5 Common Food Allergies & Substitutes To Fight Them

Food allergies can be quite the unwelcome guest while enjoying a scrumptious meal. Very often, we don’t realise that an ingredient in a dish could be an allergy-inducing item. Other times the items you are allergic to could be hidden in there somewhere. It may be difficult to replace these allergy causing food items with safer items, but it isn’t impossible. Finding a replacement is likely, albeit difficult, but we’re here to make that task simple. Here are some of the most common food allergies and ingredients that you could use as a substitute to enjoy an allergy-free meal.

Peanuts & Tree Nuts

Peanuts & Tree Nuts Food Allergies

Nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts etc can cause allergic reactions in adults and children by producing excess histamine causing coughing, respiratory distress, wheezing, swollen airways or tongue swelling.

Replacements: For flavour and nutrition, figs, raisins, apricots and prunes are ideal. For texture, seeds, oven-roasted beans and crumbed pretzels can do the trick.


Gluten Food Allergies

For some individuals, consuming foods containing gluten can cause inflammation, diarrhoea, wheezing, IBS, or swelling of the throat/tongue. Not all wheat-free alternatives are gluten-free – barley and rye may be wheat-free but do contain gluten. Be sure to check labels and an easy way to be sure is remembering BROW – barley, rye, oats, wheat. Sauces, dressings, gravies, thickener, chocolate, candies can also contain gluten.

Replacements: Bajra, jowar, nachni, amaranth, buckwheat, water chestnut, red rice, brown rice, quinoa.


Soybeans Food Allergies

Soy allergies are relatively common and easy to identify with respect to soya, soy protein, edamame, tempeh, tofu, TVP and soy sauce. Sometimes, however, they can be difficult to identify when concealed within miso, vegetable gum and stock, dressings and shoyu.

Replacements: Seitan, beans, peas and other legumes, coconut aminos, chickpeas.


Dairy Food Allergies

Dairy can cause a hormonal imbalance which is why it’s a common dietary item that causes allergies or intolerance in individuals. Most people develop an intolerance for dairy in their early years whereas sometimes it may take years to show up. Dairy allergies can cause symptoms like throat irritation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramps, loosies, wheezing, hives and more. It’s important to remember that dairy intolerance goes beyond milk – paneer, cheese, butter, tofu are all forms of dairy and can cause the same symptoms.

Replacement: Almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, oats milk, soy milk, hemp milk.


Crustaceans Food Allergies

So delicious, yet so dangerous – shellfish intolerance is one of the most common types of allergies. There can be an array of hidden sources of shellfish in food like gelatin, salad dressings, sauces and fish stock, so it’s important to read labels carefully and scout for ‘may contain’ claims.

Replacements: Fish and vegetables that mimic the flavour and texture of crustaceans like heart of palm, mushrooms, tofu, organic chicken and organic chicken bone broth.

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