14 familiar foods that are the most common allergens

Yulia PoteriankoFood
The list of common foods that can cause allergies has been expanded to 14

According to the latest data, up to 11% of people can suffer from various types of food allergies. And the number of such cases is growing. Diagnosing this condition is quite difficult as it is important to distinguish allergies from intolerance, and the consequences of a reaction can be very serious: from digestive disorders and itching to deadly anaphylactic shock.

British allergy research and treatment specialists have compiled a list of 14 foods for the government's Food Standards Agency to which people most often have an adverse reaction. Previously, it included eight products, but now the list had to be expanded. Here are the main allergens that can be found in food.


In chicken eggs, both the protein and the yolk are allergens. Most often, young children have an allergic reaction to this product. At the same time, eggs are an ingredient in many of the foods children love, including various types of baked goods and desserts, some types of pasta, sauces, and processed foods such as sausages.


Milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies. It occurs as a response to the consumption of the milk protein casein. It should not be confused with lactose intolerance as it is caused by milk sugar. The allergic reaction concerns not only cow's milk but also milk from other animals. It is recommended to replace dairy products with plant-based alternatives.


Soy protein does not cause allergies as often as eggs or milk, but sensitivity to it can increase with age. This creates additional difficulties for those who want to replace animal proteins with plant proteins in their diet. The good news is that being allergic to soy does not mean that other legumes will cause a similar reaction.


Nuts here refer to fruits that grow on trees, namely walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, cashews, etc. These are very powerful allergens that can cause a violent reaction in the body, so contact with them should be avoided.


Peanuts are commonly referred to as nuts, although they are actually a legume plant and are related to soybeans. Like real nuts, it can cause an instant and very violent reaction, so those who are allergic to it are advised not to even hold peanuts in their hands without skin protection.


The protein found in cereals is a trigger for two completely different health conditions. The first is celiac disease, a condition in which the body's autoimmune response targets the small intestine, disrupting nutrient absorption. This disease affects about 1% of people. And the second is a classic allergy with all its symptoms, from rashes to anaphylactic shock. In both cases, it is recommended to completely eliminate gluten products from the diet.

Lupine or wolf's bean

In pursuit of the so-called superfoods, healthy eating enthusiasts have turned their attention to a protein-rich plant of the legume family, lupine. It is also known for its bright colors. Some people tried to replace cereal flour in some gluten-free products with lupine seeds, but it turned out that it can also provoke allergies. It is important for those who are sensitive to peanuts as these related products have demonstrated high cross-reactivity.

Sulfites, in particular sulfur dioxide

Sulfite (sulfuric) acid salts are often added to processed foods, such as processed meat and vegetables (pickles and marinades), snacks, confectionery, sweet sauces and toppings. They can be found naturally in white sugar, beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. People with this allergy should avoid foods that contain sulfur dioxide and any substance with the word "sulfite" in the name, and pay attention to E-codes from 220 to 228 inclusive (E220-E228)


Popular sauce and other products containing mustard seeds and their derivatives can cause an allergic reaction. Fortunately, it accounts for about 1.5% of all food allergies. But the bad news is that the yellow mustard protein Sin a 1, which causes the reaction, can be transmitted through breastfeeding and even in utero. At the same time, it is resistant to high temperatures and digestive enzymes.


This aromatic vegetable can cause an allergic reaction when consumed in any part of it, be it leaves, seeds, stem, and root. The peculiarity of celery allergy is that it can manifest itself through photodermatosis, a condition where blisters appear on the skin even after a slight exposure to the sun.

Sesame seeds

A delicious sprinkle for baked goods and an ingredient in salad dressings, sesame seeds are also now included in the list of 14 major food allergens. And sesame oil, which can also cause a reaction, can be found not only in food but also in cosmetics. It is also dangerous for sensitive people.


The tricky thing about fish allergy is that it can occur at any time in life, even if this type of food has not caused any reaction before. Allergies can be triggered not only by the consumption of whole fish but also by dishes where it is only one of many ingredients.


The most commonly eaten marine mollusks are mussels, rapana, oysters, and squid. All of them, as well as other animals of this type, such as land snails, are powerful allergens. Shellfish can often be an ingredient in complex dishes, so people who have an adverse reaction to them should find out about the presence of shellfish in a recipe in advance.


Crayfish, crabs, lobsters, lobsters, and shrimp are considered delicacies. They are also strong allergens. Adults are more likely to suffer from crustacean allergies as they can develop with age. Even a person who has inhaled the steam from the water in which crustaceans were cooked can experience a reaction. The allergenic protein rises into the air with it. Allergies to fish, shellfish, and crustaceans are related, and if one of them occurs, you should carefully monitor the reaction to the other three products.

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