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is coconut a tree nut

If you’re worried you have a coconut allergy, it’s a good idea to call out that ingredient specifically when dining out, and take the same precautionary measures you would with any other food allergy. One study also found an association between coconut allergies and those to almonds and macadamias., While there are associations, the likelihood of also having a coconut allergy remains considerably low. However, just because you are allergic to other tree nuts like cashews or almonds doesn't necessarily mean that you also have an allergy to coconut. The EU does a little bit better job with tree nut allergy labeling. A good example of this phenomenon are cashews and pistachios. It seems like coconuts may be such a special and unique food (and tasty!) Because coconuts are not considered a “botanical nut,” the ACAAI considers them to be a fruit. This means that all food items with coconut must be listed as containing coconut/tree nut on the ingredient label. Coconut flesh is high in fat and can be dried or eaten fresh. If we’re getting botanical, the coconut is actually a fibrous one-seeded dry drupe. However, in October 2006, the FDA began identifying coconut as a tree nut. Is coconut a nut? 2016;117(4):412-416. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2016.07.023. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to or eliminating coconut from your diet. Coconut allergies are uncommon. Food manufacturers can’t just list “tree nut allergy.” They have to call out which tree nut(s) specifically. Technically-speaking, a nut is defined as a one-seeded fruit. Cross Reactivity: Do You Need to Avoid Other Foods? Coconut allergies are uncommon. In 2010, the Journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology published a study that digs into the relationship between sesame, coconut, and nut allergies in children. 2010;21(8):1114-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.00997.x. They are ubiquitous in coastal tropical regions, and are a cultural ico… Coconut trees can produce drinks, fiber, food, fuel, utensils, musical instruments, and more! Technically speaking, a nut is defined as a one-seeded fruit. People who are allergic to one of these nuts are often allergic to both. Is Annatto Safe If You're Allergic to Nuts? Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies coconuts as tree nuts. The liquid of the nut is used in beverages. Peanuts are legumes (edible seeds that grow in pods) and, you guessed it, tree nuts are hard-shelled nuts that grow on trees. How to Cope If You're Allergic to Coconut, Study Shows Nut Allergy Incidents Spike on Halloween, Crash Course on the Most Common Food Allergens. Coconuts (Cocos nucifera) are tree nuts and may be a concern for people who have allergies to other nuts. It is difficult to assess the risk of coconut allergy among those with tree nut allergies because allergic individuals may become wary of coconut and avoid it. They come from coconut palm trees and are not closely related to most other tree nuts. Polk BI, Dinakarpandian D, Nanda M, Barnes C, Dinakar C. Association of Tree Nut and Coconut Sensitizations. However, despite the low prevalence of coconut allergy, reactions can be serious—several reported cases have involved anaphylaxis. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet. And, by all rights, a food that grows on trees and contains the word “nut” as its third syllable feels appropriately named. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and currently practices at Central Coast Allergy and Asthma in Salinas, California. And the answer is, "It depends." What You Can Order at Dairy Queen If You Have Food Allergies, the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), skin sensitivity (or allergic contact dermatitis), Association of tree nut and coconut sensitizations, Characterizing the relationship between sesame, coconut, and nut allergy in children, Association of Tree Nut and Coconut Sensitizations, Characterizing the Relationship Between Sesame, Coconut, and Nut Allergy in Children. 2016;117(4):412-416. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2016.07.023, Stutius LM, Sheehan WJ, Rangsithienchai P, et al. From A to Z: Learn How to Manage Your Food Allergies With Ease, 7 Uncommon Food Allergies That Could Be Causing Your Symptoms, Having a Sesame Seed Allergy Can Also Mean You're Allergic to Peanuts, What You Should Know About Peanut Allergies, Don't Let These Sources of Peanuts Catch You By Surprise, The Need to Avoid Legumes If You Have a Peanut Allergy. Coconut facts are courtesy of the Library of Congress and this journal article. Researchers found that children with a peanut or tree nut allergy were not more likely to be allergic to coconut. Coconut was labeled a tree nut by the FDA in October of 2006. Guidance on FAQS on Food Allergens. For that reason, most botanists classify coconuts as a fruit, not a true nut like almonds and walnuts. So with that loose definition, a coconut can also be classified as a nut. The results concluded that these children were more likely to be sensitive to sesame than coconut.. Some people may have skin sensitivity (or allergic contact dermatitis) to coconut oil from these products. Read our, Medically reviewed by Corinne Savides Happel, MD, Medically reviewed by Lana Butner, ND, LAc. The name comes from the old Portuguese and Spanish word coco, meaning 'head' or 'skull' after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features. If you or your child has a severe tree nut allergy, it’s still a good idea to … However many individuals are not allergic to coconut and many allergists do not consider coconut a true tree nut. Botanically, coconuts are most closely related to other palms and betel nuts. It’s important to note that since the FDA DOES classify coconut as a tree nut allergen, it’s required to be labeled as such on all FDA-regulated packaged food products. Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read on to find out! Most people with tree nut allergies can safely eat coconut and its products without any symptoms of a reaction. - When intravenous (IV) solution was short in supply during WWII and the Vietnam War, doctors used coconut water as a substitute. This means that all food items with coconut must be listed as containing coconut/tree nut on the ingredient label. A seed? The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm tree family (Arecaceae) and the only living species of the genus Cocos. A drupe is a fruit with a hard stony outer layer enclosing the seed. Coconut is still technically considered a fruit, but the FDA grayed those lines. Why the confusion? Victoria Groce is a medical writer living with celiac disease who specializes in writing about dietary management of food allergies. They may look similar, but they’re very different! Coconut is present in many foods as a derivative in the form of coconut oil, rice, sugar, water, cream, milk, and milk powder. The term comes from the word drupa, meaning overripe olive. However, coconuts lack many of the proteins that people with tree nut allergies are sensitive to, so many people who have tree nut allergies can safely eat coconut without having an allergic reaction (including our CEO!). ). Allergies to coconuts are believed to be far less common than allergies to cashews and almonds (two particularly allergenic tree nuts).. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. 2010;21(8):1114-8. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.00997.x. …Unless you’re a botanist. But it’s very hard to get the wording of a law changed. However, coconuts lack many of the proteins that people with tree nut allergies are sensitive to, so many people who have tree nut allergies can safely eat coconut without having an allergic reaction (including our CEO! If coconut is a tree nut, does that mean that it’s no longer safe for people with nut allergies? There’s also a lot of confusion around the almighty coconut . There’s a lot of confusion around the difference between peanuts and tree nuts. It’s also present in rum, candy, and many desserts. If you're allergic to another tree nut and are interested in whether coconut could be part of your diet, discuss further testing with your allergist. It’s pretty tricky to classify—it’s sweet and eats like a fruit, but it has a hard outer shell that needs to be cracked open like a nut. In fact, coconut is a seed of a drupaceous fruit. Coconut, the seed of a drupaceous fruit, has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with a tree nut allergy. Children (Basel). They will be able to advise you on the best course of action. Medical literature documents a small number of allergic reactions to coconut; most occurred in people who were not allergic to tree nuts.

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