Common Food Allergy Triggers

Common Food Allergy Triggers
Source – The European Food Information Council

Most individuals experience allergic responses to meals like these on occasion. However, dietary sensitivities or intolerances are the most common.  

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 2nd June 2022.

Common Food Allergy Triggers

When you eat spicy Indian cuisine or hot salsa, your nose begins to run. Beans cause you to be gassed up, while a glass of wine causes a headache to you. When you consume cheese or milk, you may anticipate diarrhoea if you’re lactose intolerant.

Most individuals experience allergic responses to meals like these occasionally. However, dietary sensitivities or intolerances are the most common.  

A food allergy is not the same as food intolerance. Your body misinterprets healthy foods as potentially harmful. Your immune system reacts to protect you when you consume something you’re allergic to. You may get a slight rash or irritated eyes, or you could have a more severe response that leaves you gasping for air.

Food allergies may be dangerous, but they can also be managed. Avoiding your trigger foods is one of the most needed things to do.

Foods That Cause Allergies

Eight factors cause around 90% of food allergy responses:

  • A glass of milk (mainly in children)
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish (mostly in adults)
  • Shellfish (mostly in adults)

However, almost any meal may cause an allergic reaction. Some that aren’t as well-known are:

  • Corn
  • Gelatin
  • Beef, chicken, mutton, and pork are examples of meat.
  • Sesame, sunflower, and poppy seeds are common.
  • Caraway, coriander, garlic, and mustard are examples of spices.

Source -

Food Allergy Symptoms

An allergic response may occur minutes after consuming something or hours afterwards.

It may be difficult to link mild symptoms to particular meals. You may get:

  • A rash that is red, puffy, dry, or irritating (hives or eczema)
  • Sneezing, a mild, dry cough, or a runny or stuffy nose
  • Eyes that are itchy, watery, and red
  • Itchy within your ear or in your tongue
  • You have a strange taste in your tongue.
  • Stomach pains, cramps, vomiting, or diarrhoea
  • Peanuts, nuts, fish, and shellfish are the most common foods that trigger severe responses, although any meal may do so.

Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems
  • Lips, tongue, or throat swelling
  • Passing out, feeling faint, disoriented, or light-headed
  • A weak, irregular pulse or chest discomfort

Because they may not know how to explain what’s going on, young children may remark things like “my mouth is tingling," “my tongue feels heavy," or “I have a frog in my throat." A hoarse or squeaky voice and slurred speech are also indications of an allergic response in children.

Symptoms may sometimes involve the whole body and be so severe that they are life-threatening. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency when a person has an intense allergic response. It typically occurs after you’ve eaten for a few minutes. You’re more prone to get anaphylaxis if you have asthma and a food allergy. If you have a severe food allergy, have injectable epinephrine (adrenaline) on hand if you have a sudden allergic reaction. It may help you feel better until you can see a doctor. If you’re unsure if an allergy causes your symptoms, don’t hesitate to use the epinephrine auto-injector. Epinephrine will not harm you and may even save your life.

Even minute quantities of food (for example, 1/44,000 of a peanut kernel) may trigger an allergic response in severely sensitive individuals. Less sensitive people may consume modest amounts of their trigger meal.

Hidden Triggers

What is the key to managing a food allergy? Stay away from problematic foods. But it isn’t always simple. It may be disguised as a component in another product.

  • Most baked products, such as cakes and cookies, include eggs and, in some cases, nuts.
  • It’s possible that nonfat dry milk was added to water-packed tuna.
  • Soybean oil may be used to make salad dressing.
  • A hot dog may contain milk protein.

Be careful to read food labels. That’s an excellent starting point.

On the other hand, labels do not necessarily convey the entire storey. Microwave popcorn, for example, may include pineapple, milk casein, or hydrolysed soy protein, but these ingredients aren’t listed on the label. Instead, you’ll find the generic words “flavouring" or “natural flavouring." Words like “emulsifier" and “binder" may indicate the presence of soy or egg in a food.

If you have a food allergy, you should get acquainted with these basic words and the particular items that they may refer to. Check with the manufacturer if you have any queries regarding a product. Customer service or a quality assurance officer should assist you in determining whether or not the meal is safe for you.

You’ll also need to study restaurant menus attentively. If you have any reservations, inquire about the cooking procedure of the meal before ordering.


  1. Dee Sandquist, MS, RD; spokesperson, American Dietetic Association. 
  2. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Food Allergies and Reactions."
  3. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “About Food Allergies."
  4. Food Allergy Research & Education: “Other Allergens," “Symptoms," “About Anaphylaxis."
  5. WebMD Medical Reference in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic: “Food Allergy and Intolerances.

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