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Important Info About Food Allergies

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Although you may develop food allergies at any age, most of them occur in childhood. About half of the adults developed their allergies when they grew up. After finding out that you're allergic to something, there's one question that lingers on your mind. What can you eat?

What Should You Eat?

Avoid allergic food to avoid allergic reactions. That's the easiest way to stop the symptoms. The problem is that nothing is as simple as it looks.

Many food and agricultural products include additives that you might never suspect or are cross-contaminated in the processing or cooking phase with allergens. It's a chore to read ingredient labels and menus. So, to prevent your food allergy symptoms, you have to be vigilant in your research and pose questions at restaurants and food outlets.

Fortunately, all Food and Drug Administration approved products are expected to display the main food allergens on their labels.

It has been documented that there are more than 170 different foods that induce an allergic reaction. Before you purchase or consume something, read the food packaging. And research the allergen to discover all the unexpected ways it may get in your diet.

Shellfish Allergy

For adults, shellfish is a major food allergen. Crustaceans such as crab, lobster, and shrimp trigger the majority of reactions, and the reactions are usually severe. Mollusks are a form of shellfish that includes scallops, clams, oysters, and mussels. It's rare for mollusks to cause allergies. Many people who have allergic reactions to crustaceans are often not allergic to mollusks, so food manufacturers aren't legally obliged to put mollusks on the food labels.

If you have severe allergic reactions to shellfish, you may want to avoid sushi and seafood restaurants altogether. And if you're interested in Asian cuisine, speak to someone in the restaurant before consuming some Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, or Korean food. Your allergist may also suggest you stop eating mollusks at restaurants due to the risk of cross-contamination.

Tree Nut Allergy

Tree nuts include a wide range of nuts, such as cashews, pistachios and, almonds. If you're allergic to one form of tree nut, you may be allergic to another.

Peanuts are different, as they don't grow on trees. But they are also processed and stored in the same places, so if you swap your tree nut items for peanut products, you must take extra care. Tree nuts are used in cookies, ice creams, and pastries, forcing you to stay away from ice cream parlors and bakeries.

Even if you believe you have food allergy symptoms, there's a good chance that you may be wrong. You may be intolerant or sensitive to certain foods or nuts. Consult an allergist before you start changing your dietary habits.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Alpharetta, Ga.

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