Most Common Food Allergies

 Most Common Food Allergies

Food allergies can be caused by almost any food, however there are 8 that hold the title of most common food allergies and we have ensured that our Allergy Smart Cookies are 100% free of any of these allergens.

Most Common Food Allergies

The most common food allergies are milk, egg, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, shellfish. Other food that causes allergic reactions but are less common include sesame seed allergy, celery allergy, mustard allergy, avocado allergy, garlic allergy, strawberry allergy and fruits such as peach, banana, kiwi and passion fruit.

For the most common food allergies the symptoms can differ, some are even outgrown, but the treatment is almost always the same, avoidance of these foods always. Food intolerance and food sensitivity is common for many of these food allergies, learning how to spot the difference is important. 

Milk Allergy

A milk allergy is your body’s reaction to proteins in cow’s milk and foods that contain it such as butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream. Milk allergies often affect children under the age of three and mean all milk and dairy products must be avoided. The good news is most children will outgrow their milk allergy.  Common allergic reactions are stomach cramps, rashes, and swelling. 

A milk allergy is not to be confused with lactose intolerance. Lactose – a sugar found in milk - intolerance is when your body can't break down or digest lactose. A digestive enzyme called lactase breaks down the lactose in food so your body can absorb it, if you have an intolerance, you do not have enough lactase.

Egg Allergy

Egg allergies are very common in children, but most of these allergies will be outgrown by the time the child is 16.  While an anaphylaxis reaction is rare, an egg allergy can cause digestive issues, skin hives or rashes and respiratory problems if eaten. It is possible to be allergic to just the egg yolk or just the egg white since the proteins in each of these are different. It is also possible to enjoy baked items that contain egg since the heating of the egg causing the protein to change. Some studies suggest introducing baked goods early can shorten the duration of egg allergy, but always follow the advice of your doctor before reintroducing any allergen. 

Tree Nut Allergy 

A tree nut allergy is different than a peanut allergy since tree nuts are not peanuts. Brazil nuts, Almonds, cashews, macadamia, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts are all tree nuts and an allergy to one of these nuts means an increased risk to an allergy to all of these nuts.  This type of allergy is life long and often requires carrying an epi-pen as tree nuts are often hidden in unsuspecting places and an allergic reaction can be severe.

Peanut Allergy

Peanuts are actually not nuts but rather a legume and are the most fatal food allergy, causing anaphylaxis more often than any other allergen. Those with peanut allergies usually also are allergic to tree nuts. For some even a small contact can cause big reaction so heightened hygiene and peanut and tree nut avoidance is importance.  Studies say 4-8% of children and 1-2% of children suffer from peanut allergy and up to 20 % of these allergies will be outgrown by the time the child is a teenager.

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish allergies – which includes shrimp, prawns, lobsters, crayfish and oysters – is a lifelong condition that produces quick allergic reactions to even small amounts of shellfish. Digestive issues are the most common reaction to a shellfish allergy, but for some, even being around vapours from cooking shellfish can cause a reaction.

Wheat Allergy

Wheat allergies are the body’s reaction to any of the hundreds of proteins that are contained in wheat.  White blood cells treat wheat as an enemy and attack, causing nausea, abdominal pain, itching, shortness of breath, swelling of lip and tongue and can cause anaphylaxis.

Many will outgrow wheat allergies by age 10 but for some avoiding wheat and wheat containing products – including beauty and cosmetics - is a lifelong issue.

Not to be confused with celiac disease, which is a non-life-threatening autoimmune disorder, or a gluten sensitivity which can show similar digestive issues but is only a reaction to gluten and not all wheat.

Soy Allergies

Soy allergies are most common in children under the age of 3 and up to 70% of these children will outgrow a soy allergy. Symptoms are mild itchy rashes, hives appearing around the mouth and breathing difficulties, but very rarely does a soy allergy lead to anaphylaxis.

A soy allergy is triggered by the protein in soybeans and soy products like soy milk and soy sauce. Since soy is an ingredient in many products. label reading labels is very important with a soy allergy.

Fish Allergy 

A fish allergy can cause a serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction and affects around 2% of adults.  Unlike other allergies, fish allergies usually develop in adults and nit children. Most common reaction is vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases, anaphylaxis. The different proteins in shellfish and fish means that being allergic to one, does not automatically mean being allergic to the other but caution should be taken when trying different types of fish.


An allergic reaction is your body recognizing the proteins in certain foods as harmful and triggering an abnormal response by your immune system. Common reactions are swelling of the tongue, mouth or face, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, and itchy rash.  A more severe reactions results in anaphylaxis that can be fatal.   Always read labels, enquire about ingredients and always consult your health care professional at first signs of an allergic reaction.

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