The Dirty Truth About Peanut Allergies
Stop for a moment, and imagine a classic combination. Two things that just go so well together, they should never be apart. Iconic duos that usually come to mind include ketchup and mustard, Elon Musk and Tesla, Bonnie and Clyde, strawberries and cream, salt and pepper. And you can probably think of a lot more. But one of the most classic combinations in the book is without a doubt peanut butter and jelly. We’ve paired peanut butter and jelly together for decades. It feels like one doesnt belong without the other. But in this day and age, maybe the combination should be peanut butter and allergies.
Freeze frame. Record scratch. Wait, what?
How Should Nutella Be Stored
Nutella® should be stored at room temperature . Keep the container tightly closed and store in a cool, dry place to maintain maximum flavor. Do not refrigerate Nutella®, otherwise it will harden and become difficult to spread. Excessive heat will accelerate the loss of flavor and may cause the oils found in Nutella® to separate.
What You Can Eat With A Tree Nut Allergy
After developing or discovering your tree nut allergy, how you eat and how you live is very likely going to change. Cooking for home is one of the safest options for you and your family as you can ensure non allergens come into contact with your food, and thus, not cross contamination. Make sure your diet is filled with simple whole foods, such as meats, grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and lentils.
Living with allergies has gotten so much better in the past few years thanks to the requirements of labeling all food in grocery stores, as well as the sheer quantity of allergy free alternatives available in most stores.
For a list of my favorite tree nut alternatives, and when each will work best in what recipes, make sure you grab a download of my free Food Swap Guide! Its filled with over 45 swaps and substitutions so you can keep making your favorite recipes with your allergies.
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Nut And Seed Butters People With Peanut Allergies Actually Love
If you have a peanut allergy, you’re probably well aware that peanut butter can’t be a part of your life. Thankfully, there are actually a bunch of great alternatives that are equally delicious and completely peanut-free.
Before we get into the options, though, it’s important to note that not all peanut butter alternatives are safe for people with peanut allergies. Peanut allergies can range from extremely severe and life-threatening to pretty mild, Tania Elliott, M.D., an allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF. In a lot of cases, just the smallest amount of peanut dust can be enough to set off a reaction, she says. Having a peanut allergy doesn’t automatically mean that you’re also allergic to tree nuts like almonds or walnutspeanuts are technically legumes, not nutsthough 30 percent of people with peanut allergies are also allergic to tree nuts, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
So because many alternative nut and seed butters, even if they don’t contain any actual peanuts, are frequently processed in the same facilities, it’s important to always check the labels and if you’re not sure if a product may contain trace amounts of peanuts, it’s best to skip it to be safe.
Peanut Allergies: No End In Sight
It seems like peanut allergies blew up in the past decade or so. Now everyone and their mother seems to have one. And thats sort of right. The number of people who are allergic to peanuts doubled from 1997 to 2002. It’s clear that the rates of food sensitivity in our children have been skyrocketing.
We now know that the peanut allergy epidemic began fifteen years ago. In those last fifteen years, the number of children with food allergies increased by nearly 50%. Thats roughly the equivalent of 1 in every 13 children in the US having a food allergy. If you didn’t want to go back to the 90s for Seinfeld or Beanie Babies, you may want to go back just to eat a PB& J without fear.
Nowadays, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the equivalent of a sleeping tiger in the lunchroom. Everyone needs to tiptoe around it, and its better not to go near it at all.
Something that should set off little alarm bells in our heads is kids these days cant seem to go anywhere without their Epipen. That’s the brand name for the first line of treatment administered to people with severe allergies. They contain life-saving epinephrine injections to counteract allergic reactions. In 2019, EpiPens experienced a 76% increase in sales over a one-year period. No wonder this generation of children has been appropriately deemed Generation Rx.
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Best Gluten Free Cookie Recipe Ever
So that is what my husband said, best gluten-free cookie I have EVER had! Enter this amazing recipe which is the perfect size, but can easily be doubled for a bigger batch. What I love is that not only is this safe for us, but its simple with few ingredients and its CHEWY AND FUDGY! Im not a huge crispy cookie girl. I like mine on the doughy side yum!
