Easy Food Swaps for Food Intolerances and Allergies

It seems like food allergies and intolerances are more common. Eight foods and food groups are responsible for the majority of food allergies: eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to list these common allergens on food labels. If you have any concerns about food allergies or intolerances, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider for advice and to learn about treatment options.

The following substitutions offer similar flavors, textures and nutrients to the eight most common food allergens:

Foods to avoid: Eggs, egg whites, egg substitute

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps:

  • Egg replacer (try Ener G)
  • Use mashed sweet potato or avocado in place of mayo
  • Scramble tofu instead of eggs; add salsa for flavor
  • In baked goods, substitute applesauce or make a chia or flax seed egg (3 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed)

Foods to avoid: Cow’s milk, butter, cheese, cream cheese, cream, half and half, buttermilk, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, pudding and whey

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps:

  • Unsweetened rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, coconut milk or soymilk
  • Make a vegan cheese using roasted puree eggplant, nutritional yeast, almond milk and spices
  • Dairy-free chocolate chips (try Enjoy Life)
  • Dairy-free cheese (try Daiya)
  • Soy-base swap using Tofutti

Foods to avoid:
 Peanuts, peanut butter, satay sauce, peanut butter cookies, powdered peanut butter, peanut butter-filled pretzels

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps: Almond or cashew butter (if not allergic to tree nuts), sunflower seed butter

Foods to avoid: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps: Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, tahini (sesame seed paste), sunflower seed butter

Foods to avoid: Sushi, salmon, halibut, rockfish, red snapper, trout, tuna, swordfish, and other fish with gills

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps: Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, tofu (for protein); walnuts, ground flax seeds, chia seeds (for omega-3s)

Foods to avoid: Shrimp, crab, lobster, crayfish; Mollusks: clams, oysters, mussels

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps: Ocean or lake fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, pork, tofu

Foods to avoid: Tofu, edamame, soy milk, tempeh

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps: Other beans and legumes

Foods to avoid: Bread, cereal, crackers, baked goods

Easy, healthy and tasty swaps: Almond flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, soy flour, potato starch, gluten-free flour blends, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, millet, potatoes, oats


Source: Ingredient Swaps for Clients With Food Intolerances and Allergies. U Rock Girl. Ingredient Swaps for Clients With Food Intolerances anTiffani Bachus, R.D.N., and Erin Macdonald, R.D.N., are the co-founders of U Rock Girl!, a website designed to nourish the mind, body and spirit of women of all ages and stages of life. They have just authored the rockin' breakfast cookbook, No Excuses! 50 Healthy Ways to ROCK Breakfast! available at www.URockGirl.comd Allergies

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