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Where Nuts Might Be Hiding in Your Food!

By Sara Butler

If you have an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts, you have to be diligent to avoid them in the foods you enjoy eating. What you may or may not be aware of is that nuts are lurking in places you may not have suspected. So, if you have a child with a nut allergy or have discovered you have one yourself, here is where nuts can be hiding in plain sight – your life may depend on it!


Some restaurant chili is thickened with none other than peanut butter. In fact, in 1986 a freshman at Brown University died after eating chili made with peanut butter. The lesson you can take from this: Assume that things like this are not free from nuts.

Mole sauce in Mexican restaurants is a threat, too. Chocolate may be the most famous ingredient in mole, but peanut butter or peanuts can often be found in the sauce, as well. Really, sauces in general should be avoided when eating out, especially in Indian and Thai cuisine.

French Fries

When you’re out and ordering fries, make sure you ask about the kind of oil they’re fried in. That’s because the oil used could be peanut oil – and you can guess the problem with that. The interesting thing about peanut oil made in the United States is that it’s so refined that it probably wouldn’t cause an allergic reaction, but oil made in China is not as refined and may cause a reaction. That’s why it’s best to just say no to all peanut oil potatoes when you’re out.


It’s important to ask about what, exactly, is in your favorite happy hour cocktail before slugging it back. There are several vodkas out there that are spiked with almond, hazelnut, and other tree nuts. Even some gins are flavored with almonds, and brown ales may have walnuts, peanuts, macadamia, or other tree nuts!

Pet Food

This is for those of you with children. If you have pets and you have kids, then you know every child goes through a phase where they eat pet food – it’s nearly a guarantee. Many pet foods contain tree nuts, and you’d never know because pet foods aren’t subject to warning labels under the Food Allergen Labeling Act. So make sure you look at labels before you bring it into your home if you or someone else in your household has serious allergies.

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

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