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Are You Allergic To All Nuts?
Many people suffer from food allergies. More people today have a reaction to eating nuts more than ever before. Some children, in particular, cannot eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or even be in the same room as anything made with or made from peanuts or peanut butter. But the question remains, if you are allergic to one nut does that mean you are allergic to all nuts?
What are tree nuts?
Tree nuts are just one category where people find themselves having a reaction. What nuts constitute tree nuts? There are eight nuts in the tree nuts category: cashews, Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. If you are allergic to one of the nuts in this category, you should have an oral food challenge test to see if you are allergic to other nuts in this field as well.
You will be given a small amount of another nut to see if you have a reaction to it. Many researchers found that about 76 percent of the people who were tested for other nuts were able to pass this test and had no allergies to other nuts. There are blood tests and skin tests to determine allergies, but the food challenge is the most accurate way to confirm an allergy.
Some types of tree nuts are more alike than not so they have been known to “cross-react.” This group includes walnuts and pecans, pistachios and cashews, and hazelnuts and almonds. What this means is that if you are allergic to cashews you may find you have a reaction to pistachios, but not to hazelnuts or almonds.
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What’s the difference between tree nuts and peanuts?
While it seems as though so many people have a reaction to peanuts the fact is only about 1 percent of the people in America are allergic to peanuts. If you are allergic to peanuts, you may have reactions that range from diarrhea and hives all the way to a swollen face and trouble breathing.
Peanuts fall into the legume family which includes foods such as beans, lentils, peas, and soy. If you find that you are allergic to peanuts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are allergic to any of the tree nuts. Make sure you check with the doctor just to be sure.
Besides nuts you should avoid these foods as well. If you are allergic to peanuts there are other foods that you should stay away from until you are able to clear it with your doctor. They include:
• Ground nut meal
• Artificial nuts
• Egg rolls
• Enchilada sauce or mole
• Cold cuts
• Flavored coffees
• Sunflower seeds
• Almond butter
• Some ethnic foods such as Hispanic, African, and Asian food
No matter what type of foods or nuts it is, don’t wait until you find that you have a reaction, go to a doctor or allergist and get checked out first. Some people will have no reaction and others cannot even eat foods that were processed in the same facility as the one that carried nuts or legumes.