Why Is A Coconut Not A Nut
The coconut seed germinates and a shoot emerges from one of the pores. In addition to the baby plant in the seed, there is the food to kick off its life called the endosperm. However, a coconut is not a true nut. A true nut, such as the acorn, are indehiscent or do not open at maturity to release its seeds.
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Know The Signs Of An Allergic Reaction
The most common food allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy eyes and throat
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
- Hives, itching or eczema
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body
- Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
If an individual displays any of these symptoms, he may be experiencing a food allergy, and it is important to quickly get medical attention.
Which Nuts Are Most Allergenic
The most common nut allergies are cashew, walnut, hazelnut and pistachio. In the U.S. the most common nut allergy is cashew, followed by walnut. In the U.K. the most common nut allergy is hazelnut. Even in smaller quantities, cashew and pistachio allergies can cause severe reactions as compared to other tree nuts.
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Anaphylactic Reaction To Tree Nuts
For some people, a life threatening reaction known as an anaphylactic reaction may occur after consuming, touching, or smelling tree nuts or tree nut by-products. If this happens, please call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Signs and symptoms of this include:
- Swelling or tightening of the throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Dizziness or fainting
- Change of normal coloring of the skin in the mucous membranes
- Light skin, check for signs of dark blue tints in the mucous membranes
- Medium skin, check for signs of a gray-green tint in the mucous membranes
- Dark skin, check for signs of gray or white tint in the mucous membranes
Tree Nut Allergy: What To Eat And What To Avoid
I love when you share my recipes!
Tree nut allergies 101 everything you need to know to stay safe. Includes peanut vs tree nut allergies, a list of symptoms for tree nut allergies, and what you need to know to avoid tree nut allergy reactions.
The tree nut allergy is one of the most common allergies in children, with upwards of 1% of all peoples in the United States allergic to tree nuts, which is about 3 million!
If you are allergic to one tree nut, you may not be allergic to all of them, but I have found that many times people have a cross reaction to many tree nuts.
The nuts of the Tree Nut allergy include: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
Tree nut allergies are one of the most severe allergies to have, with anaphylactic reactions common. If your child has suddenly developed a tree nut allergy, you do want to stress to them teh importance of being safe and how something might be changing, but it is to keep them healthy.
This article walks you though all aspects of a tree nut allergy, symptoms, waht to avoid, what you can still enjoy, and how best to manage your tree nut allergy.
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What Else Should I Know
To help reduce contact with nut allergens and the possibility of reactions in someone with a peanut or tree nut allergy:
- If you keep peanuts and nuts in your home, watch for cross-contamination that can happen with utensils and cookware. For example, make sure the knife you use to make peanut butter sandwiches is not used in preparing food for a child with a nut allergy, and that nut breads are not toasted in the same toaster as other breads.
- Don’t serve cooked foods you didn’t make yourself, or anything with an unknown list of ingredients.
- Tell everyone who handles the food your child eats, from waiters and waitresses to the cafeteria staff at school, about the allergy. If the manager or owner of a restaurant is uncomfortable about your request for peanut- or nut-free food preparation, don’t eat there.
- Consider making your child’s school lunches, as well as snacks and treats to take to parties, play dates, sleepovers, school events, and other outings.
- Work with the childcare supervisor or school principal to make sure the food allergy emergency action plan provided by your allergist is followed correctly.
- Keep epinephrine accessible at all times not in the glove compartment of your car, but with you. Seconds count during an anaphylaxis episode.
A little preparation and prevention can help make sure that your child’s allergy doesn’t get in the way of a happy, healthy everyday life.
Reality: Peanut Allergies Are Genuinely On The Rise Among Children But Scientists Do Not Know Why
According to multiple studies published by respected groups like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, food allergies in general and peanut allergies in particular have increased sharply over the past few decades.
One survey study by allergists at Mount Sinai Hospital, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that while 0.4% of children surveyed were reported to have a peanut allergy in 1997, 1.4% percent of children reported a peanut allergy in 2008 indicating that the number of children with peanut allergies tripled in just one decade.
While it is true that occasionally blood tests or skin tests for food allergy will return a false positive result, further testing, like a medically supervised food challenge performed in a doctors office or hospital, can clear up confusion in the event a false positive result is suspected.
