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What Can I Eat if I Am Following a Nut Free Diet?

What Can I Eat if I Am Following a Nut Free Diet?
  • Nut Free

Nut allergies affect millions of people around the world. Individuals with nut allergies may be allergic to tree nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds, or may be allergic to peanuts. It is common for people to be allergic to both tree nuts and peanuts. Even if you are only allergic to one type, many healthcare experts will recommend that you stay away from both since allergies can develop over time from repeated exposure. 

In order to know what is safe for you to eat when following a nut free diet, it is important to determine what foods and beverages are unsafe. 

The following nuts and products that contain nuts should be avoided:

  • True nuts including almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
  • Peanuts (beer nuts, monkey nuts, ground nuts)
  • Nut oils (including arachis oil, which is peanut oil)
  • Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • Chocolate nut spread
  • Nutella
  • Marzipan, praline, nougat
  • Crushed nuts, mixed nuts, nut pieces, nutmeat
  • Peanut flour, almond flour, or any flours derived from nuts
  • Pesto (usually contains pine nuts)
  • Nut based liqueurs (e.g. Frangelica, Amaretto, Nocello)
  • Satay sauce, peanut sauce
  • Baklava
  • Gianduja

There are many types of foods that commonly contain nuts, including granola, granola bars, cereal, ice cream, baked goods, candy bars, trail mix, and fudge. Your best bet against consuming foods that contain nuts is to become familiar with ingredient labels. Particular attention must be shown to the allergen statement on a label, as many products may not contain nuts but are processed on the same machines where other products have been that do contain nuts. 

In addition to reading labels when grocery shopping, it is also important to learn to safely order nut-free meals at restaurants. Nut allergies are one of the most common types of food allergies and potentially the most fatal if someone is anaphylactic. These days, most restaurants will offer safe alternatives or will modify meals so that nuts are not included. Since cross-contamination is prevalent with nuts, you may want to call the restaurant ahead of time to discuss your diet, especially if you have severe nut allergies. 

While there are many types of foods and ingredients that contain nuts, you will find that there is still an array of food choices that you can enjoy on a nut-free diet. Fruit, vegetables, nut-free breads, meat, fish, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, pasta, nut-free cereals (be sure to read ingredient labels), oatmeal, fruit smoothies, and nut-free baked goods are just a few options. Even foods that typically contain nuts, such as pesto, can be made without nuts and still offer plenty of flavour and nutrition. 

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