YouTube's Buff Dudes soon found just how hard it is to try and shop or eat out while avoiding these ingredients.
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YouTube's Buff Dudes, also known as brothers Hudson and Brandon White, have tried all kinds of restrictive diets and meal plans in previous videos, including going keto and vegan and For their latest challenge, they both set themselves the task of avoiding the top 9 food allergens—eggs, milk, wheat, sesame, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish and peanuts—while traveling for the weekend.
The first thing they learn is that grabbing snacks for a road trip instantly becomes a lot more complicated.
"Every single item me and Brandon grabbed had some kind of allergen," says Hudson. "It was very surprising, because typically you're not really looking or thinking about those things, at least not for us personally. So when you really begin to think of those top 9 allergens, you start to realize almost everything contains one... It really restricts what you can buy. We've been trying to be as cautious as we can."
"We're quickly finding out that it is very difficult to eat out," he continues. Both Buff Dudes "fail" on the first meal of their journey, as Hudson's salad comes with cheese and eggs, and Brandon's meal was cooked in peanut oil. "The lesson learned is ask before you order, not after," says Brandon.
They acknowledge that it is much easier these days to source alternatives to allergen-filled foods, such as oat milk, or pea-based proteins, as they were surprised to learn that foods like beef jerky are made with wheat and soy. But trying to order a balanced meal while also getting the necessary number of calories continued to prove tricky.
"We successfully avoided all top 9 allergens, but unfortunately we were so focused on trying not to have those, we ended up with basically nothing," says Hudson. "Now we need to find a satiating meal that's also top 9 free."
The purpose of their road trip is to visit Dr. Kari Nadeau, the author of The End of Food Allergy
, at Stanford University, so they can learn more about how best to manage the cashew allergy developed by Hudson's daughter Anna.
"Diversity of diet is really important," says Nadeau. "If you diversify the diet really early and often, at around 4 to 6 months of age, that really decreases the risk of food allergies. Getting a little bit of food in there, and training the gut, is kind of like training the immune muscle."
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