Peanut is the second most important allergen in France and is one of the 14 priority allergens in Europe. Peanut allergy affects about 1% of children and 0.5% of adults. Like any allergy, it is to be taken very seriously because peanut ingestion, even in trace amounts, can cause anaphylactic shock and lead to death. The special peanut allergy diet aims to strictly avoid all foods containing peanuts, even in trace amounts.

Special peanut allergy diet

The key points of the peanut allergy special diet :

  • Avoid peanut products
  • Know how to identify foods containing traces of peanuts
  • Reading Nutrition Labels
  • Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available.
  • Maintain a varied and balanced diet

Benefits of a diet without peanut-containing foods

If you have a peanut allergy, a diet without foods containing peanuts is essential. It allows to :

  • Avoid anaphylactic shock and the life-threatening risk it represents.
  • Ban all foods containing peanuts.
  • Know how to spot possible traces of peanuts in food products
  • Learn how to read food labels properly
  • Maintain optimal nutritional intake despite the absence of peanuts in the diet

Can peanut allergy lead to nutritional deficiencies?

Although peanuts are a source of protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, manganese and vitamin B3, their withdrawal from the diet due to allergy cannot theoretically cause nutritional deficiencies. It is sufficient to consume the many other possible sources of these nutrients.

Dietary recommendations in case of peanut allergy

In this sheet, you will find dietary advice to follow in case of peanut allergy. This allergy represents a vital risk for the individual in case of peanut ingestion. It is therefore essential to learn how to decipher food labels and to know how to recognize a product that can trigger the allergic reaction.

Recommended diet in case of peanut allergy

In case of peanut allergy, a healthy, varied and diversified diet is recommended. However, it is important to be very vigilant about food labels and to be aware of potential sources of peanuts. Since the risk of cross-contamination is not negligible, it is recommended that an epinephrine auto-injector be always on hand to be able to intervene immediately in the event of an allergic reaction.

Read labels carefully

In France as elsewhere, peanuts are among the allergens that must be declared. Regulations therefore require that the presence of peanuts as an ingredient in products, regardless of the quantity present, be indicated on the label. The list of ingredients must indicate "contains peanuts" if the product contains peanuts or an ingredient derived from peanuts.

Nevertheless, the inadvertent introduction of an allergen into a food product, for example through cross-contamination during transportation, storage, or manufacturing, cannot always be excluded. In most cases, the label then indicates that the product "may contain traces of peanuts", or that there is "possible presence of peanuts", or that the product is "manufactured in a facility that uses peanuts".

Adrenaline Auto-injector

It is important to always have an adrenaline auto-injector on hand and to know how to use it. The adrenaline auto-injector allows you to intervene quickly in the event of an allergic reaction. In the majority of cases, it prevents anaphylactic shock from escalating and can save your life.

As a general rule, do not eat food if you are unsure of its composition or origin. Contact the manufacturer if necessary.

Special peanut allergy diet

List of well-tolerated nuts in case of peanut allergy

It is important to understand that peanuts are part of the legume family and are not nuts. Therefore, if you are allergic to peanuts you can still eat the following nuts:

  • Pistachios
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecan nuts
  • Pine Gables
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts (from Grenoble)
In addition, the majority of individuals with peanut allergies are not allergic to other legumes such as beans, peas, lentils or soy.
  • Other recommended foods :
  • A varied and balanced diet
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins
  • Simple and home cooking
Whole grains
Peanut allergy: prohibited foods

In case of peanut allergy, prohibited foods are all foods that may contain peanut, even in trace amounts. Paying attention to product labels and completely banning all potential sources of peanuts is the only way to avoid the life-threatening allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock.

List of nuts and products that can cause an allergic reaction

The products to avoid absolutely in case of peanut allergy are :

  • Peanut
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut and peanut butter
  • Peanut flour
  • Peanut oil
  • Mandelona nut (processed peanut)
  • Artificial nuts
  • Peanut vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed peanut vegetable protein
  • Commercial Nut Blends
The risk of cross-contamination between nuts and peanuts is very high. Peanuts are often handled and distributed by companies that specialize in mixed nuts, so it is advisable to avoid mixed nuts or nuts in mixtures or to ask the manufacturer about the potential risks.

Food products that may contain traces of peanuts

Products that may contain peanuts are:

  • Industrial seasonings, dressings and sauces
  • Cookies, pastries, pastries, cakes, cereal bars
  • Chocolate, candy, nougat
  • Granola-type breakfast cereals
  • Chile of trade
  • Ice cream and frozen desserts
  • Dragees, marzipan glaze
  • Thai or Asian dishes (spring rolls, egg rolls, Asian sauce)
  • Almond paste
  • Dehydrated soups or sauces in sachets, satay sauce
  • All industrial and prepared dishes
Potential non-food sources of peanuts

It is not only in the diet that peanuts can be found, here are some examples of non-food products that may contain peanuts:

  • Cosmetics
  • Creams
  • Food for animals and birds
  • Craft materials
  • Drugs
  • Dietary supplements
  • Stuffing of certain toys
Other foods not recommended :
  • Industrial and processed dishes
  • Sugar and derived products
  • Prepared dishes
  • Industrial preparations (sauces, soups, cookies, etc.)
  • Fast-food
  • Asian Food
Practical daily tips for avoiding foods containing peanuts

  • Always read food labels for possible peanut content.
  • Avoid prepared, frozen and industrial dishes
  • Cook to the maximum and make your own cakes, cookies and pastries.
  • Contact the manufacturer if in doubt
  • At the restaurant, choose very simple products and ask for the dishes without sauce.
  • In the kitchen, replace industrial sauces with a homemade yogurt and herb sauce.
  • Collect fresh nuts and break them yourself to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Favour raw foods and very simple dishes (steamed meat accompanied by rice and fried vegetables for example). The more food is processed, the more likely you are to unintentionally eat peanuts.
  • Always have your auto-injector handy, especially when eating out (at restaurants, friends' homes, workplaces, etc.).
To go further

Can the simple smell of peanuts be enough to cause anaphylactic shock in the allergic person?

Wrong, with exception! Theoretically, the smell is not enough to trigger an allergic reaction because it is the ingestion of the peanut protein that causes anaphylactic shock. The typical peanut smell comes from a substance called pyrazine, which is not a protein. However, some allergic people who perceive these smells may have a psychosomatic reaction that can cause certain symptoms because the brain associates the smell with danger. The exception that proves the rule would be in a factory where peanuts are used in large quantities. In this case, airborne proteins may eventually be found in the air that can trigger the allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock.

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