By Dr. Shikha Sharma
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Common Food Allergies and substitutes

Our Body is a sophisticated machine that helps us stay healthy and protect against diseases and infections. A food allergy is a serious and abnormal immune response from the body when it is not able to digest a certain kind of food. It is our own immune system that recognizes (sometimes wrongly) a specific food as a danger to the body, then as a response body produces a range of protective measures which in severe cases releases a chemical Histamine, which is responsible to cause inflammation in the body.

Food allergies are very common nowadays, they affect children mostly but they can show up anytime in an adult’s life also. The pain and struggle for people with food allergies are tough and challenging.

A food allergy not only affects the digestive system but also affects the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.

Severe reactions can be life-threatening. So in order to eat without any fear of the repercussions, one must use other food alternatives to ensure good nutrition and sound health. A list of food allergy and their substitutes are given below:-


Items Containing Allergic Food  




  • Milk based sweets
  • Donuts
  • Coffee Creamers
  • Custard
  • Ice- Creams
  • Pudding
  • White Sauces
  • Salad dressing




vomiting and

in rare cases, anaphylaxis

gut-based symptoms like vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, as well as inflammation of the gut wall 

  • Soy milk
  • Rice milk
  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Coconut Milk


  • Eggnog
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Salad dressing
  • Pies
  • Puffs
  • Custard
  • Doughnuts
  • Rolls
  • Ice-creams
  • Muffins
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pudding
  • Soufflés
  • Tarts
  • Waffles

Digestive distress, such as a stomach ache

Skin reactions, such as hives or a rash

Respiratory problems

Anaphylaxis (which is rare)

  • Applesauce 
  • Bananas 
  • Ground flaxseed or chia seed 
  • Gelatin 
  • A combination of baking powder, oil, and water
  • For cooking, 
  •         use silken tofu and 
  • chickpea flour for egg-free scrambles, omelettes, and other dishes.
  • For custards and puddings, consider replacing eggs with agar powder or 
  • Coconut milk.


(essential omega-3 fatty acids)

  • Oils
  • sauces 
  • marinades

vomiting diarrhea, but

In rare cases, anaphylaxis can also occur.

  • Tofu 
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salmon
  • tunaand halibut 
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Almonds
  • walnuts, or other tree nuts
  • Healthy oils, like olive or canola oil’


  • Shrimp
  • Prawns
  • Crayfish
  • Lobster
  • Squid
  • Scallops

digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

removing all shellfish from your diet.

Peanut Products

  • Peanut Oils
  • Peanut butter
  • Chikki
  • Chocolates
  • Cookies
  • Salad dressing
  • Frozen desserts

skin prick testing

skin rashes

 blood test

Food challenges.

  • Cream Cheese
  • Hummus
  • sunflower butter
  • Soy butter
  • tahini (made from sesame) 

Tree Nuts 

(Allergy to some of the nuts and seeds that come from trees.)

  • Nut Oils
  • Nut butter
  • Hazelnuts
  • Chikki
  • Chocolates
  • Cookies
  • Salad dressing
  • Frozen desserts



  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

Soy Products

  • Soy flour
  • Soy nuts
  • Soymilk
  • Soy Sauce


 tingly mouth and runny nose to a rash and asthma or breathing difficulties.

In rare cases, anaphylaxis 

  • beans, 
  • peas, 
  • lentils, and 
  • peanuts.

Wheat Products

  • Flour
  • Cookies/Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Breads
  • Doughnuts
  • Pasta
  • Noddle’s
  • Crackers
  • Vermicelli
  • Semolina

digestive distress, hives



swelling and,

in severe cases, anaphylaxis.

  • Amaranth 
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Jowar
  • Bajra
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Tapioca 
  • Rice
  • Pure cornmeal and potato starch are also wheat-free.

Sulphite Products (items containing Sulphites)

  • Baked foods
  • Soups
  • Jams
  • Pickles
  • Gravies
  • Chips
  • Ketchup
  • Canned fruits & vegetables
  • Tea
  • Apple cider


Upset stomach diarrhea


Trouble swallowing.



Drop-in blood pressure.

Trouble breathing.

Sulfite avoidance is safest.

Think You Have Any symptoms?

Speak to a medical practitioner. As a confirmation, he/she will probably carry out diagnostic tests. This includes Dietary review, skin prick testing, oral food challenges, and blood tests.

If confirmed, immediately consult a Doctor or a Nutrition Consultant.

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