If You Have A Grape Allergy or Grape Sensitivity, Here Is What You Need To Know

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This post was co-written by Lisa Hugh MSHS RD LDN CLT and Kristen Rohrer, DHSc., CNS, LDN. 

Have you been diagnosed with a grape allergy or grape sensitivity? 

Do you suspect that you are allergic to grapes? Have you noticed that you get symptoms after eating grapes, wine, or other related foods? 

Having adverse food reactions to grapes can be dangerous and sometimes hard to identify. 

In this article you’ll learn more about grapes, hidden sources of grapes and foods that are related to grapes which may trigger symptoms. 

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Grape Food Family

Grapes are part of the Vitaceae Food Family.

If you are allergic or sensitive to grapes, you may be allergic or sensitive to the following foods:

  • Grape Juice
  • Grape Leaves (Dolmades)
  • Raisins
  • Currants
  • Dried Currants
  • Wine
  • Red WineVinegar
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Grapeseed Oil  
  • Grape Flour

Grape Sensitivity 

Some people only experience an allergic reaction when consuming grapes or grape products listed above.

However, some people react to grapes, wine, and other fermented products due to other components of the foods due to food sensitivities and other intolerances.

Allergic reactions and other types of adverse food reactions may be triggered by yeast, pollen, tannins, nitrites, and nitrates.

Grape Cross-Reactivity with Rosacae Food Family

It is suspected that those with grape allergies may also have allergic reactions to foods in the Rosacae Food Family.

Foods in the Rosacae (Rose) Food Family include:

  • Blackberry
  • Boysenberry
  • Dewberry
  • Loganberry
  • Longberry
  • Raspberry
  • Rosehip
  • Strawberry
  • Youngberry

Due to the specific proteins found in grapes, people with grape allergy may react to many foods. Reactions may vary widely or not occur at all. Working with a professional is sometimes needed to identify triggers and safe foods.

Other Foods May Be Cross-Reactive With Grape Allergy 

Grape Allergy may be cross-reactive with the following foods:

  • Asparagus
  • Beer
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cherry
  • Chestnut
  • Cucumber
  • Date
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Fig
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Lupin
  • Maize
  • Mellon
  • Mulberry
  • Mustard
  • Orange
  • Peanuts
  • Pineapple
  • Tomato
  • Tree Nuts

People with grape allergy may be susceptible to vine pollen so olives and olive oil may be a potential trigger.

 

Hidden Sources Of Grapes

Be on the lookout for grapes in the following foods: jelly, fruit preserves, candy, cereals, granola, grapeseed oil, dried fruit, fruit bars, trail mix, baked goods, fermented foods, wine, juices & juice blends, various types of vinegars, and flavored water. 

Even some breads (like sourdough) start with a fermentation process that uses grapes, so be sure to read labels. 

Alternatives to Grapes 

If you are looking for foods to substitute for grapes, try to think about what the grape is used for in the recipe. Grapes contribute color, sweetness, texture, and acidity to many dishes.

Here is a quick guide to help identify alternatives to grapes and grape products.

Fresh red grapes in a wooden bowl on a wooden platter with white cloth.

Fresh Grapes – For an alternative to Fresh Grapes, consider one of the following:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Blueberry
  • Fresh Cranberry
  • Grapefruit
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Plum

 

Closeup of grapejuice with bubbles.

Grape Juice – For an alternative to Grape Juice, consider one of the following. We recommend 100% organic juice made from a single fruit in order to reduce the chances of hidden ingredients such as other fruit juices, sweeteners, preservatives and pesticides. 

  • Apple Juice
  • Blueberry Juice
  • Cranberry Juice (Not Cranberry Juice Cocktail)
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Mango Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Papaya Juice

 

 

Red grapes with green grape leaves.

Grape Leaves (Dolmades) – For an alternative to Grape Leaves, consider one of the following:

  • Collard Greens
  • Kale Leaves
  • Turnip Greens

 

 

 

 

Raisins on white background.

Raisins & Currants – For an alternative to Raisins and Currants, consider one or more of the following:

  • Craisins / Dried Cranberries (Be sure to read labels carefully. Some contain added sugars, are sweetened or flavored with other juices, or come in bags lined with vegetable oils.)
  • Dried Apple
  • Dried Apricot
  • Dried Mango
  • Dried Papaya

 

Four glasses of wine going from light to dark in color on brown oak barrel.

Wine – For alternatives to wine, consider one or more of the following:

  • Sparkling Apple Cider (non alcoholic)
  • Hard Cider (alcoholic)
  • Liquor made from grains (tolerance will vary based on several factors such as alcohol tolerance, histamine tolerance, and ingredients in the liquor).
  • White Vinegar (if being used in cooking to provide acid.)
  • Lemon Juice (if being used in cooking to provide acid.)

 

Oil and Vinegar in bottles next to a salad.

Red WineVinegar – For alternatives to Red Wine Vinegar, consider one or more of the following:

  • White Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice

 

 

Ingredients and supplies for apple pie including apples, wisk, roller, flour, butter, spoon, bowl, egg, cream of tartar and cookbook on a wooden surface.

Cream of Tartar – For alternatives to Cream of Tartar, consider one or more of the following:

  • Lemon Juice
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Powder
  • Buttermilk
  • Yogurt

 

 

 

 

Oil in a bottle.

Grape Seed Oil – For alternatives to Grape Seed Oil, consider one or more of the following:

  • Avocado Oil
  • Soy Bean Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flax Oil
  • Butter
  • Lard 
  • Tallow
  • Peanut Oil
  • Canola Oil

Help For Grape Allergy & Grape Sensitivity

Grape allergy is overall a rare condition and identifying trigger foods may be challenging.

We recommend working with an Allergist, Registered Dietitian or Certified Leap Therapist to identify which foods are safest for you and which foods you should avoid.

References:

Thermo Scientific

Food Families Guide, Oxford Biomedical Technologies, Inc.

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Lisa Hugh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Leap Therapist. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration. As a a Food Sensitivity Expert, her passion is helping people with complex medical and nutrition needs find food and groceries that are safe and enjoyable. Lisa also produces Poop Problems Podcast.

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