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Is Pine Nuts A Nut Allergy

Foods To Avoid If You Have A Tree Nut Allergy

Tree nut allergy: Avoiding all tree nuts ‘may not be necessary’

Thanks to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act , U.S. packaged food items are required to clearly state on the label if they contain tree nuts. This stipulates that the specific nut be identified.

Bottom line? Reading labels need to be a mandatory part of your lifestyle from the minute you or someone in your family is diagnosed with a tree nut allergen. Youll notice some food labels have jargon to the effect of made in a facility where tree nuts are processed. Again, whether or not you need to avoid those foods is something to be discussed with an allergist. Its always better to err on the side of caution, though, and steer clear.

A person with tree nut allergies should clearly avoid foods and products containing tree nuts, as well as items that are presumed to cross-react. Its confusing; we know.

But in general, the items someone with tree nut allergies should stay away from include but arent limited to:

  • almonds
  • cereals
  • some ice creams

If you have any doubts about whats safe and what isnt, call your allergist ASAP. Theyre the best resource a person with nut allergies has, and they can fill in any blanks for you along the way.

What Are Peanut And Tree Nut Allergies

Peanuts are among the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn’t expect. Take chili, for example: It may be thickened with ground peanuts.

Peanuts aren’t actually a true nut; they’re a legume . But the proteins in peanuts are similar in structure to those in tree nuts. For this reason, people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.

Sometimes people outgrow some food allergies over time , but peanut and tree nut allergies are lifelong in many people.

How To Cook With Pine Nuts

With their light and delicate flavor, pine nuts are versatile and easy to eat. Gaffen suggests pairing them with sauces, pastas, breads and other baked goods, salads, and sautéed veggies such as green beans, spinach, or asparagus.

They can be eaten by themselves as a snack, mixed into a homemade nut/seed trail mix, or added to a salad or vegetable dish, says Dr. Naidoo.

You can eat them just as they are, but you may want to consider toasting them in a pan to bring out the flavors.

Roasting them, especially with herbs or spices, is a delicious way to enjoy them as a topping for vegetables or salads, says Dr. Jampolis, who suggests roasting with cinnamon or nutmeg to add as a topping to yogurt.

Or try them in sweet dishes or desserts. Italian pignoli cookies are famous for their pine nuts.

What Causes Tree Nut Allergies

When you have a tree nut allergy and eat a tree nut, proteins in the nut attach to the defense proteins in your immune system. Your body identifies this nut protein as dangerous and triggers the immune system to respond. You then start to develop the signs and symptoms of allergy. Symptoms may range from a mild rash to severe choking. 

Anyone can develop an allergy, but you are at increased risk if one of your family members has a tree nut allergy.

Pine Nut Allergy Bitter Taste

Pine Nuts

A condition called pine mouth is very frequently seen amongst people who are allergic to pine nuts. A common symptom that is manifested by most people is a bitter taste in the mouth.

It may last for a few days to weeks, and then gradually wears off. This occurs when the pine nut affects the sensation of taste.

Pine Nut Allergy Metallic Taste

A small number of pine nuts is known to cause taste disturbances and impairments; this symptom tends to develop 1 to 3 days after the intake of the nut, and may last for several days or even weeks.

Commonly, the individual complains of a bitter, metallic taste. Although unpleasant, there are no permanent effects. The taste wears off, and becomes normal. In fact, this phenomenon is described as pine mouth.

Treatment Of Pine Nut Allergy

Elimination diet is the first line of treatment to prevent the occurrence of pine nut allergy. Whenever it is confirmed in the diagnosis test that an individual is allergic to pine nuts, the first recommendation coming from the allergistâs side is a strict regimented diet devoid of pine nuts. Sometimes, as a preventive measure, tree nuts and peanuts are also asked to be avoided due to high chances of cross-reactivity.

Whenever the symptoms of pine nut allergy develop, anti-histamine medications are administered to the patient for providing temporary relief. Anti-histamines are available both as prescribed and over-the-counter drugs.

Anaphylaxis symptoms can only be treated with the help of adrenaline injections. Those who are prone to anaphylaxis attacks are always suggested to carry epinephrine auto-injectors all the time along with them. After the initial symptoms of anaphylaxis reactions are managed, a trip to the emergency medical room is mandatory for proper treatment and complete cure.

What Can I Eat If Im Allergic To Peanuts

Most children with allergies can safely eat foods with peanut oil, unless it is cold-pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil. Dont give your child cold-pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil. Ask your childs healthcare provider if its safe to give your child foods with or cooked in other types of peanut oil.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Tree Nut Allergy

If youre allergic to tree nuts and exposed to them, you may develop symptoms of an allergic reaction. In some cases, these symptoms will appear within minutes and be severe. In other cases, it may take 30 minutes to a few hours before symptoms begin.

