Things to Know About Lupin
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Things to Know About Lupin

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 5:51 pm
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lupin iStockYou may have seen news articles that talk about something called lupin. What is that? The news isn’t about the Harry Potter character with that surname, and it has nothing to do with wolves. Instead, it is a natural food that some people are having an allergic reaction to. Here’s what you need to know about lupin.

What is lupin?
Lupin (which may also be spelled lupine) is a food. It is a type of legume that belongs to the same food family as peanuts. Lupin isn’t something new. It is a commonly used food in some cultures in Europe and Asia. Recently, lupin has started appearing in certain types of food products in the United States.

Lupin is used to make lupin flour and lupin protein. You can also eat lupin as a whole bean.

What is the concern about lupin?
For many people, there is no reason to be concerned about lupin. It is safe for most people to eat. Lupin is a high source of plant proteins and dietary fiber. It is cholesterol free and said to be easily digestible.

That being said, there are some people who are having an allergic reaction to lupin (on its own or when it an ingredient in other foods). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that studies show that people who have an existing legume allergy can experience an allergic reaction to lupin. People who have a peanut allergy appear to have a greater chance of being allergic to lupin. It is also worth noting that there are some people who may develop an allergy to lupin over time, and with exposure. (That’s true of most food allergies).

Lupin and Gluten-free foods
Lupin itself is gluten-free. So are all the other fruits and vegetables (unless something containing gluten has been intentionally added to them). However, there is a connection between lupin allergies and gluten-free foods. Lupin is a good substitute for gluten-containing flours. Therefore, you may find it in packaged gluten-free foods.

Read the Labels
The FDA says that law requires food labels to list the product’s ingredients. Make sure you read the food label before you purchase a product. Look for “lupin” or “lupine” in the ingredients list. If you feel that you, or a family member, might have an allergic reaction to lupin, it may be best to put that product back on the shelf and choose an alternative one.

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