Sesame Free Diets

About the Allergen

  • Sesame is currently not included as one of the top allergens in the United States. At this time, the FDA is collecting data on the prevalence of sesame allergy.
  • Recent research surveys have determined a higher prevalence of sesame allergy than previously thought, potentially making sesame the ninth most common food allergen in the US.
  • It’s especially important for those with a sesame allergy to carefully read all food labels because current labeling standards don’t require sesame to be listed as a top allergen.
  • Canada, the European Union and Israel recognize sesame as a top allergen.

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Nutrition Information

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

  • Sesame products are a rich source of copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron phosphorus and zinc. If eliminating sesame from your diet, use a variety of these foods as alternatives:
    • Copper: liver, spirulina (seaweed), oysters, soybeans, cocoa, nuts, sunflower seeds, legumes, buckwheat groats, teff, millet
    • Manganese: legumes, whole grains, nuts, sunflower seeds
    • Calcium: dairy products, molasses, soybeans, sardines, cornmeal, almonds, legumes, dark leafy greens, fortified orange juice and dairy-free beverages
    • Magnesium: pumpkin and squash seeds, soybeans, nuts, whole grains, cocoa, legumes
    • Iron: beef, lamb, legumes, pork, teff, amaranth, pumpkin and squash seeds
    • Phosphorus: poultry, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, cornmeal, amaranth, wheat, Brazil nuts, legumes, teff, quinoa, dairy products, almonds
    • Zinc: oyster, beef, turkey, lamb, chicken, squash seeds, adzuki seeds, peanuts

Reading Labels

Sesame is commonly found in hummus, sushi rolls, falafel, Asian cuisine, and some buns and bagels. This list is not all inclusive.

Avoid sesame flour, sesame oil, sesame paste, sesame salt, sesame seed, sesamol, sesamum indicum, sesame sticks, benne, gingelly, gomasio, halvah, sim sim, tahini, til, and sesemolina.

Alternatives and Suggested Products

Suggested products include:

    • Don’t Go Nuts, plant based spread (contains soy)
    • SunButter, sunflower based spread
    • The Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter, pea based spread
    • WOWBUTTER, soy based spread

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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