Guide to Food Allergies and Special Eating Needs

By EatingWell Editors, "What-they-can-eat cheat sheet," September/October 2007

The 8 most common food allergies and how to eat around them.


Foods to Avoid: Peanut butter, mixed nuts, beer nuts, peanut oil.
Note: Experts often caution those with peanut allergies to avoid tree nuts, due to cross-contamination risks. Plus, about one-third of those with an allergy to peanuts (which are legumes like beans) have or will develop an allergy to one or more true nuts, which grow on trees.

Common Hidden Sources: Sauces used in ethnic—Asian, African and Mexican—meals (e.g., mole), candy, chocolate, sunflower seeds and nut butters (which often are processed on shared equipment, so read labels to find ones that keep peanuts separate), some natural and artificial flavors and many other foods (i.e., read labels of all processed foods).

Delicious Swaps:

  • Dip apples in a little honey instead of peanut butter.
  • Pop some popcorn when craving a crunchy, salty snack.
  • Think outside the peanut butter-sandwich box: try turkey-cranberry, Cheddar-chutney, goat cheese roasted red pepper or a Strawberry & Cream Cheese Sandwich.

Next: 4. TREE NUTS »

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