Going Vegan? Here’s how to avoid allergens in your meals

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Different people have different motivations in choosing a vegan lifestyle. Whatever the reason is, you might come face to face with foods that are considered part of a healthy diet; however, you’re allergic to them. This is common since food that trigger allergies, such as nuts, soy, wheat, and seeds are usually part of a healthy plant-based diet. 

Now, there’s a solution to this. Getting EAV allergy testing can help you determine what foods trigger your sensitivity. While this can help you avoid certain types of food, it won’t solve your allergy problem. 

The question is: can you still become a vegan if you have allergies? Also, what is the best way to plan meals without allergy-triggering foods?

What are some of the major food allergies?

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According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are over 160 foods that can cause allergic reactions to food-sensitive people. 

Below are eight of the most common allergenic food:

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Fish
  4. Shellfish
  5. Tree nuts
  6. Peanuts
  7. Wheat
  8. Soybeans

If you’re a vegan or planning to become one, you’re in luck! You only have to worry about four of those allergens. Unfortunately, these four are vegan meal staples. Tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy may be commonly used in plant-based recipes but they are easily replaceable if you’re allergic to them. 

Food allergies can be life-threatening. Ingestion of food that you are allergic to can cause anaphylaxis, which constricts your airways, lowers your blood pressure, and causes swelling of the throat. That is why eating plant-based instead of animal-based is a step in the right direction to avoiding allergic reactions! 

Allergies should not be taken lightly, so knowing what foods you’re allergic to is important. Therefore, get EAV allergy testing to find out what allergenic foods you should avoid.

Can you still become a Vegan even though you have allergies?

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It might seem difficult to adapt to a vegan lifestyle if popular plant-based foods are allergy-inducing. However, it’s not impossible. You can still live an ethical, healthy, and vegan lifestyle despite your food allergies.

In fact, one way to alleviate food sensitivity is to have a healthy diet composed of whole plant foods. Our intestines are responsible for absorbing the necessary food nutrients and eliminating those that are not needed. Its ability to filter nutrients and initiate allergic reactions depends on its overall health.

Therefore, if you want to maintain a healthy gut, adopting a plant-based diet can truly help you. The Center for Nutritional Studies says that a high-fibre diet lowers the risk of allergic reactions and keeps the gut healthy. Going vegan could help alleviate allergic reactions to foods and keep their symptoms at bay.

How to avoid allergens when cooking plant-based foods

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What are some of the ways you can avoid allergy-inducing foods when cooking plant-based foods? 

You could swap in wheat protein if trying to avoid soy, for example, or swap bean-based pasta if trying to avoid wheat + gluten. 

Coping with food allergies as a vegan can be challenging, but not impossible. Here are some of the ways you can avoid allergens while  preparing plant-based meals:

Soy allergy

Soybean is one of the most common sources of protein for vegans. It may come in the form of Tofu, Tempeh, milk, or soy sauce. However, it is also one of the most common allergens in people as well. There are many other protein sources aside from soy. You can swap soy with allergen-free foods such as Amaranth, Quinoa, nuts, seeds, and Teff.

Wheat allergy

Wheat is another vegan staple that is almost always present in all vegan diets. Breads, tortillas, cereals, biscuits, and pasta are all made of wheat. It’s hard to imagine avoiding wheat food products, but there are alternatives you can use. Other grains such as brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa can be used to substitute wheat. You can also use cassava or teff flour.

Tree nut allergy

If you’re allergic to tree nuts, then almond milk is crossed out of your grocery list. However, there is no need to worry. Groceries are fully stocked with other plant-based milks such as oat, rice, hemp, coconut, and soy milk. You can also replace almonds with grains, legumes, and seeds in your meal preparations.

Peanut allergy

One of the most common food allergies is peanuts. It’s a good source of protein, so you’ll have to look or other protein sources if peanuts are a no-no for you. Peanuts belong to the legume family, so you might have to cross out other types of legumes as well. Fortunately, you can count on oats and seeds. Both are good sources of protein and fat. Seeds that are popularly used as peanut substitute include sunflower, chia, flax, pumpkin, and sesame.

The importance of meal planning in avoiding food allergens

Vegans with food allergies might find it difficult to adjust their food choices with the restrictions. But with careful meal planning, you can make sure that you get the adequate amount of nutrients you need.

Working with a dietitian or a nutritionist can also help you create a structured meal plan. They will be able to recommend good sources of nutrients and help you manage your food allergies as well. They can also help you get EAV allergy testing. Make sure to contact a dietitian or nutritionist with expertise in handling food allergies.

This blog post is made possible by Hopper HQ and brought to you by the vegan marketers at Ardor SEO who aim to educate people on adopting a healthy, vegan lifestyle. Learn more about dealing with food allergies and FODMAP foods at Hopper HQ.