Your Personal Guide To Food Intolerance And Allergies
Food intolerances and allergies are real. And, what’s more, most of us have them.
They tend to fall into two camps: immune system-related problems, and non-immune related problems.
Immune-related intolerances trigger the immune system to enter a heightened state. For instance, it can trigger the release of antibodies or histamines. Non-immune responses include things like not having the right enzymes in the gut or having some sort of pharmacological response to food (such as anxiety after caffeine).
In this post, we take a look at some of the most common sensitivities and what they mean. Learn more below.
Milk intolerance generally occurs in people who lack the lactase enzyme – a molecule that breaks down the lactose sugar in milk. It can cause all sorts of undesirable effects, including gas, bloating, vomiting and nausea.
The simplest solution is to switch to plant-based milks. These do not contain any lactose since this comes from animals. You can also try choosing lactose-free dairy products. These have the lactose chemically removed.
Gluten is a type of protein found primarily in wheat and other grains. It’s what makes noodles bouncy and chewy.
Gluten intolerance is a serious problem for people with celiac. When the body detects gluten in the gut, it starts to destroy the gut lining, leading to ulcers and other serious medical complications.
Only eat gluten free sweets, breads, pastas, and other items that normally contain wheat. Check labels. Usually, they will highlight wheat or gluten in bold.
Caffeine intolerance is a real issue, but not one that people discuss very often.
Caffeine is a bitter stimulant found in many foods, including teas, coffees and sodas. It makes people feel more alert temporarily, but it can adversely affect some individuals. For instance, if you have an intolerance, you’re much more likely to experience a rapid heartbeat, jitters, anxiety, insomnia and nervousness.
If you have a sensitivity, reduce your intake as much as possible. Cut out chocolate, sodas, and other drinks known to contain high concentrations of the compound.
Salicylates are anti-inflammatory compounds in plants and the active ingredient in aspirin. You can find them in honey, nuts, spices, fruits and vegetables.
Usually, they are anti-inflammatory. However, for some people, they can result in a blocked nose, stuffy sinuses, and even nasal polyps.
Avoiding salicylates in the diet is, unfortunately, impossible. However, you can reduce your consumption by eliminating foods that contain them in high quantities, such as grapefruit and raisins.
FODMAPs is the short-hand way of saying “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols.” In short, it means a group of sugars that bacteria break down in the gut.
Most people have no trouble with these sugars. However, for some, they are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and eventually get broken down in the large intestine where the bacterial makeup is different. This can then create gas, constipation, diarrhoea and other unwanted side effects. Avoid foods like beans, lentils, apples, soft cheeses, milk and artichokes. They’re all high in FODMAPs.