An allergy to peanuts is one of the most common types of food allergies. For most people allergic to them, it is quite extreme whereby eating or even inhaling a tiny amount can cause serious reactions. So if you were born with allergies – or even just discovered it – how do you ensure that what you are eating has no trace of nuts whatsoever? You need to avoid not only all obvious sources, but the not-so-obvious, sneaky sources too. And that’s where we come in; we have some top tips for you to help you live without peanuts; just to make sure you don’t go nuts!
There are obvious nut products; peanuts (clearly), almond/peanut butters, walnut cookies, pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts etc. But there are other trigger foods that are a bit more surprising, so note down these forget-me-nuts.
So, first things first you need to thoroughly check the label – particularly for the following:
- Egg Rolls
- Baked goods – cookies & pastries
- Enchilada sauces
- Mole sauces
- Candy – such as Hershey’s
Some unexpected places peanuts can hide are:
- Egg rolls
- Mexican, Asian & African dishes
- Sauces ranging from hot sauce, to pesto, salad dressings and chili sauces
- Some pet foods (so if you have extreme cases of allergic reactions, be extra careful!)
- Vegetarian food products – specifically meat substitutes
- Any foods that contain peanut protein & oils (Arachis oil is another name for peanut oil so keep that in mind)
Cross-contamination is an issue:
The biggest culprits to cross contamination are within the food service industry. As difficult as it may be, you should probably try to stay away from restaurants where peanuts are frequently in their dishes, for instance:
- Ice cream shops
- Some bakeries
Cross contamination can occur even if foods are just prepared in the same area or with same utensils. Always speak to restaurant staff or shop owners to ensure that there is no threat to your health. If there is even a slight possibility that it has been cross contaminated – don’t risk it!
Look outside the kitchen:
As well as being present in food, nuts can be in lotions, shampoos, garden & lawn products, household items & pet foods:
- Lawn fertilisers
- Compost accelerators
- Insect granules
- Bird feeders – birds & squirrels also hide nuts in the grass so watch out!
- Potting soils
- Fireplace logs
- Shelving – especially fibreboard
- Scented markers & crayons
- Wall boards
In health & beauty products you might not always need to look just for peanut oil. Arachis oil is another name for it so read the label fully:
- Some exfoliators contain ground nut shells
- Some vitamins for children & pre-natal vitamins
- Massage oils – if you fancy a spa day with a friend or on a romantic break with your other half, be mindful of this
- Sunscreens & tanning oils
Luckily, there are a few things that you can replace nuts with and they are just as delicious & good for you:
Soy Nut Butters
-Sunflower or Pumpkin seed butter – some people with nut allergies are still able to eat seeds like sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds. These are acceptable substitutes that provide pretty much the same nutritional value & taste as nut, just double check first
–Dead Sea Spa Beauty products are nut free and full of essential oils. They are enriched with pure Dead Sea Salts, Vitamin E & coconut oils which enable you to indulge yourself in a home spa experience, allergen-free.
And there you have it, a few little tips in a nutshell to help you on the road to a nut & peanut free life. It can be difficult, taking a bit of work, but as long as you read all labels carefully, go to a trusted retailer & always be open about your allergies – especially out and about – then it’ll soon become second nature & you won’t go nuts. For more nut & peanut free products, click here – there are many safe alternatives to enjoy, happy exploring!