How to Read a Label for a specific diet


Click on the food you are trying to avoid to learn how to read labels to avoid them:
Milk     Soy     Peanut     Wheat     Egg     Shellfish     Tree-Nut 

Or Click Here to download the FAAN pdf of this information


How to read a Label for a Milk-Free Diet

All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain milk as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the word “milk” on the product label.

                Avoid foods that contain milk or any of these ingredients:
butter, butter fat, butter oil, butter, acid, butter ester(s)
buttermilk
casein
casein hydrolysate
caseinates (in all forms)
cheese
cottage cheese
cream
curds
custard
diacetyl
ghee
half-and-half
lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
lactoferrin
lactose
lactulose
milk (in all forms, including condensed, der.vat.ve, dry, evaporated, goat’s milk and milk from other animals, low-fat, malted, milkfat, nonfat, powder, protein, skimmed, solids, whole)
milk protein hydrolysate
pudding
Recaldent®
rennet casein
sour cream, sour cream solids
sour milk solids
tagatose
whey (in all forms)
whey protein hydrolysate
yogurt

                Milk is sometimes found in the following:
artificial butter flavor
baked goods
caramel candies
chocolate
lactic acid starter culture and other 
bacterial cultures
luncheon meat, hot dogs, sausages
margarine
nisin
nondairy products
nougat






How to Read a Label for a Soy-Free Diet

All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain soy as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the word “soy” on the product label.

                Avoid foods that contain soy or any of these ingredients:
edamame
miso
natto
shoyu
soy (soy albumin, soy cheese, soy fiber, soy flour, soy grits,  soy ice cream, soy milk, soy nuts, soy sprouts, soy yogurt)
soya
soybean (curd, granules)
soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
soy sauce
tamari
tempeh
textured vegetable protein (TVP)
tofu

                Soy is sometimes found in the following:
Asian cuisine
vegetable broth
vegetable gum
vegetable starch

                Keep the following in mind:
  • The FDA exempts highly refined soybean oil from being labeled as an allergen. Studies show most allergic individuals can safely eat soy oil that has been highly refined (not cold pressed, expeller pressed, or extruded soybean oil).
  • Most individuals allergic to soy can safely eat soy lecithin.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice regarding these ingredients.





How to Read a Label for a Peanut-Free Diet

All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain peanut as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the word “peanut” on the product label.

                Avoid foods that contain peanuts or any of these ingredients:
artificial nuts
beer nuts
cold pressed, expeller pressed, or 
extruded peanut oil
goobers
ground nuts
mixed nuts
monkey nuts
nut pieces
nutmeat
peanut butter
peanut flour
peanut protein hydrolysate


                Peanut is sometimes found in the following:
African, Asian (especially Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, and  Vietnamese), and Mexican dishes
baked goods (e.g., pastries, cookies)
candy (including chocolate candy)
chili
egg rolls
enchilada sauce
marzipan
mole sauce
nougat
                Keep the following in mind:
  • Mandelonas are peanuts soaked in almond flavoring.
  • The FDA exempts highly refined peanut oil from being labeled as an allergen. Studies show that most allergic individuals can safely eat peanut oil that has been highly refined (not cold pressed, expeller pressed, or extruded peanut oil). Follow your doctor’s advice.
  • A study showed that unlike other legumes, there is a strong possibility of cross-reaction between peanuts and lupine.
  • Arachis oil is peanut oil.
  • Many experts advise patients allergic to peanuts to avoid tree nuts as well.
  • Sunflower seeds are often produced on equipment shared with peanuts





How to Read a Label for a Wheat-Free Diet

All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain wheat as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the word “wheat” on the product label. The law defines any species in the genus Triticum as wheat.

                Avoid foods that contain wheat or any of these ingredients:
bread crumbs
bulgur
cereal extract
club wheat
couscous
cracker meal
durum
einkorn
emmer
farina
flour (all purpose, bread, cake, durum, enr.ched, graham, high gluten, high protein, instant, pastry, self-rising, soft wheat, steel ground, stone ground, whole wheat)
hydrolyzed wheat protein
Kamut
matzoh meal (also spelled as matzo, matzah, or matza)
pasta
seitan
semolina
spelt
sprouted wheat
triticale
vital wheat gluten
wheat (bran, durum, germ, gluten, grass, malt, sprouts, starch)
wheat bran hydrolysate
wheat germ oil 
wheat grass
wheat protein isolate
whole wheat berries

                Wheat is sometimes found in the following:
glucose syrup 
soy sauce
starch (gelatinized starch, modified starch, 
modified food starch, vegetable starch)
surimi







How to Read a Label for an Egg-Free Diet

All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain egg as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the word “egg” on the product label.

                Avoid foods that contain eggs or any of these ingredients:
albumin (also spelled albumen)
egg (dried, powdered, solids, white, yolk)
eggnog
lysozyme
mayonnaise
meringue (meringue powder)
ovalbumin
surimi

                Egg is sometimes found in the following:
baked goods
egg substitutes
lecithin
macaroni
Marzipan
marshmallows
nougat
pasta

                Keep the following in mind:
  • Individuals with egg allergy should also avoid eggs from duck, turkey, goose, quail, etc., as these are known to be cross-reactive with chicken egg





How to Read a Label for a Shellfish-Free Diet

All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain a crustacean shellfish as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the specific crustacean shellfish on the product label.

                Avoid foods that contain shellfish or any of these ingredients:
crab
crawfish (crayfish, ecrevisse)
lobster (langouste, langoustine, scampo, coral, tomalley)

prawn
shrimp (crevette)
Mollusks are not considered major allergens under food labeling laws and may not be fully disclosed on a product label.

                Your doctor may advise you to avoid mollusks or these ingredients:
abalone
clams (cherrystone, littleneck, pismo, quahog)
cockle (periwinkle, sea urchin)
mussels
octopus
oysters
snails (escargot)
squid (calamari)
Shellfish are sometimes found in the following:
bouillabaisse
cuttlefish ink
fish stock
seafood flavoring (e.g., crab or clam extract)
surimi

                Keep the following in mind:
  • Any food served in a seafood restaurant may contain shellfish protein due to cross-contact.
  • For some individuals, a reaction may occur from inhaling cooking vapors or from handling fish or shellfish.





How to Read a Label for a Tree Nut-Free Diet


All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain a tree nut as an ingredient are required by U.S. law to list the specific tree nut on the product label.

                Avoid foods that contain nuts or any of these ingredients:
almonds
artificial nuts
beechnut
Brazil nuts
butternut
cashews
chestnuts
chinquapin
coconut
filberts/hazelnuts
gianduja (a chocolate-nut mixture)
ginkgo nut
hickory nuts
litchi/lichee/lychee nut
macadamia nuts
marzipan/almond paste
Nangai nuts
natural nut extract (e.g., almond, walnut)
nut butters (e.g., cashew butter)
nut meal
nut paste (e.g., almond paste)
nut pieces
nutmeat
pecans
pesto
pili nut
pine nuts (also referred to as Indian, pignoli, pigñolia, pignon, piñon, and pinyon nuts)
pistachios
praline
shea nut
walnuts


                Tree nuts are sometimes found in the following:
black walnut hull extract (flavoring)
natural nut extract
nut distillates/alcoholic extracts

nut oils (e.g., walnut oil, almond oil)
walnut hull extract (flavoring)


                Keep the following in mind:
  • Mortadella may contain pistachios.
  • There is no evidence that coconut oil and shea nut oil/butter are allergenic.
  • Many experts advise patients allergic to tree nuts to avoid peanuts as well.
  • Talk to your doctor if you find other nuts not listed here.