For some people, a single macadamia nut cookie can be a deadly experience, while for others it is a sweet treat. Food allergies are no joke. Around 7% of children have food allergies. When you have a young child, giving them their first few bites of those danger foods can be a nerve racking experience. So much so, that some families who have food allergies running in their family, choose to give the first taste of these foods in the emergency room lobby—just in case.
If you’re wondering what foods are the most common, here are the top 4:
It’s called being lactose intolerant, and it is the most common food allergy in the world. In fact, over 65% of the world population is lactose intolerant, which means you are more likely to be allergic to milk than not. (Read our article, The Common Symptoms of Milk Allergy)
Despite this, milk is still a major staple of the world, and milk is included in everything from coffee drinks to cakes. Fortunately in most Western countries, such as the UK, it is required for major allergens to be listed on the label, and even if it is made in the same facility as another product using it, keeping everyone a little safer.
A home allergy test for milk can quickly determine if your are lactose intolerant.
Plastered all over the front of many school rooms and medical clinics is a huge picture of a peanut, crossed out. This is because common children’s snacks often contain peanuts, and a child who is allergic to them may end up accidentally harming the allergic child simply by touching them after touching a peanut. Peanuts are a common allergy, and also one of the most deadly.
People who are allergic to peanuts often have to carry an EpiPen with them for safety.
These sweet and juicy berries are also one of the top allergens in the world. Reactions can be as simple as a rash, or as bad as death from anaphylaxis. If you are allergic to strawberries, you should avoid eating them even if the allergy is mild, it’s possible for the allergy to get worse each time, and the next time could be deadly.
While we covered peanuts earlier, they are actually a legume. Tree nuts however, can be just as deadly. Tree nuts cover all the nuts that come from trees, and also seeds such as pine seeds, commonly added to salads. These nuts often sneak into cookies and breads, and the consequences can be severe.
If you’re allergic to nuts, you may need to avoid eating out or accepting baked goods from other people, as they can be slipped into almost anything.
Living with food allergies can be difficult, but thanks to health laws and EpiPens, living with food allergies is no longer a potential death sentence. Food allergies can range from relatively benign problems such as a small rash or feeling dizzy, to serious and even deadly problems such as swelling of the mouth and throat or shortness of breath.
If you think you may have food allergies, it is best to test for them so you can enjoy your food safely.
Photo Credit: Miguel Á. Padriñán
This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been regularly updated since.