Do you know someone who has certain food allergies? Maybe you’re allergic to certain food yourself? According to research in 2011, 30-40% of the world’s population has an allergy (not just food allergies), and there was an increasing trend at that time. If you know or are a person with food allergies, this could come in handy! Take a look at these common food allergies and their alternatives, so you can continue to eat with more variety — safely!
1) Cow’s Milk/Dairy
If you’re looking for a liquid milk substitute, try soy, rice or oat milk instead. Some also claim that coconut milk can be an alternative, but there could also be other health concerns regarding that, especially cholesterol levels. For your calcium content, turn to leafy greens, which are a good source of vitamins and minerals besides calcium. You can also try yogurt, or look for food labelled “pareve” or “parve”, which means that they do not contain milk products.
Wheat and gluten products are really broad and varied, and here’s what you can look for. Of course, go for gluten-free flour or grains, if you’re allergic to gluten. If you’re just allergic to wheat, you can use coconut, almond, spelt, tapioca, oat or rice flour instead. Whole, unprocessed grains such as cornmeal, brown rice, quinoa and millet are good too.
Citrus allergies are slightly less common than the rest, but they have the same dangerous effects if triggered nevertheless. There are a whole lot of other fruits out there besides citrus fruits, but here are a few other options: try vinegar, tomato juice and apple cider vinegar.
4) Fish & Shellfish
Shellfish is an extremely common allergy, and there are so many types of shellfish one can be allergic to. Think prawns, crabs, lobsters, squids, oysters, clams… without fish and/or shellfish, your options would be meat and poultry, beans, lentils and mushrooms. Sure, they won’t taste anything like seafood, but you’ll get your protein nevertheless.
5) Corn Starch
Derived from corn grain, corn starch is an important cooking staple, mainly used to thicken sauces or soups. For alternatives to corn starch or also corn syrup, go for potato starch or honey. They will provide the same thick consistency, and honey also acts as a sweetener.
Eggs are a versatile ingredient used a variety of dishes, and its alternatives depending on usage is also pretty vast. If you want an egg-y dish, try mixing silken tofu and chickpea flour for scrambled or omelette egg-like dishes. As a binding agent, you can use fruit puree such as applesauce, mashed bananas, or tofu as well. Nutrition-wise, consume fish, poultry and soybeans.
More and more of the population are allergic to soy products, and here are some other options to consider. Instead of soy milk, go for regular cow’s milk, or any other kind of milk like rice, oat and almond milk. Tofu is a soy product, and you can try replacing that with ricotta cheese instead. For protein intake, go with fish, poultry, meat and nuts. You can also get some lentils, quinoa and chickpeas.
8) Peanuts & Treenuts
You can allergic to one but not the other, or you could be allergic to both. If it so happens that you’re allergic to both, go for seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds and toasted oats. They provide the crunch nuts have, and there are also seed butters available! To make up for lost nutrition, try fish and olive oil.
Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive guide on food allergies, but it could be a good place to start. If you are unsure about any sort of food allergy and/or food alternative regarding your allergy, consult your GP! We hope you’ll find a suitable alternative for your food allergy here, regardless!