The top eight food allergens in the United States today take up 90% of the majority all allergens consumed in our country. These dangerous substances consist of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean. The rest of the world is also facing these allergens with us, in fact, they have included corn and sesame seeds to the list.
What makes these allergens difficult to avoid is that they are key ingredients in processed food products. Causing these allergens to be "hidden" from sight and can be accidently consumed. By law in the US, all the goods that contain these allergens must state on their packaging which allergen it contains to avoid food-induced allergy attacks.
1.3% OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION HAS REPORTED THAT THEY ARE ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS.
That 1.3% equals to more than 3 million Americans in the US who are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, or both. This allergy even though affects a small population it is the leading cause of deadly anaphylaxis attacks than any other allergen. Peanut allergies are usually lifelong but studies do show that 20% of children with this disease do outgrow it.
Source: Fascinating Facts About Peanut Allergies by Everyday Health | About Anaphylaxis by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
0.4-0.6% OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION HAS REPORTED THAT THEY ARE ALLERGIC TO TREE NUTS.
This is one of the toughest allergens to identify because it comes in all shapes and sizes. It includes well-known nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pine nuts, and brazil nuts.
These are not to be confused or grouped together with peanuts, which is a legume, or seeds, such as pumpkin seed or sesame.
Source: Tree Nuts by American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology | Tree Nut Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE)
A WHEAT ALLERGEN IS DIFFICULT TO LIVE WITH BECAUSE THE US DIET IS MOSTLY FOCUSED DISHES THAT CONTAIN GRAIN.
A wheat allergy should not be confused with “gluten intolerance” or celiac disease. A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein. When the food protein is ingested, in can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.) A food allergy can be potentially fatal.
Source: Wheat Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE)
ABOUT 0.4% OF AMERICAN CHILDREN HAVE AN ALLERGY TO SOY. IT IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES AMONG BABIES.
Other sorts of legumes are beans, peas, lentils and even peanuts. This is one of the toughest allergens to avoid because it is a predominant ingredient used in many processed food products.
Source: Soy Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE)
Reactions to soy can go from mild to severe. It has been shown that most of the reactions caused by soy are mild, but precautions should be taken. Soybeans are not a nut or a seed but in fact a legume.
APPROXIMATELY 2.5 PERCENT OF CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN THREE OF AGE ARE ALLERGIC TO MILK.
Nearly all infants who develop an allergy to milk do so in their first year of life. Most children eventually outgrow a milk allergy. The allergy is most likely to persist in children who have high levels of cow’s milk antibodies in their blood. Milk allergy should not be confused with lactose intolerance. A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific food protein. When the food protein is ingested, in can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, loss of consciousness, etc.). A food allergy can be potentially fatal.
Source: Dairy Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE)
SHELLFISH ALLERGY AFFECTS 1 IN 50 AMERICANS IN THE UNITED STATES.
There are two kinds of shellfish: crustacea (such as shrimp, crab and lobster) and mollusks (such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops). Reactions to crustacean shellfish tend to be particularly severe. If you are allergic to one group of shellfish, you might be able to eat some varieties from the other group.
However, since most people who are allergic to one kind of shellfish usually are allergic to other types, allergists usually advise their patients to avoid all varieties.
Source: ShellFish Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE) | More Americans Allergic to Seafood Than Any Other Food by News-Medical.com
EGG ALLERGY IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES IN CHILDREN, SECOND ONLY TO MILK.
While the whites of an egg contain the allergenic proteins, patients with an egg allergy must avoid all eggs completely (the egg white and the egg yolk). This is because it is impossible to separate the egg white completely from the yolk, causing a cross-contact issue. Some vaccines contain egg protein. Influenza vaccines usually contain a small amount of egg protein. If you or your child is allergic to eggs, speak to your doctor before receiving a flu shot.
Source: Egg Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE)
APPROXIMATELY 40 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WITH FISH ALLERGY EXPERIENCED THEIR FIRST ALLERGIC REACTION AS ADULTS.
More than half of all people who are allergic to one type of fish also are allergic to other fish, so allergists often advise their fish-allergic patients to avoid all fish. If you are allergic to a specific type of fish but want to have other fish in your diet, talk to your doctor about the possibility of allergy testing for specific fish.
Finned fish and shellfish do not come from related families of foods, so being allergic to one does not necessarily mean that you must avoid both. Read all product labels carefully before purchasing and consuming any item.
Source: Dairy Allergies by Food Allergy Research (FARE)
WHY ARE FOOD ALLERGIES ON THE RISE?