Symptoms of a tree nut allergy may include:

  • abdominal pain, including cramping and upset stomach
  • itching of the mouth, throat, skin, eyes, hands, or other body regions
  • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is rare, but its the most severe form of allergic response. In the case of anaphylaxis, a person with an allergy will typically begin experiencing symptoms within 5 to 30 minutes of exposure to the tree nut. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • swollen throat
  • vomiting
  • a red rash with hives or welts

Peanut, shellfish, and tree nut allergies are among the most common causes of anaphylaxis. People with a severe tree nut allergy should always be prepared to respond to an allergic reaction. You should always keep an epinephrine auto-injector with you. Common brands of auto-injectors include EpiPen, Adrenaclick, and Auvi-Q.

Its important to know the risk factors associated with tree nut allergies. Here are some common risk factors.

Diagnosis Of Nut Allergies

I’m Allergic to Pine Nuts

If you have allergic symptoms, visit your family doctor who will ask some questions about your allergic reactions. You can also discuss your record of your symptoms. To diagnose your allergy, your doctor may refer you to a specialist doctor known as an allergist or clinical immunologist. Allergists can test for allergies using a number of methods, depending on the type of potential allergy. To test for an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts and seeds, the allergist might:

  • do a skin prick test 
  • do a blood test
  • ask you to temporarily avoid all nuts or products containing nuts , then follow up with the introduction of nuts back into your diet under strict medical supervision.

Tree Nut Allergies And Other Foods

Coconut: The FDA calls coconut a tree nut, but coconuts are really a fruit. Most people with tree nut allergies are able to eat coconut without any issues. Still, please talk to an allergist about any concerns with tree nut allergies and coconut. 

Shea nut: Shea is also considered a tree nut, and must be clearly identified as an ingredient on food labels. But like coconut, shea products usually dont cause problems for people allergic to tree nuts. There are few to no reports of allergic reactions to shea products.

Nutmeg: Even with a name that starts with nut, nutmeg doesnt come from a tree nut. Rather, it comes from a seed. Nutmeg is safe for people with tree nut allergies.

As always, talk to your allergist about any concerns you have about managing tree nuts and avoiding certain foods.


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.

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  • All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.

    What Foods Should I Avoid If I Have A Tree Nut Allergy

    Tree nut allergies cannot be cured. So, the best way to avoid a tree nut allergy reaction is to avoid them. Strict avoidance of nuts and products that might contain nuts should protect you against an allergic reaction. Many doctors will recommend that people, especially children, with a diagnosed allergy to one tree nut avoid all tree nuts because of the potential for an allergy to those as well.

    The most widely consumed tree nuts include:

    • almonds
    • pistachios
    • walnuts

    Nut butters, nut oils, and natural nut extracts are also off limits for people with tree nut allergies.

    In the United States, food manufacturers are required to list if their foods may contain allergens, including tree nuts. You should also read ingredient lists on food labels to be sure the food is allergen-free. Sometimes foods may come in contact with tree nuts during the manufacturing process. Food packaging also often lists that potential hazard.

    However, dont assume that a safe food will always be safe. Food manufacturers change their formulas regularly, and they may begin adding tree nuts without notice. Thats why its smart to read labels every time you pick up a food. You can never be too careful, especially if you have a severe allergy to tree nuts.

    I Have A Tree Nut Allergy How Can I Avoid A Tree Nut

    • Read food labels.

    Avoid all food and products that contain tree nuts and any product whose label carries a precautionary statement warning that the product might have tree nuts in it such as may contain tree nuts or similar wording. When provided by a manufacturer, precautionary statements are usually found after the list of ingredients or “Contains” statement if there is one.  By December 2021 any precautionary statements will have to appear in this location only.

    If a tree nut is part of the product formulation, the specific tree nut must be declared by their common name in the list of ingredients or in a separate contains statement immediately following the list of ingredients.

    • Avoid any products that do not have an ingredient list. 
    • Read labels every time you shop. Manufacturers may occasionally change their recipes or use different ingredients for varieties of the same product.

    Can You Suddenly Become Allergic To Nuts

    Adverse Gastric Reactions to Consumption of Pine Nuts ...

    The answer to the question, can you all of the sudden become allergic to peanuts? is certainly yes. Food allergies can develop at any time in an individuals life. However, it is important to recognize that adult-onset peanut allergy appears to be far less common than other potential allergies, such as shellfish.

