Having allergies can be a really scary thing, particularly if you are anaphylactic. It makes a lot of sense that you’d want to thoroughly vet your foods and all their ingredients to make sure they are free of the things that could cause a reaction.
So what about fats and oils? Are they allergenic? Are there some that are better for you than others? As it turns out, most cooking oils are considered non-allergenic, even the scary sounding ones like peanut oil!
Why Cooking Oils Are Considered Non-Allergenic
Most people are not allergic to a whole food but to a part of it. Allergic reactions are often triggered by proteins. As cooking oil has been refined to remove all of the protein, it is highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. This is not the case for other products where the protein remains, such as flour.
Peanut oil has been studied a lot when it comes to allergies, and it seems like refined peanut oil is usually safe for most people who are allergic to peanuts. But, unrefined peanut oil might cause reactions in some people with the same allergy. This could be because of how the oil is made and how much protein is in it.
Soy oil is another example. The proteins in soy oil can change depending on how it’s made. Refined soy oil goes through a process that takes out most of the proteins, which lowers the risk of allergic reactions. But there might still be a tiny bit of protein left. So, if you are super sensitive to a particular food that an oil comes from, you should avoid that oil just to be safe.
Are All Oils Safe to Eat Even If I Have an Allergy Then?
For this, I would err on the side of caution. Some vegetable oils might have small amounts of proteins, which can be problematic for people with severe allergies. Although most of the proteins are removed during the refining process, we don’t know exactly how much can still cause a reaction in those who are highly sensitive. So, it’s possible that refined oils could still trigger allergies in some people. More research really needs to be done!
To stay safe, it’s best to avoid cold-pressed, expelled, or extruded oils that might have more allergens left in them than their refined counterparts. Most people don’t have problems with them, but if you’re really allergic, talk to your doctor before use.
Be cautious when using oils to flavor foods as they are likely to be sold in their crude form, meaning they may contain proteins responsible for allergic reactions (such as cold-pressed sesame oil).
What Are The Most Allergenic Cooking Oils?
According to scientific studies, there are no reported cases of people being allergic to edible vegetable oils. So, there is no one or two most allergenic cooking oil, just a tiny chance that if you are allergic to the plant or animal that the oil comes from, it is possible you could react to the oil if it has not had all the proteins removed.
The way edible vegetable oils are processed makes them unlikely to cause any allergies. However, some oils from plants like peanuts, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and a mixture of different oils may cause allergies in some people. Researchers have also found a few cases where individuals had allergic reactions to refined soybean oil in medicine.
How Can I Find Out If I’m Allergic To Cooking Oil?
When someone might have a food allergy, doctors might do a food allergy screening test or ask the person to try an elimination diet or an oral food challenge.
There are two common allergy tests: blood and skin tests. The blood test looks for your blood’s immunoglobulin E (IgE). Our immune system makes this unique protein when our body thinks a harmless thing, like food, is dangerous. The skin test involves creating small pricks on the skin and applying a little bit of the allergen to see if there is a reaction.
Sometimes, these tests can give false results, particularly blood tests. This means that the test might show a person has an allergy even if they don’t. This can happen if your body is responding slightly to something you ate recently.
If you can’t do any of these things and suspect the oil you are eating is not making you feel very good, then stop eating that oil and switch it to something else! There are plenty of cooking fats and oils to choose from.
Nope, not at all! Heating food will not make it safe for someone who has an allergy. Allergens can still be present in cooked food even if heated to high temperatures.
Yes, food allergies are very common, with an estimate of around 32 million people in the United States having a food allergy.
It is uncommon, but yes, allergies to olive fruit or olive oil can happen. However, allergic reactions are more likely to be triggered by olive tree pollen rather than the fruit. Olive tree pollen may be present in olive oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined.
Allergies occur when the body’s defence system mistakenly identifies something harmless in the environment as dangerous. But sometimes, it gets confused and starts recognizing things as threats that aren’t actually harmful, like pollen or certain foods. When this happens, it causes an allergic reaction.