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Sesame Seeds

Put down the everything bagel — one seed on your favorite breakfast treat could cause a boatload of allergenic symptoms. The number of sesame seed allergies has grown in the U.S, but it’s not yet required for companies to put sesame seed warnings on food labels. Because sesame seeds are used more often in the Middle East, there is more data about its frequency in the population — reports show that it’s the third most common allergy in Israeli children. As ethnic foods integrate into mainstream U.S. food culture, it’s suspected that the reported sesame seed allergy rate will grow. Common foods that contain sesame seeds include hummus, baked goods, snack foods, and a wide variety of sauces and dressings.

Substitutes: The good news is that allergic reactions to sesame seeds do not necessarily mean allergies to other seeds. The likes of poppy, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are generally not associated with allergic reactions and serve as fine substitutes.

(Credit ©Flickr/jeffreyw)
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