As the title suggests, this first substantive post is essentially a crash course in food allergies. The view from 30,000 miles in the air, if you will. Once we cover the fundamentals, we can delve deeper into individual allergens. Not to mention, a host of other issues related to living with food allergies or caring for a loved one’s food allergies. For that (and so much more), you will just have to stay tuned. And if you haven’t yet had a chance to check out our very first post, please take a moment to do so at your convenience.
What are Food Allergies?
Certain foods cause people with food allergies to experience adverse reactions when they come into contact with those foods. Specifically, the proteins in those foods cause the person’s immune system to overreact, potentially injuring the person or having fatal consequences.[i] Put another way, the person’s immune system perceives the food as a threat and attacks the food to protect the individual’s body from the threat. Unfortunately, the immune system often attacks the food with such force that it can kill the person in the process.
How Common are Food Allergies?
Over the past several decades, the incidence of food allergies have increased significantly in most parts of the world. It is estimated that as many as 15 million Americans have at least one food allergy, and nine million out of those 15 million are children.[ii] Without a doubt, food allergies are one of the biggest health problems in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults are direct victims of food allergy. A food allergy can develop at any age, and it is often very hard to detect symptoms until an allergic reaction occurs.
Which Foods Cause Food Allergies?
There are upwards of 170 known foods in the United States that cause food allergies. Amongst all of those foods, however, are eight of the most common offenders. According to the Mayo Clinic, those eight foods are: peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, and wheat.
In the next article, we will begin discussing these common food allergies. But we’re not writing book reports here. We’ll mix it up as we go, taking plenty of detours to talk about issues that are of interest to the food allergy community. Stay tuned…and stay safe out there!
About the author
Safe Sweets is a U.S.-based company that offers allergy free and allergen friendly chocolates. Many of the products offered by Safe Sweets have zero allergic ingredients, which means that customers with a history of food allergy can buy its products without hesitation. And because their facility is 100% nut free and dairy free, there is no chance of cross-contamination from shared equipment, utensils, or the like. If you are looking for an allergy free or allergen friendly chocolate option for you or your children, visit www.safesweets.com today for an amazing line of delicious, allergy safe products.