Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches! Did you grow up eating these like I did? I just love them but to some people these sweet-tasting lunch items could really be life threatening. If you know you have a peanut allergy, avoid peanuts at all costs! I you are unsure, you may just have an intolerance (non-life threatening) but should avoid peanuts & peanut oils for a few weeks to see if you feel better.
For little kids that haven’t yet had peanuts, ask your doctor how to give and test peanuts on children. Peanut allergies are on the rise among children.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Peanut allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies peanut proteins as something harmful. When you have direct or indirect contact with peanuts, your immune system releases symptom-causing chemicals into your bloodstream. It isn’t known exactly why some people become allergic to peanuts and others don’t.
Exposure to peanuts can occur in different ways:
- Direct contact. The most common cause of peanut allergy is eating peanuts or peanut-containing foods. Sometimes direct skin contact with peanuts can trigger an allergic reaction.
- Cross-contact. This is the unintended introduction of peanuts into a product. It’s generally the result of a food being exposed to peanuts during processing or handling.
- Inhalation. An allergic reaction may occur if you inhale dust such as that of peanut flour.
If you have a peanut allergy, you need to avoid peanut products at all costs!
If you suspect a peanut intolerance (feeling unwell, fatigue, skin rashes) after eating peanuts… try a MED (modified elimination diet) for peanuts.
- Read all labels and look for peanut in BOLD lettering
- Beware unsuspecting food items that don’t seem to have peanuts but may contain peanut flour
- Peanuts are actually a legume – not exactly a “nut”
- You may be able to tolerate tree nuts – so you can eat almonds, pecans, cashews and the nut butters made of these tree nuts
- Enjoy almond butter & jelly sandwiches
- Beware of baked goods and pot lucks… always ASK the person who made the item, if peanuts were used or if there’s a chance of peanut contamination (especially if you have a severe allergy)