Should you avoid these common food allergens even if you’re not allergic?

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It’s very important for people with severe food allergies to avoid the foods they’re allergic too. For them, eating even a small amount of nuts or seafood could be life-threatening.

 

Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food allergy reactions. In the industry, they’re often referred to as the Big 8.

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In 2004, The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act was put in place to make life a little bit easier and safer for these folks. It mandates that food labels must declare whether or not a product may contain allergens from milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. You may have noticed this information on packaged foods, right underneath the list of ingredients in bold type. It might say something like: Contains milk and eggs.

 

Although over 200 different food allergens have been identified, these eight foods account for 90 percent of all food allergy reactions. In the industry, they’re often referred to as the “Big 8.” But in fact, allergies to some of the Big 8 are a lot more common than others.

How common are the most common food allergies?

According to a new review in the Journal Nutrition Today, milk or dairy is by far the most commonly diagnosed food allergy, affecting 2 percent of the adult population, or one out of every 50 people. The percentage of people who report being lactose intolerant is quite a bit higher. But lactose intolerance, which is a reduced ability to digest the lactose sugar in milk, is not a true allergy. Allergies are almost always reactions to proteins, and people who are allergic to milk are usually allergic to the milk protein casein.

 

Milk or dairy is by far the most commonly diagnosed food allergy, affecting 2 percent of the adult population, or one out of every 50 people.

 

Shellfish is the next most common food allergen, affecting 1 in 65. Fish, nuts, eggs, wheat, and peanuts all affect fewer than 1 in 100 people. Interestingly, soy allergy is only believed to affect 1 in 1000 people. So, the Big 8 is really more like the Big 7 plus 1. The inclusion of soy in the list of common allergens may create the impression that soy allergy is much more common than it is.

 

Many consumers also misinterpret required allergen labeling to mean that these foods should be avoided even by people who don’t have an allergy. This impression is reinforced by front-of-package labeling claiming that products are “free” of various ingredients. While this is helpful information for people who have a reason to avoid those ingredients, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is healthier or more nutritious.

Does eating clean mean avoiding allergens?

These days, a lot of folks are attracted to the idea of “eating clean.” I put that term in quotes because no one knows exactly what that means. To some, it means avoiding all processed foods. For others, it’s about avoiding certain ingredients or additives. Some people think of it as more of a gut feeling than a strict definition. They might interpret foods without any allergens as being somehow cleaner. But the absence of an ingredient that 1-2 percent of the population is allergic to doesn’t make a food cleaner. The packaging declaration is solely to protect that small fraction of the population who need to avoid them.

 

Eating a food frequently doesn’t cause you to develop an allergy to it. If anything, the opposite appears to be true.

 

Some might even avoid foods containing soy or wheat in the belief that repeated exposure might cause allergies to develop. But this is not at all the case. Eating a food frequently doesn’t cause you to develop an allergy to it. If anything, the opposite appears to be true. Children who are exposed to peanuts early in life, for example, are less likely to develop peanut allergies.

 

Let me clarify, however, that eating a food is not a way to treat an existing food allergy. Right now, avoiding the allergen is the only way to prevent a potentially dangerous reaction. People with severe food allergies should also be aware of the signs of a food reaction and equipped to respond quickly if they are accidentally exposed.

 

But there is some exciting research in the pipeline that may soon offer new treatments that could reduce reactions to existing food allergies. We may one day even be able to use gene editing technology to create strains of peanuts or wheat that don’t contain the protein that causes the allergic reaction!

No reason to avoid allergens unless you are allergic

All of the foods included in allergen labeling are highly nutritious foods. Soy, milk, fish, and eggs are all sources of high-quality protein. Nuts and fish deliver healthy fats. Soy, wheat, and nuts also provide fiber and a variety of health-promoting compounds. Assuming that you do not have an actual allergy or intolerance, there would be no reason to avoid them or to prioritize foods that exclude them. In fact, building a healthy and nutritious diet is a lot easier when you do include them.

 

This article originally appeared on QuickandDirtyTips and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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39 facts about marijuana we’re betting you didn’t know

 

Cannabis is a booming business in states where legalization has been in effect for years and the trend seems on pace to continue.

