Depending on the type of food allergy that a person has the nutritional recommendations can vary. They need to exclude all variations of the food they are allergic to from their diet to resolve the symptoms they have with the food allergy. The part of the food they are allergic to is the protein which can be released when cooking, so for instance if someone has a sever allergy to eggs they can’t be cooked in the house because the protein will be broken down with heating and released in to the air cause that person to have a reaction. If a person has several allergies they may need to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals or other safe foods that are fortified, such as calcium fortified foods if they have a milk protein allergy.
A Answers (4)
Michael T Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
An allergy elimination diet is valuable in identifying food allergies. In an allergy elimination diet, many commonly eaten foods are eliminated and replaced with either hypoallergenic foods and foods that are rarely eaten, or special hypoallergenic formulas. The fewer the allergenic foods eaten, the greater the ease of establishing a diagnosis. The standard elimination diet consists of hypoallergenic foods, including lamb, chicken, potatoes, rice, bananas, apples, and cabbage-family vegetables, such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Variations of this diet may be suitable; the key point is that no allergenic foods be consumed.
The individual stays on the elimination diet for at least one week and up to one month. If the symptoms are related to food sensitivity, they will typically disappear by the fifth or sixth day of the diet. If the symptoms do not disappear, it is possible that a reaction to a food in the elimination diet is responsible. In that case, an even more restricted diet must be utilized. After the elimination diet period, methods range from reintroducing only a single food every two days to reintroducing a food every one or two meals. Usually, after the one-week "cleansing" period, the patient develops an increased sensitivity to offending foods.
Reintroduction of allergenic foods typically produces more severe or recognizable symptoms than before. A careful, detailed record must be kept describing when foods were reintroduced and what symptoms appeared upon reintroduction. It also can be very useful to track the wrist pulse during reintroduction, as changes in pulse rate-either faster or slower- may occur when an allergenic food is consumed.
Donna Feldman, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
When you have a food allergy, the first recommendation is to avoid foods with that particular allergen. Depending on the allergy, this could have a big impact on your food choices (wheat or milk) or a relatively small impact (fish or peanuts). It's easy to maintain a healthy diet if you're only avoiding fish or peanuts. If you have to avoid major food groups, or multiple foods, your choices might end up so restricted that your nutritional intake is affected. In that case, it's best to consult with a registered dietitian, who can evaluate your diet and make recommendations to insure you're getting all the nutrients you need. It's not possible to make general recommendations because every person's situation is different. A registered dietitian will consider your food preferences, your lifestyle and your particular allergy when planning your diet.
Scott H. Sicherer, MD, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
Most people with food allergies are only avoiding a handful of possible triggers. However, when larger numbers of foods are removed from the diet, nutritional issues could arise. Work with your doctor and a registered dietitian to insure that the diagnosis is correct and you are only avoiding foods that need to be avoided and that the remaining diet is nutritious. Learning to live with an avoidance diet requires a lot of education. Briefly, areas of education include reading ingredient labels on manufactured products, obtaining safe meals in a restaurant, understanding cross contact and, for children, special issues for schools and camps.
For products manufactured in the US, labeling laws require the use of plain English in identifying major allergens which include: milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts named specifically (e.g., walnut, cashew, etc.), fish named specifically (e.g., salmon, tuna, etc.) and Crustacean shellfish (e.g., lobster, shrimp, etc.). The law does not cover other foods (e.g., sesame, garlic, oyster). The law does not cover advisory labeling such as may contain. Our studies suggest a small percentage of products with advisory labeling have trace amounts of the allergen. Therefore, these products pose some risk. It is not possible to know the risk based upon the wording of warnings.
It is important to understand cross contact. An unintended allergen can get into a food that is otherwise safe in a variety of ways. Examples include chopping nuts on a cutting board and then chopping lettuce in the same area, shared fryers for fish and for French fries and more.
Restaurant dining poses challenges including cross contact. Discuss the allergy with staff, making sure they understand you have an allergy and not just a preference. Review cross contact. There may be some types of restaurants that are just too difficult to manage and may be off limits. For example, persons with nut and peanut allergies might have difficulty in Asian restaurants.
Additional resources are available through the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, Food Allergy Initiative, and the Consortium of Food Allergy Research.