What is a Tree Nut?

When first confronted with a list of foods to avoid, or risk a possible reaction which could result in death, it is easy to question every food. I remember looking up "nutmeg" to find out if it is considered a nut. The answer is no.

I found this list on the Food and Drug Administration website. One surprise to me- coconut is classified as a tree nut. My earlier research indicated coconut was safe for those with a tree nut allergy. I'll need to check into that again. And, by the way, who ever heard of a "sheanut"?

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Added October, 2006] Section 201(qq) of the Act defines the term "major food allergen" to include "tree nuts."
The following are considered "tree nuts" for purposes of section 201(qq):

Almond
Beech nut
Brazil nut
Butternut
Cashew
Chestnut
Chinquapin
Coconut
Filbert/hazelnut
Ginko nut
Hickory nut
Lichee nut
Macadamia nut/Bush nut
Pecan
Pine nut/Pinon nut
Pili nut
Pistachio
Sheanut
Walnut ( English, Persian, Black, Japanese,
California), Heartnut, Butternut

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For the full FDA report, check here.

Please note that peanuts are not on this list, because peanuts are not classified as a tree nut, but rather a legume.

For additional information, go to the Food Allergy Assistant's website.
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