Avoid nuts without going nuts

It’s no secret that nut allergies are on the rise. Whether you’re allergic or simply adhering to ‘nut-free zones in schools’ standards, here is some basic information about living nut free:

Which nuts cause allergies?

Nut allergies are usually defined as peanut allergy and tree nut allergy.  Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts,  macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachio nuts and walnuts. So if a person is allergic to one type, are they allergic to all nuts? That’s not always the case. Tree nuts are a different plant group to peanuts (also known as ground nut), and it’s common for people to be allergic to tree nuts but not peanuts and vice versa. And if you’re allergic to tree nuts, it’s fairly likely you’ll be allergic to more than one.

Too dangerous to ignore

Peanut allergies in particular are on the rise in Australia, with ongoing dialogue from scientists and nutritionists all weighing in as to why. Nobody’s come to a conclusion yet, but we do know that some nut allergies can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated properly. It’s important to get to your GP if you suspect any kind of allergy, just to be sure.

That ‘may contain traces of nuts’ line

What’s with so many products you see out there saying ‘may contain traces of nuts’ on the box? Aren’t these companies sure what’s in their products?

The reason is that most products made by other companies are all made on the same factory lines, meaning it’s hard to eliminate ingredients when making product after product. Peanuts are a great example because they have airborne particles. That means if they’re used anywhere in a factory, there’s a chance every single product made in the facility could be contaminated.

At Freedom Foods, our cereal and bar products are manufactured in a factory that doesn’t use, and tests for, the presence of peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts.

Tips for going nut free

Living nut free does mean keeping a careful eye out. Here are a few tips to make that vigilance a little easier:

  •  Read the labels and packaging. On everything – get into the habit and it won’t seem like a chore. Keep an eye out for that ‘may contain traces of nuts’ line, too.
  •  Look beyond the kitchen. Products like shampoo, body lotions or creams and even pet food can contain nuts, so be careful.
  •  Know your management plan. As discussed with your medical professional, make sure you know exactly what to do in the case of a reaction.