In fact, more
and more U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational uses. In fact, most
states
have some form of legalization.

So
with so much talk of marijuana out there, it’s time to separate the
facts from the fiction. Here are 39 of the most surprising and unusual
facts about marijuana that you may not know:

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According
to a study,
“9 percent of those who try marijuana develop dependence.”
Compared to other substances like cocaine and heroin, marijuana
dependency is low. However, marijuana is also much more widely used
than other substances.

 

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Even
with all the confusion around laws and its history of illegality,
researchers
say that 42% of Americans have tried marijuana.

 

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Multiple
studies have found that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

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We
tend to think of Colorado and Washington when we think about legal
weed, but both Alaska and Oregon legalized recreational marijuana use and possession just a few years later.

 

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Scientists
at California Pacific Medical Center studied a compound derived from
marijuana and discovered that it may
prevent metastasis in some aggressive cancers
. The scientists
were studying CBD, the substance in marijuana that is non-psychoactive.

 

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Despite
pushes for legalization, there are still a
lot of arrests
made in the U.S. for marijuana possession. In
2015, 650,000 people were arrested because of violations related to
marijuana. That’s 40% of drug arrests in the country and one arrest
every 50 seconds! And these arrests are still disproportionately
focused on black and Latino communities.

 

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Illegal
marijuana tends to be stronger
than legal marijuana
. This is partly because legal marijuana is
more carefully measured for consistency and potency.

 

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While
there are conflicting reports on the effect of marijuana on
teenagers, in adults negative cognitive effects like changes in
memory, perception and thoughts tend to be temporary. There is
currently no evidence that marijuana
use
, even among heavy users, will permanently damage an adult’s
memory or cognition.

 

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Despite
North Korea’s strict stance on other drugs, marijuana is not
even considered a drug
in the country.

 

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In
the 1700s, both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew
hemp
and in the 1800s marijuana was sold in some drugstores for
relief of migraines and menstrual cramps.

 

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Marijuana
started
to get banned
in the U.S. in the early 1900s. The 1930s saw the
country’s first drug czar, Harry Anslinger, who started to make
claims that marijuana turned youth into homicidal maniacs.

 

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In
2013, Uruguay
became the first country in the world to allow its citizens to grow,
sell and consume marijuana legally.

 

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The
ACLU
has tracked multiple cases where people were sentenced to
life in prison without parole for marijuana possession. In one case,
the person possessed 32 grams of marijuana (that’s just over an ounce). In another, they acted as
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In
2010
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marijuana dispensaries outnumbered Starbucks stores by a ratio of 3
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In
2015, legal marijuana was the fastest-growing
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in the U.S., with a market of $2.7 billion.

 

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James
Munch served as the U.S. Official Expert on “Marihuana” from 1939 to
1962. During that time he testified under oath that marijuana had
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The
earliest
recorded use
of cannabis is from China in 6,000, B.C., when
cannabis seeds were used for food.

 

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The
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from China
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tomb in China.

 

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In
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sell cannabis-infused drinks like bhang lassi and bhang thandai,
particularly during the celebration of Holi.

 

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In
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online transaction
happened, well before Amazon or eBay. What was
it? Marijuana sold between students at Stanford and MIT.

 

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Bob
Marley was
buried
on May 21, 1981, along with his red Gibson Les Paul
guitar, a Bible open to Psalm 23 and a stalk of marijuana.

 

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Overdosing
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unlikely. In theory, a person would have to consume almost 1,500
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In
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Girl Scout cookies
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By
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After
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In
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medicine
– and won, paving the way for others with qualifying
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A study of pipe fragments from William Shakespeare’s garden revealed traces of cannabis.

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On
his 20th birthday, Bill Murray joked about having bombs in
his suitcase while in an airport. When agents searched his luggage,
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In
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in order to decontaminate polluted soil. The plants
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As of
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A
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teens were more likely than their peers to drink alcohol and use
cannabis.

 

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There
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Jane
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The
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Estrogen
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People
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Marijuana
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During
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