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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

What foods to avoid if you are having allergies?


Do you have a food allergy? If so, you are not alone. Lakhs of people around the world have food allergies that can make eating a challenge. But don’t worry, you can still enjoy a delicious and nutritious diet with some simple tips and tricks.


A food allergy is when your immune system reacts to a certain food as if it were harmful. This can cause symptoms like itching, swelling, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, or breathing problems. Sometimes, a food allergy can be very serious and even life-threatening.

The most common foods that cause allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. These foods are called “the big eight” because they cause 90% of food allergic reactions.


The best way to prevent a food allergy reaction is to avoid the food that causes it. But this can be hard because some foods may be hidden in other foods or dishes. That’s why you need to read food labels carefully and ask questions when eating out.


Here are some foods that you may want to avoid or eat if you have a food allergy:

  • Milk: If you are allergic to milk, you need to stay away from dairy products like cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, ice cream, and whey. You also need to watch out for baked goods, sauces, soups, cereals, chocolate, and candy that may contain milk. Instead of milk, you can try plant-based milks like almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, or soy milk (if you are not allergic to soy). You can also find dairy-free cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and ice cream made from these plant-based milks.

  • Eggs: If you are allergic to eggs you need to avoid foods like cakescookies pies breads pastries pancakes waffles mayonnaise salad dressings custards puddings and quiches that may contain eggs. You also need to watch out for some pasta noodles meatballs meatloaf and sausages that may contain eggs. Instead of eggs you can use egg substitutes like flax seeds chia seeds banana applesauce or tofu (if you are not allergic to soy) in your recipes. You can also find egg-free baked goods mayonnaise and dressings in some stores or online.

  • Peanuts: If you are allergic to peanuts you need to avoid foods like peanut butterpeanut oil peanut flour peanut sauce and peanut brittle that contain peanuts. You also need to watch out for granola bars cereals crackers cookies candies chocolates and ice cream that may contain peanuts. Instead of peanuts you can try other nuts like almonds walnuts cashews pistachios pecans hazelnuts macadamia nuts brazil nuts pine nuts or chestnuts (if you are not allergic to tree nuts). You can also use nut butters nut oils nut flours nut milks and nut cheeses made from these nuts. However if you have a peanut allergy you may want to avoid tree nuts as well due to the risk of cross-contamination or cross-reactivity.

  • Tree nuts: If you are allergic to tree nuts you need to avoid foods like almonds walnuts cashews pistachios pecans hazelnuts macadamia nuts brazil nuts pine nuts and chestnuts that contain tree nuts. You also need to watch out for baked goods trail mixes granola bars cereals crackers cookies candies chocolates and ice cream that may contain tree nuts. You also need to avoid nut butters nut oils nut flours nut milks and nut cheeses made from tree nuts. Instead of tree nuts you can try seeds like sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds sesame seeds (if you are not allergic to sesame) chia seeds flax seeds hemp seeds or poppy seeds. You can also use seed butters seed oils seed flours seed milks and seed cheeses made from these seeds. However if you have a tree nut allergy you may want to avoid seeds as well due to the risk of cross-contamination or cross-reactivity.

  • Fish: If you are allergic to fish you need to avoid foods like sushi, sashimi, fish sticks, fish cakes, fish soups, fish sauces, and fish oil supplements that contain fish. You also need to watch out for some seafood dishes such as paella, gumbo, chowder, bisque, and bouillabaisse that may contain fish. Some people may be allergic to only certain types of fish or all fish. Instead of fish, you can try other sources of protein such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy (if not allergic to milk), legumes (if not allergic to legumes), nuts (if not allergic to nuts), seeds (if not allergic to seeds), or soy (if not allergic to soy). You can also use plant-based oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, or hemp seed oil instead of fish oil.

  • Shellfish: If you are allergic to shellfish, you need to avoid foods like shrimp, prawns, lobster, crab, crawfish, clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, and squid that contain shellfish. You also need to watch out for some seafood dishes such as paella, gumbo, chowder, bisque, and bouillabaisse that may contain shellfish. You also need to avoid some sauces such as Worcestershire sauce and Caesar dressing that may contain shellfish. Instead of shellfish, you can try other sources of protein such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy (if not allergic to milk), legumes (if not allergic to legumes), nuts (if not allergic to nuts), seeds (if not allergic to seeds), or soy (if not allergic to soy).

  • Soy: If you are allergic to soy,you need to avoid foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, and soy ice cream that contain soy. You also need to watch out for some meat alternatives such as veggie burgers, veggie sausages, veggie nuggets, and veggie bacon that may contain soy. Soy sauce, soybean oil, soy lecithin, and soy protein isolate are some other forms of soy that may be found in various foods. Instead of soy, you can try other sources of protein such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy (if not allergic to milk), legumes (if not allergic to legumes), nuts (if not allergic to nuts), seeds (if not allergic to seeds), or rice (if not allergic to rice). You can also use other sauces such as tamari, coconut aminos, or teriyaki sauce instead of soy sauce.

  • Wheat: If you are allergic to wheat or gluten,a protein found in wheat and other grains such as barley, rye, and oats, you need to avoid foods like breads, pastas, noodles, cereals, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, and other baked goods that contain wheat or gluten. You also need to watch out for some soups, sauces, gravies, dressings, beer, and malt vinegar that may contain wheat or gluten. Instead of wheat or gluten, you can try other grains such as rice (white brown basmati jasmine etc.) quinoa millet buckwheat amaranth teff and sorghum. You can also use gluten-free flours such as almond flour coconut flour rice flour oat flour (if not allergic to oats) or chickpea flour in your recipes. You can also find gluten-free breads pastas noodles cereals crackers cookies cakes pies pastries and other baked goods in some stores or online.


These are some foods that you may want to avoid or eat if you have a food allergy. But remember, every person is different and may react differently to different foods. So always check with your doctor before making any changes in your diet. They can help you figure out what foods trigger your allergy and how to plan a balanced diet that suits your needs and tastes.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456



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