Move aside gluten: color allergies are the next scary allergy. I never knew people could be allergic to artificial dye until my friend showed up one day, looking like a sunburnt blowfish, and said, “So yeah turns out I’m allergic to red.”
There are three dyes that have been linked to allergic reactions: carmine, a red color that actually comes from dried bugs, tartrazine, which is a yellow color also called FD&C Yellow #5, and annatto, another yellow dye from seeds of the achiote tree.
Being allergic to colors really sucks, because they hide in unexpected foods and even some medicines and cosmetics. Here are 11 foods you can’t eat with an artificial dye allergy.
1. The Rainbow Bagel
The rainbow bagel is a definite no-no. With all those vibrant, artificial colors, this is the kryptonite for someone with an artificial dye allergy. But, if you’re not allergic, see how we made the Rainbow Bagel here.
2. White icing
Surprise! Check the ingredients because there’s even artificial dye hiding in colorless foods like most processed vanilla frostings.
3. Hot dogs
This just adds to the mystery of hot dogs, because it should be meat right? Who needs food coloring in pork? We may never know, so if you’re allergic to colors just avoid these cylinders of unknown “meat.”
4. Froot Loops
Here is another obviously colorful food to avoid, but cutting this staple out may leave a longing hole in your life.
5. Boxed Mac & Cheese
Unfortunately, the bright orange mac and cheese of your childhood, which has also made a competitive comeback in your college years, has tons of processed, artificial coloring.
6. Jell-o Shots
Your friends are all doing Jell-O shots, but you’re allergic to food dye? Sorry, none for you Gretchen Wieners.
This popular snack also contains artificial coloring. Be sure to also avoid anyone who might have cheese-y Doritos dust fingers.
There goes another college staple, and the days of 1-minute breakfasts.
Did you think you could still get sprinkles on your ice cream? Nope. If you’re allergic to food coloring you can’t even indulge and add rainbow sprinkles.
10. Frozen pizza
You would think that all the colors in a frozen pizza are natural, but even most frozen pizzas contain artificial coloring.
This may be one of the worst parts of having an allergy to food coloring. Pretty much all candies contain food coloring and will make your face blow up or break out in hives just like my friend’s.