What are the Top 8?
You've probably heard me and other people mention the Top 8 and maybe wondering what that means. The Top 8 refers to the top 8 most allergenic foods. In Australia, they are:
- Milk, and milk products
- Tree nuts
“Peanuts are the leading cause of severe food allergic reactions, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs.” (Food Allergy Network)
Peanut allergy is the thought to be the most serious of food allergies. It is the most common cause of deaths from all of the food allergies. An allergy to peanuts affects 1.3% of the general population.
Milk and Milk Products
Milk allergy is a common food allergy in infants. Most infants grow out of milk allergy by 4 years of age. 1 in 50 babies have an allergy to milk and dairy products. (in Australia and New Zealand).
Tree Nuts includes Almond, Brazil, Cashew, Hazelnut, Macadamia , Pecan, Pine, Pistachio and Walnut. TreeNuts come from a different plant family than peanuts. People with a peanut allergy are not necessarily allergic to tree nuts. People with an allergy to one tree nut have a tendency to be allergic to other tree nuts.
Egg allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children. It affects approximately 2.5% of young children. Most children will outgrow an egg allergy by age 5. Egg white is more likely to cause a reaction than egg yolk. However, both parts of the egg can cause reactions.
Wheat is often thought to be a common allergen. While babies do display allergic symptoms to wheat, a true allergy is uncommon.
Soy allergy most commonly presents itself in young children with atopic dermatitis. 2-3% of young children may have a reaction to soy. Less than 10% will develop symptoms when exposed to soy.
Fish allergies are more likely to start during adulthood and less likely to be outgrown. Fish allergies are often quite severe, however fish is quite easy to avoid.
Similar to fish allergy, Shellfish allergies are the more likely to start in adulthood. Allergic reactions will come from either/both Molluscs (including clams, mussels, and oysters) and crustaceans (including prawns, lobster and crabs).
There are certainly more food allergies besides the top 8 mentioned. These are merely the most common.
Eating FREE FROM the TOP 8 Allergens
When my son was diagnosed with multiple life threatening food allergens he was diagnosed with over 15 allergies - including the Top 8, I felt overwhelmed with how I was ever going to feed him. That's when I began creating my own recipes and eventually when I began writing my own Top 8 Free Allergy Recipe eBooks. Cooking Free from the Top 8 is not only possible but in many cases healthier. My son has always eaten healthy delicious food, never gone without a birthday cake or chocolate at Easter or special treats at Christmas time.
All recipes are FREE FROM the Top 8
If you are struggling to feed a child (or adult) with multiple food allergies, please reach out to me. I am an Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Coach specialising in Food Allergies. I can work with you to provide customised recipes and meal plans according to your specific needs. Read More Here