What About Using Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil When You Have a Peanut Allergy?

Many processed foods are made with hydrogenated vegetable oil

Hydrogenated vegetable oil sounds healthy because of the word "vegetable" in it. The truth is that it is not very healthy at all because it contains trans fatty acids.

A study completed by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children pointed to the fact that large numbers of children who are developing peanut allergies may be related to trans fatty acid in the diet. Anyone with a severe peanut allergy should usually stay away from this oil to avoid peanut allergy symptoms.

Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is cheap to produce

Food producers use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil mainly because it keeps the cost of producing their products down and their profits up. Many snack foods have this type of oil that was once liquid and has been made solid by adding hydrogen atoms to its molecules. During the processing of this oil, trans fatty acid results and stays in the oil.

It's often in pie crust, snack cakes and brownies, and other baked products

Frozen pies and pie crust are usually made with hydrogenated shortening, a product made from hydrogenated vegetable oil. Margarine and oleo are also made from this oil and are used to make individually wrapped snack cakes, brownies, cupcakes, and other baked goods.

All of these are popular with children who love to eat them for after school snacks, and they like to pack them in their lunches for school. Could they be partially responsible for the rising numbers of children who are being diagnosed with peanut allergies? A definite answer will probably be found in the near future.

Peanut oil may be safe for those with peanut allergies

A person who is allergic to peanuts is actually allergic to the peanut protein and not to the oil. It's best to discuss with your allergist whether or not you or your child with a peanut allergy should eat foods fried in this oil. Although the processing of peanut oil is supposed to eliminate all of the peanut protein, you may not want to risk it when there are so many other oils that can be used for cooking.

Check food labels to see if hydrogenated vegetable oil is an ingredient in the food product

Everyone should avoid foods that have hydrogenated vegetable oil in them because of the dangers of trans fatty acids. This is especially true for anyone with a peanut allergy. Arachis oil is another name for peanut oil, so look for this on food labels as well.

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