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Does Dairy Milk Contain Nuts
Britains most famous chocolate maker, Cadbury, has decided to warn chocolate lovers that its product contains milk. Those warnings say: « CONTAINS: NUTS, MILK. » Wrappers on individual chunks of Cadbury Dairy Milk Whole Nut found in boxes of Cadbury Heroes repeat the warning « CONTAINS: NUTS » four times.
What You Should Do With This Information
So hopefully now you know a heck of a lot more about peanut butter and food sensitivity than you did before reading this article, but now what?
If youre a peanut butter lover:
If youre allergic to peanuts:
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Great Peanut Butter Substitutes For People With Allergies
For those of us who grew up eating PB& Js for every meal, a peanut allergy can sound like a prison sentence. Toss out other peanut-based favorites like many candy bars and cereals you may be looking at a revolution. If you are the parent of a child with a peanut allergy, or if your childs playdate has a peanut allergy, you may not know where to turn when lunch time comes around.
We spoke with Lisa Gonzalez, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, to get the inside scoop on the top spreadable substitutes.
Peanut allergies can range from mild to severe, said Gonzalez. In fact, peanuts may not be the only culprit. Your first step should be to learn the exact nature of the allergy.
Reality: Peanut Butter Is Made From Ground Peanuts People With Peanut Allergies Need To Avoid Eating Peanuts In All Forms
If you are shaking your head right now and asking why on Earth I included this one, GOOD FOR YOU. You get an A+ in food knowledge. However, if you happen to be a seasoned food allergy parent, youve almost certainly already heard from at least one well-meaning but food-unsavvy person that it ought to be all right for a person with a peanut allergy to eat peanut butter because thats not the same thing.
Peanut butter is made from peanuts. Really. Check the ingredient label. its the first ingredient. People with peanut allergies are definitely allergic to peanut butter.
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Reality: Some People With Peanut Allergies React To As Little As 1/100th Of One Peanut
The amount of peanut protein a peanut allergic person can tolerate before suffering a reaction varies widely from person to person, but generally speaking, it is not unusual for an amount equivalent to a fraction of one peanut to cause a reaction. People on the lower end of the tolerance threshold spectrum may start showing symptoms of an allergic reaction after being exposed to as little as 1/100th of one peanut, about 5 milligrams.
This means it is absolutely possible for a person with a severe peanut allergy to have a reaction to an amount of peanut residue that cannot easily be seen, smelled or tasted. And it is one of the reasons that even people with peanut allergies who are very vigilant about avoiding foods that contain peanuts may still occasionally suffer allergic reactions from eating foods that they mistakenly, but understandably, thought would be safe.
If it seems unbelievable that even just a couple of crumbs of food could cause a severe allergic reaction, stop for a moment and consider how much venom a bees stinger injects.
Reality: Allergen Advisory Labels Like May Contain Peanuts Or Made On Shared Equipment With Peanuts Are Voluntary And Unregulated By Us Law Food Companies Are Not Required To Use Them
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires that food companies list the top 8 most common food allergens milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts in clear language on labels if they are intentional ingredients. So, for example, a granola bar that contains peanut flour as an ingredient must say on the label that it contains peanuts or peanut flour the company that makes the granola bar is not allowed to call peanut flour something vague like vegetable protein flour or natural flavoring.
However, the FALCPA law only applies to packaged foods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It does not apply to foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, like fresh meat, eggs and cheese. And FALCPA does not require that companies put an allergen advisory warning on products that may contain top 8 allergens . For example: if an ice cream manufacturer runs peanut butter ice cream through its ice cream making machine and then runs chocolate ice cream through the same machine immediately afterward, that company would not be required to put a warning label on the chocolate ice cream to let customers know that it may contain traces of peanuts.
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What Happens With A Tree Nut Or Peanut Allergy
When someone has a nut allergy, the body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in the nut. If the person eats something that contains the nut, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders and responds by working very hard to fight off the invader. This causes an allergic reaction.
Even a small amount of peanut or tree nut protein can set off a reaction. But allergic reactions from breathing in small particles of nuts or peanuts are rare. That’s because the food usually needs to be eaten to cause a reaction. Most foods with peanuts in them don’t allow enough of the protein to escape into the air to cause a reaction. And just the smell of foods containing peanuts won’t cause one because the scent doesn’t contain the protein.