    Symptoms Of Nut Allergies

    Each persons immune system is different and peanut, tree nut and seed allergies can cause diverse signs and symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Many food allergies do not cause severe symptoms, but they can be life threatening in some people and should be taken seriously.Some people have negative or adverse reactions to food that are not caused by allergies. These can be caused by factors such as food poisoning, toxic reactions or food sensitivities . Although these are not allergic reactions, they are often mistaken for allergies. Mild allergic symptoms that can occur before a severe allergic reaction include: 

    • raised red bumps of skin hives 
    • swelling of the lips
    • tingling of the throat and mouth
    • itchy skin and rash
    • tightening of the throat
    • digestive symptoms cramps, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting.

    If you or a child in your care have experienced any of these symptoms after eating peanuts, tree nuts or seeds, the risk of having a severe reaction after eating that food is greater than usual. Ask your doctor to refer you to a clinical immunology or allergy specialist. 

    If My Child Is Allergic To One Tree Nut Do They Need To Avoid All Tree Nuts

    Even though “tree nut allergies” includes allergies to many types of nuts, if someone is allergic to one tree nut, that doesn’t mean they are allergic to all tree nuts. 

    Certain tree nuts are closely related, though.  

    Cashews and pistachios are closely related, and pecans and walnuts are closely related, since their proteins are very similar to each other.

    Because of this, developing an allergy to one tree nut may make someone more likely to develop an allergy to a closely related tree nut. This is known as cross-reactivity.

    Why does cross-reactivity happen? The proteins in closely related types of tree nuts are so similar to each other that someone’s immune system may start to treat these proteins exactly the same. This may cause an allergic reaction when specific IgE antibodies detect the proteins from either closely related tree nut. But not everyone with a tree nut allergy will experience cross-reactivity.

    And even if cross-reactivity comes into play, many people with tree nut allergies are still only allergic to 1 or 2 types of tree nuts. 

    So, it’s worth working with an allergist to determine if your child can safely eat other types of tree nuts. Every child is different—your allergist will help you make an individualized plan for their unique needs. Until youve talked with an allergist, though, you may decide its safest to keep your child away from all types of tree nuts.

    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.

    Treatment For Nut Allergies

    Food Allergy 101: Prevent Tree Nut Allergies | Tree Nut Allergy Symptom

    The best way to treat an allergy to nuts is to prevent a reaction by staying away from them. Read menus and food labels very carefully when eating out or shopping.

    New studies looking for treatment of peanut allergies have found that peanut immunotherapy drops administered under the tongue are safe and effective as treatment for peanut allergy, even in children as young as 1. They were also found to help significantly desensitize the patients to peanuts.

    If you accidentally eat something with nuts in it, watch for signs of a serious allergic reaction , like trouble breathing or swallowing, tightness in your chest, stomach pain, vomiting, or a feeling of doom. These reactions can be life-threatening and need medical attention right away. You should:

    • Lie down flat on your back.
    • If you have epinephrine, use it and repeat after 5 to 15 minutes if your symptoms havenât gotten better.

    If you have a nut allergy, carry two epinephrine auto-injectors at all times, and know how to use them.

    Children with serious peanut allergies may benefit from using the drug Palforzia, which can help lessen symptoms theyâre exposed.

    Tree Nut Allergy Management

    If your child has a tree nut allergy, they’ll need to avoid all foods that contain the tree nut they  are allergic to. Eating even a small amount of a tree nut that they are allergic to could cause them to develop an allergic reaction.

    Along with peanut allergies, tree nut allergies are one of the food allergy types most likely to cause severe reactions. Since tree nut allergy reactions could become life-threatening, its vital for you and your child to have epinephrine nearby at all times. Epinephrine is the only medicine that can stop anaphylaxis.

    Learn more about tree nut allergy from Food Allergy Research & Education :

    Since tree nut allergies are one of the 8 major allergens in the United States, food manufacturers must clearly identify if a food contains tree nuts on the label. 

    A manufacturer must also point out the specific type of tree nut that a food containson the label. They’re required to do so under federal law. 

    For example, if a food contains almonds, almonds must be listed as an ingredient. Its not enough for a label to just say contains tree nuts.

    Even so, avoiding tree nuts can still get complicated because many foods contain hidden tree nuts—and because every tree nut is different.

     Some foods that may contain hidden tree nuts include:

    • Crackers
    • Barbecue sauce and other sauces
    • Marinades
    • Baked desserts, including cookies, grain breads,  macarons and pie crusts
    • Frozen desserts, such as ice cream
    • Other desserts, like pudding

    What Happens To Patients With Nut Allergy

    When people have nut allergies, their body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in the nut. If people eat something that contains nuts, their 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. However, allergic reactions from breathing in small particles of nuts or peanuts are rare. That’s because people usually have to eat the food to cause a reaction. Most foods containing peanuts don’t allow enough of the protein to escape into the air to cause a reaction. Just the smell of foods containing peanuts won’t cause a reaction because the scent doesn’t contain the protein.

