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Do You Have A Food Allergy?

Updated on May 4, 2013
When it comes to Allergies, An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure!
When it comes to Allergies, An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure!

So, how does one know if they have a food allergy?

Statistics state that 3 people out of 100 have a significant food allergy. How would you know?

Mild symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Your mouth may tingle, and your lips may swell.
  • You may have cramps, an upset stomach, or diarrhea.
  • You may have itchy skin with red, raised bumps called hives.
  • You may have a stuffy nose, wheeze, or be short of breath.
  • You may feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Common Foods that are known to cause allergic reactions include: eggs, milk, sugar, chocolate, citrus fruit, peanuts (hydrolyzed vegetable protein), tree nuts (walnuts, almonds), wheat, barley, oats, soy, fish, and shellfish. There is probably more.

Of course the best treatment is to never eat the foods you are allergic to, but if you get exposed, an Epinephrine shot can slow down or stop an allergic reaction. Your doctor can teach you how to give yourself the shot and you should keep an allergy kit nearby at all times.

My dad was highly allergic to eggs all his life. Just one lick and his lips would swell. Just before he died, he was so ill the doctor suggested he go to a nursing home. It was supposed to be the very best place. Unfortunately, we had to stay with him 24/7 because the Nursing Homes Dietitian inevitably sent in some item for him to eat that had eggs in it. So throughout the day we would take the item back to him and tell him that it had eggs. Dad was too sick to remember he couldn’t eat it. If he had a big taste, he would start convulsions. We tried in vain to educate that Dietitian even resorting to writting a list of things dad could not eat because they had eggs. In the end, it was no help because there are so many things made with eggs, and that person was not interested in learning about egg allergies. Eventually the treating medical professionals agreed dad would be safer at home and discharged him. What a relief!

As evidenced, if you have a food allergy it is up to you to educate yourself, your friends, and your family about your food allergy in order to protect yourself from foods that have that substance in them. You can find some help about different food allergies and their symptoms at http://www.foodallergy.org/

University of Arizona’s (U of A) Steel Memorial Children’s Research Center in Tucson suggests people with allergies will do better if their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry and fresh fish. They need to avoid dairy products, sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives.

A Gluten Free diet is prescribed to treat individuals with Celiac Disease. Any product that contains wheat, rye, barley, or oats has gluten. Gluten can be found in bread, cereal, and pasta. Gluten is usually added to foods to improve texture or enhance flavor during food packaging. Visit: http://www.glutenfree.com

What can we substitute for eggs?

  • 2 Tbsp. Corn starch = 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Arrowroot flour = 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Potato starch = 1 egg
  • 1 heaping tbsp. Soy powder plus 2 Tbsp water = 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy milk powder plus 1 Tbsp Cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. Water = 1 egg
  • 1 banana - 1 egg in cakes
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer - follow directions on the box = 1 egg

In conclusion, if you are one of the 3% in the population who has a Food Allergy, remember to read every label, learn every term used to name that food, instruct your family, friends and co-workers about your allergy to enable them to help you stay away from that food. Hand out lists at the school if your children have an allergy. Just because the school has a Dietitian does not make your child safe. It is in the end, up to you to protect yourself from getting foods that you are allergic to. Fortunately sometimes people grow out of allergies by the time they reach age 5 or 6. Unfortunately some people live with food allergies for life. It is very hard to eat out in their situation, and they always have to have an allergy kit nearby just in case of exposure. Here's hoping that you never have someone like dad's Dietitian serving you food!

So, what has Eggs in It?

Because some of you may have an egg allergy like my dad, I thought I’d include an incomplete list of items that usually include eggs in the recipe. Of course many soak fruits and vegetables in egg batter before cooking

  • Bread,
  • Breaded meat,
  • Buns,
  • Cake
  • Candy,
  • Chicken,
  • Coffee,
  • Cookies,
  • Cream sauces,
  • Custards,
  • Dessert
  • French Toast,
  • Fritters,
  • Frosting,
  • Fruit whips
  • Glaze,
  • Icing,
  • Macaroni,
  • Mayonnaise,
  • Meat jellies,
  • Meringue
  • Mousses,
  • Muffins,
  • Noodles,
  • Pancake flour,
  • Pancakes
  • Pastries,
  • Powders,
  • Pretzels,
  • Puddings,
  • Salad dressing,
  • Salisbury Steak,
  • Sausage,
  • Sherbet
  • Soup,
  • Waffles,
  • Water ice, and
  • Wine

