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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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1.5 Nut allergy

In the UK, peanut and tree nut allergy is the most common cause of severe and fatal allergic reactions. It affects 2% of children and 0.5% adults. People diagnosed during childhood rarely grow out of the allergy.

An image of nuts and berries
Figure 3 A selection of nuts and berries

The most concerning aspect of nut allergy is that, over a 20-year period from 1992 to 2012, there were 69 fatalities in the UK. Therefore, in 2017, the BSACI published guidelines for the diagnosis and management of peanut and tree nut allergy (Stiefel et al., 2017).

Activity 2 Know your tree nuts

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes.

Consider the following:

  • a.Make a list of as many tree nuts as you can.
  • b.What is the difference between peanuts and tree nuts?
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  • a.Your list might include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, shea nuts and walnuts.
  • b.Peanuts are legumes which produce a pod.
    A selection of peanuts, two outside of their shell, and two inside their shell.
    Figure 4 Peanuts

Tree nuts are a hard, shelled fruit.

An image of two tree nuts.
Figure 5 Tree nuts