Do some foods cause more allergic reactions than others?
Dr. Tobin: In adults, the foods that most commonly cause allergic reactions, such as swelling, skin rashes, hives, and diarrhea, are fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and peanuts. Reactions to fruits, vegetables, and grains also occur. Reactions to animal proteins occur but are rare. Foods like plain rice and chicken without the skin have very low allergic potential. These foods are usually part of an elimination diet. While on an elimination diet, you eat only “safe” foods for 5–7 days and then introduce one food at a time to see if it causes problems. Another solution involves formulas available for older children and adults that contain simple amino acids. These can be used to sustain adequate calories in order to try to stop the symptoms of food allergy. Once the symptoms have stopped, foods are introduced one at a time to see if the reactions reoccur.