What are the most common tree nut allergies
People can be allergic to one type of tree nut, to some tree nuts, or to numerous tree nuts but not to other types of tree nuts. That's because some tree nuts contain similar proteins—for example, almonds and hazelnuts contain similar proteins, as do walnuts and pecans, and pistachios and cashews.
Because of these protein similarities, it is common for an individual to own an allergy to both nuts. For instance, if you are allergic to cashew, you own a greater risk of being allergic to pistachios, as well.
However, most people with tree nut allergy are not allergic to every tree nuts. The decision to avoid every tree nuts when there is an allergy to one or more tree nuts is a personal one and one you should discuss with your doctor. In food production, the risk of cross-contact with multiple tree nuts is higher, which has led numerous health professionals to recommend avoidance of every tree nuts.
How to Avoid Cross-Contact with Tree Nut and Other Food Allergies
Allergy to Both Tree Nuts and Peanuts
Peanuts are legumes and are biologically unrelated to tree nuts.
Tree nut allergy and peanut allergy are two diverse types of allergies. Still, while people allergic to tree nuts are not necessarily allergic to peanuts, it's also possible be allergic to both.
You should be aware that tree nuts and peanuts are often found together in processed foods and nut mixtures. If you are diagnosed with a tree nut allergy, your allergist will advise you whether to avoid peanuts, as well.
Types of Tree Nuts
The most common tree nuts include macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts (filberts), and pine nuts (pignoli or pinon).
Less common tree nuts include beechnuts, butternuts, chinquapins, gingko, hickory nuts, lychee nuts, pili nuts, and shea nuts.
Children who are allergic to multiple types of tree nuts (more than one or two) are less likely to outgrow their allergy than children who are allergic to just one type of tree nut.
Tree Nuts and Food Labeling Laws
Tree nuts are one of the most common food allergies, and as such, the U.S.
Food and Drug istration requires manufacturers selling foods in America to label foods containing tree nuts.
The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that manufacturers label which tree nut is in a given product.
Symptoms Associated With Tree Nut Allergy
Symptoms associated with a tree nut allergy include:
- contact dermatitis
- tingling of the lips
- itching of the mouth, ears, and eyes
- abdominal pain
- asthma (in asthmatics)
- oral allergy syndrome
- urticaria (hives)
- throat tightening
People with tree nut allergy should carry a source of epinephrine at every times in case they own a dangerous allergic reaction.
Foods That Contain Tree Nuts
Food that always or almost always contains tree nuts include:
- pesto (unless specially prepared without pine nuts)
- Nutella (made from hazelnuts)
- marzipan (almond paste)
- turrón (a candy typically made with almonds)
- gianduja (a creamy mixture of chocolate and chopped almonds and hazelnuts; other nuts can be used)
- nut liqueurs (Frangelico, Amaretto, and Nocello)
- nut flours (almond flour is the most common)
Foods that may contain tree nuts include:
- caponata (a dish made from eggplant that often includes pine nuts)
- trail mix
- frozen desserts
- barbecue sauces
- baked goods
- mortadella (lunchmeat)
- candy bars
- energy bars
- ice cream
- flavored coffee
- granola bars
- nut meal
- natural extracts: almond and wintergreen (filbert/hazelnut allergy)
As with numerous common allergens, tree nuts are sometimes found in unlikely foods, so be certain to read labels on every packaged foods before buying or eating them.
Is Coconut a Tree Nut?
In fact, coconut allergy is uncommon, and studies own shown that people with tree nut allergy are at no greater risk of being allergic to coconuts. Numerous tree nut allergic individuals can tolerate coconut in milk and yogurt form.
Talk to your allergist about including coconut if it is not currently part of your diet.