    What Is Life Like With Tree Nut Allergies

    The outlook for a tree nut allergy depends on two things: your age and your allergy severity. Adults diagnosed with a tree nut allergy should expect it to be lifelong.

    For children, the outlook is a bit different. Some children will outgrow their food allergies, including an allergy to tree nuts. Unfortunately, compared with other allergies such as egg or milk, the number of children who outgrow their tree nut allergy is quite low, around 10 percent, according to one

    Pine Nut Allergy Treatment

    Pine Nut Allergy Test

    Any time you suspect a severe allergic reaction, you should seek immediate emergency care. For longer term management, consulting an allergist is important as they can help you recognize the symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe reactions, and give the most appropriate treatment.

    Food allergies, including allergies to pine nuts, are best treated by completely avoiding the food. To accomplish this it may be necessary to learn how to read food labels, deal with the potential dangers of restaurants, and be aware of other potential exposure.

    The most effective treatment for serious allergic food reactions is epinephrine injection. Epinephrine self-administration devices are the first line of defense against anaphylaxis. Severe reactions can occur even in people who have only had relatively mild reactions in the past. Talk to your allergist about the suitability of carrying an epinephrine injector if you, or your child, have a known allergy to pine nuts. If you have been prescribed an epinephrine injector, use it at the first sign of symptoms and then go to the nearest emergency room.

    How Do You Test For A Tree Nut Allergy

    Tree nut allergy is usually diagnosed based on a history of reactions after eating a tree nut, and may be confirmed using a blood test or a skin test called a prick test, said Lovenheim. Due to the higher than preferred rates of false-positive results from blood tests and prick tests, physicians will not make the diagnosis based on the test results alone. A history of a reaction after ingestion is usually required. If no such reaction is noted by the family, then a patient is often asked to ingest a small amount of tree nut under the supervision of an allergist. This is called an oral food challenge.

    This sort of food challenge should always be performed in a proper medical setting and never attempted at home.

    Causes Of Pine Nut Allergy

    The proteins found in pine nuts act as allergens. Studies are going on to figure out the major allergen in pine nuts due to which several components have been isolated which were found to be allergenic in different people and such components are being evaluated. The immune system fails to recognize the proteins as harmless and renders them as harmful pathogens as a result of which it triggers the production of antibodies. During the next attack, the antibodies engulf the pathogens and signal the immune system to trigger the production of histamines and other chemicals that initiate allergic response in the body.

    Composition Of Cold Pressed Pine Oil In Comparison To Other Cold Pressed Oils

    Pine nut oil is composed of 90% unsaturated fatty acids, 50% of which are PUFAs, 40% MUFAs, and 10% SFAs . Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in pine nut oil , and oleic acid is the second most abundant fatty acid in PNO. Palmitic acid and stearic acid are the main SFAs found in PNO . While cold pressed pumpkin oil is rich in linoleic acids like pine nut oil, pecan oil, almond oil, Brazil nut oil, hazelnut oil, macadamia oil, and pistachio oil are rich in oleic acid.

    Table 6. Fatty acids and tocopherols composition of some cold pressed oils.a

    Cold pressed oilsb
    References: 1Gong and Pegg , 2Ying et al. ; 3Castelo-Branco, Santana, Di-Sarli, Freitas, and Torres ; 4Ling, Yang, Li, and Wang ; 5Rabrenovi, Dimi, Novakovi, Teevi, and Basi ; 6Parker et al. .
    PNO, pine nut oil; PEO, pecan oil; AO, almond oil; BNO, Brazil nut oil; HO, hazelnut oil; MO, macadamia oil; PO, pistachio oil; PUO, pumpkin oil; CSO, carrot seed oil.
    ND, not detected.

    Table 7. Content of sterols in cold pressed plant oils.

    Type of phytosterol

    B.T. Styles, in, 2003

    Tree Nut Allergies In Kids

    Diagnosing nut allergies: Should all tree nuts be avoided?

    Most babies arent exposed to tree nuts very early in life and severe reactions from ingesting breast milk arent common. Kids also exhibit many of the same symptoms as adults do, the difference being, of course, that they cant convey their distress the same way an adult can. When a child is old enough to talk, said Hutchings, what they say may clue you into a potential tree nut allergy.

    According to Hutchings, this might sound like:

    • My tongue is hot, itchy, or heavy
    • There are bumps or hair on my tongue
    • My throat feels thick
    • My lips or throat feel tight
    • Theres something stuck in my throat
    • My mouth feels funny
    • My ears feel itchy.


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