common food allergens

True food allergies involve the body's immune system. Whereas a food intolerance originates in the gastrointestinal system and involves an inability to digest or absorb certain substances.

Almost any food can provoke an allergic reaction. The following is a list of eight foods that account for 90 percent of allergic reactions.

Food Types Main Foods Hidden Sources
Milk and Milk products Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, ice cream, cream soups and certain baked goods and desserts. Deli meats cut on same slicer as cheese, some canned tuna, nondairy products and prepared meats.
Eggs (especially egg whites) Cakes, mousses, ice cream, sherbets and other desserts, mayonnaise, salad dressings, French toast, waffles and pancakes. Toppings on specially desserts, some egg substitutes, processed cooked pasta.
Soy and Soy products Soy, soybeans, tofu, textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, miso, soy sauce, tamari, tempeh, natural and artificial flavours, vegetable broth and vegetable starch. Major ingredient in processed foods.
Wheat and Wheat products Cereals, bread or bread related products, dry soup mixes, cakes, pasta, gravies, dumplings, products containing flour; beer and ale. Some hot dogs, ice cream, imitation crab and imitation meats.
Peanuts Peanuts and peanut oil, peanut butter, peanut flour, baked goods and candy with nuts, natural flavoring. Wise to avoid all nuts. Many candies, sunflower seeds, African, Chinese, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese food.
Tree nuts Candy and baked goods with pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios; oils from nuts. Natural and artificial flavours, barbeque sauce, some cereals, crackers and ice cream.
Fish Fresh, canned, smoked or pickled fish, fish-liver oils, caviar, foods containing fish, such as bisques, broths and stews. Caesar salad dressings and imitation crab.
Shellfish Crustaceans such as shrimp, crab, lobster and crayfish; mollusks such as clams, oysters and scallops; and seafood dishes. Caesar salad dressings and imitation crab.


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