I have touched on this topic in previous posts, but I wanted to give you a more simplified version about how to avoid the foods that you are allergic to. This evidence-based post is especially helpful for beginners on the topic of food allergies, Celiac disease, and those who just want to learn more about it. There are just a few extra steps that you or your loved ones can take to make sure there isn’t any exposure to any of your allergens.
Scroll down to read more!
3 Simple Tips
1. Know your allergen
Having a food allergy can make shopping for food very difficult especially when you are unsure what to look for or avoid. Going out to eat can be even more difficult.
The good news is, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 actually requires that food production companies label their products with clear labeling of any ingredient they may be one of the 8 major food allergens.1
What are the major food allergens?
- Tree Nuts
2. Learn to Read Food Labels
Did you know that food production companies are required to disclose if the food was manufactured where any of these allergens have been present?1 Studies have shown that people prefer to look at the food labeling that is on the front of the package versus the food ingredients. The labeling on the front of the package can be helpful, however the “devil is in the details.”2
Labeling can definitely make your life easier, but there is always more to know when it comes to food.
3. Communicate with those who need to know
Going Out to Eat
When you are going out to eat, one of the first things that you should do is to call ahead to find out if the restaurant you are going to can work with food allergies.1 You can also look up the menu online to see if they take that extra step in identifying what is gluten-free, dairy-free etc. When you arrive to the restaurant, immediately let the server know of your allergies or if you have an illness like Celiac disease. You should always ask ahead of time to make sure gluten or any other allergen are typically in the dish that you choose.1 There are many places that are willing to leave certain things out to accommodate your allergy.
Just remember that Knowledge is power and when going out to eat or eating with others, communication is key.
Here are my references
- Nutrition, Center for Food Safety and Applied. Allergens – food allergies: What you need to know. https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodallergens/ucm079311.htm. Accessed Oct 8, 2018.
- Kim JS, Sicherer SH. Living with food allergy: Allergen avoidance. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2011;58(2):470, xi. Accessed Oct 9, 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2011.02.007.