Over 32 million Americans have one or multiple food allergies. You know the main food allergies like nuts, dairy, eggs, shellfish, etc. Turns out, these food allergies are actually pretty common.
What are food allergies?
If you have a food allergy, your immune system negatively reacts to a specific food you ingest. This creates a variety of unpleasant experiences on the skin, in the body, or even mentally.
Food allergies can be quite strange. You may have the same allergy your entire life or you could grow out of an allergy you’ve had since you were a kid. You could even grow into an allergy during your early adulthood years.
The Most Common Food Allergies
An allergy to cow milk is one of the most common allergies, especially in children. About 2.5% of children have a sensitivity to millk. Although this is likely to disappear, many people still experience it well into their adulthood or even their entire life.
About 65% of people are unable to properly digest dairy, meaning they are lactose intolerant. Although intolerances are not as strong as allergies, the statistics on dairy intolerances are notable.
Egg allergies are another common allergy among children and some adults. Approximately 2% of all kids have an egg allergy.
While most kids grow out of their allergy by age 6, many don’t grow out of it until age 16, and some may even deal with it their entire lives.
Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Soy
Peanut allergy is arguably the most common allergy among all ages. Peanuts are types of legumes, not actual nuts. However, many people who have a peanut allergy have other correlated nut allergies.
Even though these are completely different from peanuts, about 30% of people allergic to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts.
Soybean allergies are also quite common among many individuals, especially in babies and children. About 0.3% of people have this allergy, and many people have an intolerance to soy. Around 88% of people who are allergic to soy are also significantly intolerant or allergic to peanuts.
Wheat is another common allergy that is common among children and typically is grown out by age 12. This allergy affects around 1% of all kids and even many adults.
Intolerances to wheat are even more common. Many people are allergic or intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat. A gluten intolerance, gluten allergy, or Celiac disease aren’t necessarily the same as a wheat allergy. However, they need to avoid similar foods as those with wheat allergies.
Shellfish or Fish
Shellfish consist of any shelled mollusk or crustacean that people typically eat. This food allergy typically lasts your entire life. Around 60% of people have their first allergic reaction in adulthood. About 2% of all people are allergic to shellfish.
Fish allergies are typically also lifelong. Around 2% of all people are allergic to finned fish and around 40% of people with this allergy experience their first reaction in adulthood.
Although having one of these allergies doesn’t necessarily mean you are allergic to the other, cross-contamination can be an issue, so be careful.
Many of these allergies either don’t last, have mild symptoms, or are well-known and marked on food packages for your safety.
However, it’s still important to be careful and check with your doctor about the severity of any allergies you may have. Food allergies are a lot more common than people make them out to be.