Coconut Allergy Diet Guide

Coconut allergy is very rare. There are only a few reported cases of coconut food allergy in the medical literature.

Coconuts are the seeds of the coconut tree. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies coconuts as tree nuts. This is for labeling purposes. Coconuts are actually a fruit, not a nut.

Most people with tree nut allergies can safely consume coconut, but check with your doctor first.

This article looks at the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of coconut allergy. It also discusses which foods to avoid if you are allergic to coconut.

What is a coconut allergy?

In rare cases, a person may experience an allergic reaction after consuming coconut. Allergic reactions occur when your body mistakes a harmless substance as a threat.

An allergic reaction to coconut on the skin, called contact dermatitis, is more common than a food allergy to coconut. Because coconut allergies are rare, researchers don’t know if coconut skin care products can be safely used by people allergic to coconut foods, and vice versa. If you are allergic to any kind of coconut, please consult your doctor before using any products derived from coconut.

Likewise, if you’re allergic to tree nuts, it’s best to consult your doctor before adding coconut to your diet. This is because some people have been found to be allergic to both nuts and coconuts.

Coconut Allergy Symptoms

People with a coconut allergy may experience food allergy symptoms after drinking or eating foods made from coconut. These reactions may include:

  • Skin reaction: rash, hives, or eczema
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea, stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Airway symptoms: wheezing, cough, or runny nose
  • Angioedema: swelling of lips, tongue or face

severe reactions, called allergic reaction, may occur in coconut allergies. These responses affect multiple organ systems.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • itching
  • measles
  • shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • fast or slow heart rate
  • feeling confused or anxious
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • swollen throat

You may have symptoms all over your body.

Allergic reactions to coconut are extremely rare.

Symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock

Contact Dermatitis and Coconut Allergy

Some people may experience allergic contact dermatitis after exposure to coconut-derived products. These products include:

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  • coconut Diethanolamide
  • Cocamide Sulfate
  • Cocamide DEA
  • CDEA

These ingredients can be found in personal care products such as:

  • shampoo
  • Moisture Cream
  • Soap
  • detergent
  • hand soap

An itchy, blistering rash may occur a day or two after exposure to coconut allergens. It may take a few days to disappear.

Contact your doctor if you suspect contact dermatitis caused by coconut. A test can confirm if you are allergic to coconut.

Is prurigo contact dermatitis?


If you are allergic to coconut, you may experience hives, upset stomach, difficulty breathing, or swelling after eating foods that contain coconut.

Some people may experience contact dermatitis after using skin care products that contain coconut. This usually manifests as an itchy, blistering rash.

Cross Reaction and Coconut Allergy

Cross-reactivity is when you are allergic to two or more different substances that contain similar allergen proteins.

Coconuts are most closely related to other palms and betel nut. This relationship isn’t the only factor that determines whether two foods will cross-react. However, close relatives often have related allergenic proteins.

For example, cashews and pistachios are closely related. They also contain similar proteins. People who are allergic to one are often allergic to the other.

Allergy Alert

There is some evidence that:

  • Coconut and Hazelnut
  • Coconut and Walnuts

However, since coconuts and tree nuts are not closely related, most people with tree nut allergies are likely to tolerate coconut.

Diagnosing and Treating Coconut Allergies

A coconut allergy is usually diagnosed by an allergist. To make a diagnosis, your allergist will:

  • Ask about your medical history
  • undergo a physical examination
  • Take a food allergy test

Coconut allergy is treated with dietary changes. If you are allergic to coconut, you need to remove coconut from your diet. This means completely avoiding all foods that contain coconut. This is the only way to avoid allergic reactions.

The Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) recognizes coconut as a tree nut. This is for product labeling purposes. These labels help protect consumers from potential allergens.

According to FALCPA, manufacturers must list coconut as a potential allergen ingredient. This information must appear in the ingredient list or in the declaration at the end of the list. However, they are not required to state whether the product was made in a facility that also processes coconut. This type of labeling is voluntary.

Not all products will list coconut derivatives on the label. If you are concerned that a product may contain coconut derivatives, you can call the manufacturer and ask for specific ingredients. You can also choose not to use the product.


A coconut allergy is diagnosed based on your medical history, physical exam, and allergy testing. If you are allergic to coconut, you need to avoid all foods that contain coconut.

Foods to Avoid for Coconut Allergies

It is difficult to avoid coconut in food. You must learn how to read food labels. Coconut is found in many foods as a derivative. These are substances made from coconut.

Coconuts are found in many foods. It is sometimes added for flavor and texture. Foods most likely to contain coconut include:

  • Granola Bars
  • curry paste
  • biscuit
  • cereals
  • other types of desserts

You may also find coconuts in surprising places, such as:

  • rum
  • infant formula
  • Soap and Shampoo

Read food allergy labels

Watch out for coconuts in any form on the label, including:

  • coconut
  • coconut milk
  • Coconut water
  • Coconut oil, although highly refined oils are usually not a problem
  • coconut cream
  • coconut milk powder
  • coconut candy

foods that may contain coconut

  • Candy bars like Almond Joy
  • cookies, such as macaroons
  • Coconut Cream Pie
  • Coconut Flavored Yogurt
  • ice cream
  • Granola
  • smoothie
  • Mixed alcoholic beverages, such as piña coladas

Coconut Oil Allergy

Because coconut allergies are rare, healthcare professionals don’t know how people with coconut allergies might react to products containing coconut oil.

Coconut oil allergies appear to be more rare than coconut allergies, based on limited information in the medical literature.

However, if you are allergic to coconut, you may also be allergic to coconut oil. This is a good reason to avoid products that contain coconut oil.


Coconut allergy is very rare. If you are allergic to coconut, you may experience symptoms after eating foods that contain coconut. These can include rashes and hives, upset stomach, wheezing or coughing, and swelling of the lips, tongue, and face.

Contact dermatitis is more common after exposure to skin care products and shampoos that contain coconut. This may appear as an itchy, blistering rash.

If you are also allergic to trees, you may have an allergic reaction to coconut. However, this is not common.

If you think you may be allergic to coconut, you will need an allergy test to confirm the diagnosis. People who are allergic to coconut need to avoid eating anything that contains coconut.

Most product labels list coconut as a potential allergen. Look for coconut in any form, including coconut milk and coconut sugar.

VigorTip words

There is no cure for a coconut allergy. This means that if you are allergic to coconut, you will need to learn to avoid coconut and coconut ingredients. This includes ingredients in both food and non-food items. You also need to learn to prepare for a reaction.

Carry an emergency first aid kit. The kit should include contact information and antihistamines.It should also include your epinephrine Auto-injector or EpiPen, if prescribed by your doctor.

If you are allergic to another tree nut but you want to keep coconut in your diet, talk to your allergist. Further testing can help guide you toward a reasonable next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How common is a coconut allergy?

    Coconut allergies are very rare. It is rarely reported in the medical literature. Still, it’s possible to be allergic to coconut. If you experience symptoms of a food allergy after consuming coconut, consult an allergist.

    understand more:

    Causes and Risk Factors of Food Allergies

  • What kind of allergen is coconut?

    The FDA classifies coconuts as tree nuts. However, it is actually a fruit. Most people who are allergic to coconut are not allergic to nuts.

    understand more:

    Tree Nut Allergy Dietary Guidelines