Tree nuts are one of the top nine allergens in the United States. Some of the most common tree nuts are:

  • almond
  • walnut
  • pecan
  • hickory
  • cashew
  • pistachio
  • hazelnut
  • filbert
  • Brazil nut
  • macadamia nut
  • chestnut
  • coconut

Individuals may be allergic to a single tree nut or multiple tree nuts. Talk with your allergist about which tree nuts need to be avoided for your specific allergies.

  • Cross reactivity may occur among certain tree nuts that are closely related. Cross reactivity results from shared protein structures among tree nuts, which may result in an allergic reaction in some people.
  • Cross contact is also a concern with tree nuts. Cross contact occurs when trace amounts of the allergenic food come in contact with a safe food during processing and/or handling.

Nutrition Information

When replacing a food allergen, focus on incorporating a variety of whole foods in your diet that contain the nutrients you’re missing due to eliminating the problem food.

  • Nutrients in tree nuts vary. Tree nuts are consistently good sources of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and protein. Almonds and hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, and Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium. If eliminating tree nuts from your diet, use a variety of these foods as alternatives:
    • Fiber: beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds
    • Phosphorus: meat, poultry, fish, beans, legumes, seeds, egg, whole grains
    • Manganese: whole grains, seeds, beans, legumes
    • Protein: meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, beans, legumes, seeds
    • Selenium: pork, poultry, wheat, beef, tuna, sunflower seeds, lamb, fish, shellfish, barley
    • Vitamin E: seeds, wheat germ oil, avocados, sunflower oil, dried apricots, spinach, turnip greens, taro, tomato products
    • Magnesium: seeds, beans, legumes, fish, cocoa, whole grains, dark leafy greens, potatoes

Reading Labels

  • The FDA requires all tree nuts to be disclosed on food labels with the specific tree nut name stated within the ingredient list or immediately following it.
  • Avoid products with nut paste, extracts, butters, meal, meat, milk, or oils, and artificial nuts, pesto, and praline.
  • Tree nuts are commonly found in baklava, bakeries and bakery items, breads, candy, cereal, chocolates, cookies, crackers, energy bars, ethnic dishes, flavored coffee, granola or granola bars, ice cream, marinades, salad garnishes, and sauces. These lists are not all inclusive.

Alternatives and Suggested Products

Suggested products include:

  • Don’t Go Nuts Chewy Granola Bars
  • SunButter, contains sunflower seeds
  • The Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter, contains peas
  • WOWBUTTER, contains soy
  •, seeds free from tree nuts

NOTE: Always double check the allergy statement on any products you purchase. Food manufacturers may change their ingredients at any time.


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Success Stories

As printed in the La Crosse Tribune As a child, Lindsay Williams was often homebound. Williams had horrible allergies. Her bed and pillow were in a special plastic bag to keep the dust mites out. She had sinus surgery and took allergy shots, but nothing seemed to help her. “I’d get so sick every spring…
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