What are the most common food allergies?
According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, eight foods are responsible for most food allergies:
- Cow's milk
- Peanuts or groundnuts
- Tree nuts
In adults, the most common foods that cause allergic reactions are shellfish, such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab; nuts from trees, such as walnuts; fish; eggs; and peanuts, a legume that is one of the chief foods that cause serious anaphylactic reactions.
In highly allergic people, even minuscule amounts of a food allergen (for example, 1/44,000 of a peanut kernel) can evoke an allergic reaction. Less sensitive people, however, may be able to tolerate small amounts of food to which they are allergic.
In children, the pattern is somewhat different from adults, and the most common foods that cause allergic reactions are
- tree nuts,
- fish, and
- fruits, particularly tomatoes and strawberries.
Children sometimes outgrow their allergies, but adults usually do not lose theirs. Also, children are more likely to outgrow allergies to cow's milk or soy formula than allergies to peanuts, fish, or shrimp.
Adults and children tend to react to those foods they eat more often. For example, in Japan, allergy to rice, and in Scandinavia, allergy to codfish is more common than elsewhere.