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Causes of Food Allergies/Sensitivities

Over 90% of the food allergies in the United States are caused by the same eight food types. These include:

This allergy renders a person unable to consume milk or dairy products, as the proteins in cow milk provoke an immune response.

Most people with egg allergies are responding to proteins in the egg white, however some also develop reactions against yolk proteins. Some people with egg allergies also go on to develop allergies to chicken and other poultry.

It is estimated that peanut allergies contribute to more food-related deaths than any other. Most airlines no longer serve peanuts as an in flight snack because peanut oil or dust can induce an allergic response in a person that is highly sensitive to them.

Tree nut allergies are more common in children, but do occur in adults, as well. They are distinguished from peanut allergies since peanuts are considered legumes, while tree nuts are considered fruits.

Both fish and fish products, such as imitation crab meat (which does contain fish!), can aggravate allergies. Sauces that contain anchovies (such as caeser salad dressing and Worcestershire) should also be avoided.

Some people have seafood allergies that are more specific to lobster, shrimp, and other crustaceans.

In addition to being a component of many Asian dishes (as soy sauce or tofu, for example), soy is a common component of fast food. Soy meat and soy flour are often used in hamburgers and buns. Soy protein is also found in many sauces (in hydrolyzed vegetable protein), canned broths, bouillon cubes, and food flavorings.

There are many potentially allergenic components in wheat. Given the dominance of wheat products in our diets, this is can be one of the more difficult food allergies to deal with.

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