a person suffering from the coeliac disease can tolerate rice but not other wheat-related grains such as oats, rye or barley. Currently, there is no cure for the coeliac disease and those who suffer from it are typically advised to refrain from eating foods that contain gluten.

If gluten is ingested, a person who is allergic to it can experience various symptoms, ranging from mild to life-threatening. They can include:

  • Inflammation in the abdomen and bowel, which is often painful
  • Diarrhoea, bloating and cramping
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle pains
  • Skin irritations

5.Peanuts

Peanut allergy affects between 1-2% of children and 0.6% of the overall U.S. population.2 Peanut allergic individuals may experience mild to life-threatening reactions, which can be unpredictable.

To prevent an allergic reaction to peanuts, all foods that contain or may contain peanuts should be avoided. Peanuts must be listed on food labels under the ingredient list or in a “contains” statement. Lupin is not a peanut ingredient, but has been reported to cause cross-reactivity reactions for peanut allergic individuals. 

6.Tree Nuts

A tree nut allergy is an allergy to some of the nuts and seeds that come from trees.It’s a very common food allergy that’s thought to affect around 1% of the US population

Some examples of tree nuts include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts

People with a tree nut allergy will also be allergic to food products made with these nuts, such as nut butters and oils.

7.Soybean

Soybean allergy is a common childhood allergy. Most people grow out of it by the age of two, but occasionally adults are allergic to soybean. The symptoms of soybean allergy are similar to milk allergy, and they include:

  • rashes
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps

Some people with soybean allergy might also react to milk. Very rarely, soybean can cause anaphylaxis.

Soybean is used as an ingredient in about two-thirds of all manufactured food products, including bakery goods, sweets, drinks, breakfast cereals, ice cream, margarine, pasta, processed meats, and seasoned foods.

8.Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are especially potent when it comes to food allergens and are most often a lifelong allergy. An allergy to sesame seeds is also particularly difficult to control as the food label does not always specifically say sesame seeds. Other names indicate the presence of sesame seeds; for example, sim sim, benne or gingelly seeds. Both the people suffering from sesame seed allergies and food handlers need to be aware of each different name that can indicate the presence of sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are tiny and it doesn’t take many to cause and allergic reaction. Some of the symptoms can be:

  • Skin irritations and rashes
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Itchy mouth, throat or eyes
  • Swelling of the face, nose or mouth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anaphylactic reactions – in severe cases

9.Crustacean Shellfish

Shellfish allergy may affect as many as 2.6% of women and 1.5% of men.2Crustacean shellfish includes shrimp, lobster and crab and are the foods within the shellfish category that cause the most…Read More

allergic reactions, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.7Mollusks, such as scallops, clams and mussels, are often tolerated by those with shellfish allergy, but allergic individuals should discuss the risks with their healthcare provider. As with all food allergies, careful avoidance should be maintained to avoid accidental ingestion of allergenic food. Avoiding seafood restaurants and foods with “seafood” in the name (ex. “seafood chowder”) is an important strategy for avoidance. 

Common foods that may contain crustacean shellfish (not an exhaustive list): 

✓ Shrimp, lobster and crab
✓ Prawns
✓ Crayfish or crawfish
✓ “Fish” or “seafood” broth Asian sauces or sauce mixes
✓ Sushi
✓ Artificial crab sticks (surimi)
✓ Seafood or artificial flavoring

10.Other common food allergies

People can be allergic to almost any food. As a result, there are many allergies that affect a lot of people but aren’t part of the big eight; these include:

  • Cereal allergy – the most common foods in this category are oats, wheat, maize (corn), rice, rye, and barley.
  • Coconut allergy – uncommon, though patients may experience anaphylaxis. Those with other nut allergies are more likely to be allergic to coconut.
  • Fruit and vegetable allergy – allergic reactions to fruits and vegetables are usually mild. Cooking vegetables often destroys the allergens.
  • Pine nut allergy – pine nuts can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. People who are allergic to pine nuts might also react to peanuts and nuts, such as almonds.
  • Meat allergy – people with a meat allergy might react to beef, mutton, pork, or chicken. Cooking destroys some of the allergens in meat, but some people will still react.
  • Quorn allergy – Quorn is a type of protein, which is made from a fungus. There have been some reports of intolerance to Quorn, but this is not surprising because allergens are usually proteins.
  • Rice allergy – people who are allergic to rice can react when they eat it or when they inhale its pollen.
  • Spice allergy – reactions to spices are usually mild, but severe reactions can happen occasionally. Some people react to mustard, coriander, caraway, fennel, paprika, or saffron.

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