A Guide to Food Substitutions for Allergies

If you or a loved one has an allergy, it is important to read ingredient labels to ensure that ingredients do not contain and are not processed with the allergens. The types of food that people are allergic to often contain important nutrients, and therefore it is important to find a suitable food substitute for those nutrients.

Dairy (Cow’s milk)

Rich in:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamins A, B-12 and D
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus

Substitutes for dairy
For milk:

  • Almond milk
  • Soy or rice milk (fortified with calcium and Vitamin D)
  • Coconut milk

For butter & cheese:

  • Dairy-free milk


Rich in:

  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Calcium
  • Vitamins D and B
  • Folate
  • Zinc
  • Fibre

Substitutes for soybean
For soybean:

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots

For soy milk-based products:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Cheese


Rich in:

  • Protein
  • Niacin
  • Manganese

Substitutes for peanut:

  • Sunflower seeds/sunflower seed butter
  • Cashews
  • Soy nuts/soy nut butter
  • Almonds/almond butter
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Hummus


Wheat is a key ingredient in several food products, including pasta, bread and snacks. Wheat-free cooking will be less challenging with the following substitutes.

For wheat flour:

  • Rice/potato/sorghum flour
  • Tapioca or potato starch

For pasta:

  • Corn/rice pasta

For bread:

  • Gluten-free/wheat-free snacks
  • Rice cakes/crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit snacks
  • Potato/corn chips

Fish and shellfish

Rich in:

  • Protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acid

Substitutes for protein:

  • Meat/Poultry/Grain

Substitutes for omega-3 fatty acid

  • Walnuts
  • Canola/flax seed oil
  • Spinach/kale/Brussels sprouts


Rich in:

  • Protein
  • Vitamins B-12 and D
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorus

While we can avoid eating eggs, it is also a common ingredient used in baking. Eggs generally serve as a binder (holds a recipe together), leavening agent (helps food rise) or both.

For binding:

  • Smashed banana
  • Ground flax seed mixed with warm water
  • Applesauce or pureed fruit
  • Gelatin blend

For leavening:

  • Vegetable oil mixed with water and baking powder

These insights are brought to you by Raffles Health Insurance, your specialist health insurer. We are proud to be the first medical insurance plan provider backed by a medical group. Head on over to www.rafflesshield.com.sg if you would like to find out how we help you find health insurance that fits your healthcare and financial needs

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