So you have found out that you have a food allergy or intolerance. Where do you start?
Food allergy is a result of your body’s reaction to certain foods where it responds to certain items and food products as an irritant. It can happen with anyone, anytime throughout his or her life. Intolerance is a
little different and is not life threatening. It is more of a chemical response but can cause similar symptoms; upset stomach, vomiting, rashes, pain etc. Allergies
Allergic Where to Start
are often genetic, whereas, food intolerances don’t and can affect anyone and at anytime. Children do tend to out-grow these reactions but there are chances that they would be stuck with it for their whole life ahead leading to adults. So if you or your children have been recently diagnosed with this life-changing revelation, here are some tips on how you can better manage.
Identifying the problem
If you think that your child has an allergy, you re-ally need to go to an allergy specialist to identify the food groups that are triggering the responses. An IgE blood test measures the blood level of antibodies which are proteins produced by the immune system that attack antigens, such as bacteria, viruses and allergens. There is also a skin prick test that is also very effective. These tests will identify the food groups such as dairy, wheat, soy, etc and environmental allergens such as grass seed, dust etc. There are more options if you think you have a food intolerance. You can do a standard food elimination test, there are many professionals who are advertising food testing and you can also take out a Food Test 500 developed by a naturopath as a bio compatibility test, which identifies which whole foods are no good to each individual tested and is also highly effective, requires no appointment, needles, blood tests etc.
Introduce alternate recipes
Once you identify the foods that are triggering your symptoms you then need to effectively avoid them in order for you system to heal and your symptoms to reduce. Now, it doesn’t end here. You will have to dig deeper to find out all the other processed, packaged food which might contain traces of the allergic food in them. So, start reading labels. For example if you are allergic to wheat or gluten you are best to look for foods that are labeled gluten free as these companies have had to test for traces of gluten. Ingredients such as maltodextrins, thickener etc can be derived from wheat. Try not to use anything that you are not too sure about. Know what you can and can’t eat so that you can prevent any im-pending danger in your life. There are many re-sources available to give you ideas on how to substitute and cook gluten free, dairy free, soy free and more.
Check out the recipe archives of What Can I Eat.
Stick together as a family
If someone has an allergy, it is already hard enough for them. Try not to make it harder by making them feel left out and deprived. The food that they are allergic to, the whole family should stop using that. No food or craving can be worth a person’s life. Be prepared if you are going out to dinner or on holidays, school excursions etc. You are sometimes better to just bring your own food.
In the case of children being diagnosed with allergies and food intolerances, provide caretakers and educators such as nannies, baby sitters, teachers, grandparents and every elderly person your child may get in contact with a full list of inflammatory foods not to give them. In the same way for an adult also, it is important to be very conscious about trying anything new. Read the labels and ingredients very carefully before you try out some new food. Most importantly, keep an allergy kit with you all the time that can be used in case of a reaction.
Join support groups
To help you out and cope with all the strict, stressful decisions you are taking in your life, join support groups. You can talk to other people there who are going through something similar; find emotional support when you are down and helpful tips that can make your life easier.
Being diagnosed with food allergy or food intolerance can certainly change a lot of things in your life but it is certainly not the end of it. There is a lot of support; advice and resources these days that will help you follow your new eating guide-lines successfully. It is much better than the suffering you have had to endure so date.
It’s one thing to say that you’re going to eliminate all additives from your diet. It may be quite another to actually do it. If your idea of good eating is to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave, you’re going to have to make some significant adjustments. Going completely additive free is going mean eliminating a lot of the foods you enjoy, and finding alternatives.
That said, there are many good reasons to adopt an additive free diet. You’re going to be eliminating lot of foods that really don’t have a lot of nutritional value, and you’ll probably feel better once you start eating in a healthier fashion.
Food additives include artificial flavorings and colourings, and chemical preservatives. Many food dyes have been connected to health problems both major and minor – some have even been linked to cancer. Preservatives can cause allergic reactions in some people. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to various health conditions, and are suspected of being connected with some types of cancer.
To avoid consuming undesirable additives, read food labels carefully. A good rule of thumb is that if you see anything on the label that you have trouble pronouncing, you shouldn’t buy the product. You’ll find additives in most commercial bakery products, and also in baking mixes. Other offenders are frozen waffles and pancakes, and also dry mixes. If it’s in a can or a jar at the grocery store, it contains additives. Virtually any kind of soda or drink mix will be loaded with additives. Condiments like ketchup Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, tartar sauce, and mayonnaise are offenders. Any processed meat (hot dogs, bologna, lunch-meats, etc.) will be absolutely loaded with additives.
What fast foods should you avoid? All of them.
Even your beloved dairy products, like cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt contain several additives.
If you want something to drink other than plain old water, you can have one hundred percent fruit juices, herbal tea, and plain tomato or V8 juice.
As to what you can eat on an additive free diet, you can have all the fresh fruits and vegetables you want. Pure grain cereals are excellent, but not the instant, flavored type. Brown rice is good, most granolas are fine, and pasta of any sort is permissible. Any flour-based product, provided it’s made with unbleached flour. Eggs and nuts are good for you.
Actually, almost any pure food is permissible on an additive free diet. If you make meals at home from pure foods, you’ll be consuming little or nothing in the way of additives.
