Top 10 Most Common Food Allergies

Food allergies should not be confused with intolerance for certain food items. Lactose intolerance is caused by a scarcity of the enzyme lactase and can lead to bloating and digestive problems. Whereas,  a milk allergy can cause severe immediate or delayed reactions, whenever a food item containing milk in any form is consumed. Allergies which occur in childhood often go away after a certain length of time, but adult allergies normally remain through a lifetime.

The most common food Allergies are as follows:


1. Fish

Fish allergies are among the most widespread allergies in the world. Shellfish is frequently the main culprit but there are many who are allergic to all types of fish. It does not seem to affect children as much as it does adults, and in some cases people are allergic only to cooked fish and not raw fish. The reactions are severe and anaphylaxis can be one of the resultant problems.


2. Shellfish

Shellfish allergy is probably the most common allergy among adults. It generally appears later in life and in some cases the reactions can occur even from airborne particles when shellfish is being boiled or cooked. Cat food which often has shellfish ingredients in it can also cause an allergic reaction.


3. Peanuts


Allergy to peanuts is also one of the world’s most prevalent ones. This allergy is different from nut allergy since peanuts are generally considered to be legumes rather than nuts. A lifelong allergy, in some cases it is so acute that even eating food from a utensil in which peanuts have been cooked earlier can cause an intense reaction.

4. Tree Nuts


Other nuts such as walnuts, pine nuts, cashews, macademia nuts, almonds and pecans can be a cause of an allergic reaction in some people. There are some who are allergic to only one kind of nut, but as a safety precaution they stay away from all varieties of nuts.


5. Eggs


This is one of the few allergies which seems to go away once a child grows older. The proteins in the eggs known as ovumucoid, ovalbumin and conalbumin are responsible for creating these allergies. Cooking does not kill all of them, hence eggs are not consumed in any form by these children or the rare adults who suffer from egg allergies.


6. Chocolate

Imagine having to live a life without being able to consume chocolates! But there are quite a few human beings who get a bad reaction when they consume chocolate in any form and have to maintain a distance from all products containing cocoa.


7. Wheat

Wheat is so much a part of a diet that it is difficult to eat a meal without consuming it in some form or the other. There are many allergenic components in wheat which cause different types of allergies but most of the get bundled under the common denominator of wheat or gluten allergy.


8. Milk

1% to 7% of the children all over the world suffer from some form of milk allergy, which is however often confused with lactose intolerance. Milk allergies are very prevalent among children and often carry over on even when they are adults. Dairy products in all forms are taboo for them, and this includes foods such as cheese and icecreams etc.


9. Soy

Many children who are allergic to milk are also allergic to soy. Lately soy has been used in much larger quantities in many prepared food items, hence the number of cases of soy allergy have been increasing. Many vegetarians, specially from East Asia use soya as one of the basic ingredients in their diet, thus it is difficult to avoid eating it in those households. However it is believed to be prevalent mainly among children and most of them outgrow it as they grow older.


10. Berries

It is rare to find a person who is allergic to berries of all types, but there are many who are unable to consume a particular type of berry. This is generally the care with raspberries or strawberries, and occasionally blackberries may be the culprit. It is much more prevalent in Western countries.



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2 Responses

  1. Isabella

    As someone who is allergic to all berries except strawberries, I would like to point out that the strawberry is not a berry. It’s actually, genetically, part of the rose family. It should not be considered a berry allergen; unlike raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and the like.


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