Although not extremely common, allergies to sodium nitrate, a food preservative, can be difficult to manage. Adverse reactions to food additives, such as sodium nitrates, range from 0.12% to 2% of the population. They are far more common in those with asthma and prone to allergic rash and hives. It is important to understand this allergy to manage it effectively.
Sodium nitrate, also referred to as sodium nitrite, is a food preservative used in many foods on the market today. It is commonly found in processed meat 1. The benefit of using sodium nitrate is that it can preserve meat color and prevent botulism and overall food spoilage.
Sodium nitrate allergies are not extremely common. However, it is important to recognize the symptoms these additives can cause during an allergic reaction. Symptoms include traditional allergic rhinitis (such as:
- an asthma attack,
- a skin rash
Linked to Increase in Allergies
A study linked the use of food additives to a 40% increase in allergies, asthma, and eczema. Specifically, sodium nitrate has been linked to triggering allergies in general, as well as asthma.
The combination of several additives at once, such as sodium nitrates, benzoates, and sulphites are more likely to trigger an allergic reaction than one single food preservative.
Studies show that food additives, like sodium nitrate, play an important role in developing a food-related hypersensitivity that can develop into an allergic reaction.
How to Avoid
If you develop allergies to sodium nitrate, then avoiding these types of meats is crucial. Inquiring about the presence of sodium nitrate in any type of meat that is processed is important 1.
Discovering a sodium nitrate allergy does not mean a complete end to foods you once enjoyed, such as hot dogs and lunch meat. These foods can still be eaten, but you must purchase the “nitrate free” versions. These can easily be found at health food stores and natural food stores. Although the cost is more than their sodium nitrate-containing counterparts, they offer a nice alternative to those who still wish to eat these types of meats but must avoid sodium nitrate.
Studies show that food additives, like sodium nitrate, play an important role in developing a food-related hypersensitivity that can develop into an allergic reaction. The benefit of using sodium nitrate is that it can preserve meat color and prevent botulism and overall food spoilage. If you develop allergies to sodium nitrate, then avoiding these types of meats is crucial.
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