I think the hardest thing was cake and ice cream for dad. Everytime a birthday comes by, what do they serve? He did enjoy consuming an eggless pineapple shortcake every year as his special birthday treat. Hostess Cup Cakes do not have eggs in them either; at least they didn't when he was alive :-)

 

Key Lime Pie

Since Fruit is a recommended food for folks with food allergies, I thought those of you without a milk allergy, might enjoy these two recipes on Key Lime Pie: I used these two versions to show that there are simple and complicated cooking recipes for most foods. If you have a food allergy and there is an easy substitute for one item, you can eat almost anything. If you have a milk substitute, you might be able to make one of these.

Recipe 1 - Ingredients:

Filling

14 oz can sweeten condensed milk

2 tbsp grated lime peel

½ cup limejuice

2 pt lemon sorbet, softened

1-cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Green and yellow food coloring

Crust

1 ¼ cups graham cracker crust or 20 squares

1/3-cup butter, melted

2 tbsp sugar

9-inch pie plate

Pam non-stick spray

Directions

Make crust first. Coat pan with Pam. Mix ingredients and press into pan and freeze for 5 minutes. Then stir milk, lime peel and lime juice in bowl Add sorbet and stir until smooth. Add food coloring a few drops at a time until you reach the desired shade. Spread on top of crust. Freeze 6 hours until hard, or wrap in airtight container and freeze for two weeks. Remove pie about 20 minutes prior to serving. Make topping by beating sugar and cream on high speed until mix forms peaks. Spread on top of the pie and add lime wedges as garnishment. 421 calories per serving: 4 g pro, 61g car, 1 g fiber, 19 g fat, 62 mg chol, 187 mg sodium.

Recipe 2 - Ingredients:

30 Key Limes

3 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Graham Cracker pre-made pie shells

1 lg. Tub of Cool Whip

Directions

Squeeze limes and strain to remove seeds. Place liquid into mixing bowl. Mix in Condensed milk. Fold in Cool Whip. Scoop ingredients into pre-made pie shells.

Garnish with lime slices if desired. Chill.

Allergic to Beef?

My cousin is allergic to Beef and eats, fish, chicken and turkey. Here is her recipe for Turkey Chili.

Ingredients:

1 to 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 onion, chopped

2 four-ounce cans chopped green chilies

1 Tbsp. of ground cumin

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

Cayenne pepper to taste

White pepper (or regular pepper) to taste

3 15-ounce cans cannelloni

Beans (Fry's usually carries them)

5 cups chicken broth

2 cups shredded Jack cheese

Chopped cilantro

Sour cream

Directions:

In a large pot, brown turkey with onion and garlic. Add chilies, cumin, oregano, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add the chicken broth and ONLY TWO CANS of the beans to the pot. Put the third can of beans in a food processor and puree. Add the puree to the pot with the cheese, and simmer for 10 min. or until cheese melts. Serve with cilantro and sour cream.

Comments

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  • Galadriel Arwen profile image
    Author

    Galadriel Arwen 4 years ago from USA

    Thx alise-evon for your suggestion. Remember Flax Seed acts like a laxative and some people need to be cautious when consuming flax especially if they already take laxatives prescribed by their doctor for some ailment.

  • profile image

    Alise- Evon 4 years ago

    So sad we have to deal with these things- so glad your dad was able to return home! I am not allergic to eggs, but sometimes I use this substitute if I just need a binder in a recipe (it's not so effective if you need the leavening properties of eggs): 1 Tbsp ground flax simmered in 3 Tbsp water until gooey = one egg.

  • Galadriel Arwen profile image
    Author

    Galadriel Arwen 8 years ago from USA

    Hello Angelique! I am glad you read this about food allergies if you think it might help you! Special note: if you find that food isn't the issue, don't stop there. Perhaps a new fabric or household item might be the cause. Sometimes if you start taking away things you just started eating and wait a week, you can find the source of the allergy. The same practice might locate a detergent or lotion you just started using as the culprit. It is nice if you can investigate the cause of your discomfort first to discover what the problem might be. In the end, it can save you the cost and pain involved in allergy testing. However, food allergies can be dangerous and might require immediate medical attention!

  • Angelique Loux profile image

    Angelique Loux 8 years ago from Ohio

    Thanks for the advise. I might have a food allergy.

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