I love to encourage little ones to be creative and teaching them to cook is a great way to express their creative side. I’ve already been in the kitchen cooking with my two-year-old granddaughter, we made my Muesli Slice from book 3 which she loves as a snack. One of the benefits of teaching kids to cook is that as they get older they can help out when you are busy; and who doesn’t want dinner cooked for them.
Here are some tips with kids in the kitchen:
- Have a stool handy so little ones can reach the bench easily.
- Provide an apron to avoid extra mess.
- Let them pick recipes that they like and help them to write a shopping list. In the supermarket they can be the shopper; this is a great opportunity to encourage learning about weights and measures. For example, show them how to locate sizes on products, e.g. 500g of mince or a 420g can of tomatoes.
- Don’t make cooking too hard as this can lead to frustration and spoil the experience. Choose recipes according to level of difficulty that suit the age group, so they can be in charge as much as possible.
- Never criticise or be angry with them, even if they drop an egg on the floor forget about the mess and have fun.
- Make sure the tasks are age appropriate, safety first! Provide proper oven gloves to protect their hands when removing food from the oven or microwave. Talk about knife safety.
- Explain hygiene – chopping on different boards i.e. chicken on one, vegetables on another. Show how to avoid cross contamination and encourage washing of hands.
- Make a reason for the children to cook such as a visit from Grandma or for snacks to take to school or a gift such as cookies, muffins or a fruit cake. Praise is a mighty strong way for cooking to become a fun and pleasant experience.
- Fill the sink with warm soapy water and clean up as you go so it’s not a big chore at the end.
- Spending time together cooking gives parents an opportunity to teach fractions and other measurements and also educate about food and nutrition. I’m sure some kids think milk comes from a carton.
Cooking with kids is a perfect opportunity to share knowledge with your children or grandchildren and then enjoy eating the food you cook. Fond memories are made when spending time together and who knows, you might find you have a budding chef on your hands.
Article submitted by Annette Sym of Symply Too Good
FODMAPs are short chains of carbohydrates disaccharides, monosaccharides and related alcohols that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. The restriction of these FODMAPs from the diet has been found to have a beneficial effect for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome and other functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Poor absorption of most FODMAP carbohydrates is common to everyone. Any FODMAPs that are not absorbed in the small intestine pass into the large intestine, where bacteria ferment them. Below are two lists of FODMAP unfriendly and FODMAP friendly foods. Generally abstinence of these inflammatory foods is advisable but if you really need certain items try and keep the usage down to a minimum.
High FODMAP food (things to avoid / reduce)
Vegetables and Legumes
Garlic and onions – avoid entirely if possible, artichoke, asparagus, baked beans, beetroot, black eyed peas, broad beans, butter beans, cauliflower, celery – greater than 5cm of stalk, kidney beans, leeks, mange tout, mushrooms, peas, savoy cabbage, soy beans, split peas, scallions / spring onions (bulb / white part), shallots
Fruits that contain high fructose
Apples, apricots, avocado, blackberries, cherries, currants, dates, grapefruit, lychee, mango
Beer – if drinking more than one bottle, dandelion tea, fruit and herbal teas with apple added, orange juice in quantities over 100ml, rum, sugar free fizzy drinks – such as diet coke, sports drinks, wine – if drinking more than one glass.
Banana, blueberries, boysenberry, cantaloupe, star fruit, cranberry, durian, grapes, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime mandarin, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, tangelo.
Suitable vegetables and legumes
Alfalfa, bean sprouts, bok choy / pak choi, broccoli – avoid large servings, brussel sprouts, butternut squash – 1/4 cup, cabbage, carrots, celery – less than 5cm of stalk, corn / sweet corn, courgette, chick peas, chives, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, green beans,green pepper, ginger, kale, Leek leaves, lentils, lettuce, okra, olives, parsnip, parsley, radish, red peppers, potato, pumpkin, scallions, spinach, baby squash, sweet potato, tomato, turnip, zucchini.
This article focuses on the foods to be avoided and taken on a FODMAP diet. When considering a diet that involves avoiding a long list of foods, it is beneficial to look at foods that are acceptable on the diet.
You might think that adopting a corn-free diet is easy – you know what corn looks like, so just eliminate those bright yellow kernels, right? Wrong. It’s surprising how many common food products contain corn. It’s in almost everything.
There can be a number of reasons to eliminate corn, or at least some types of corn products from your diet. For instance, if you have an allergy to corn, it’s probably to the corn protein, so corn byproducts like corn starch and clean corn oil won’t cause you any distress. In a few cases, people are allergic to the entire kernel, and anything and everything corn-related has to be eliminated.
Occasionally, it becomes necessary to temporarily eliminate corn products that are abrasive to the digestive tract. People with inflammatory bowel problems, for instance, should stay away from corn, cornmeal, and popcorn when they’re having a flare-up.
As major concern these days is genetically modified food. The debate continues as to whether these foods are harmful, so if that’s something that worries you, you need to know that more than eighty percent of our corn products are genetically modified, and that food producers are not required to let you know when this is the case. Don’t expect to see a label on your corn or corn products stating “GMO.” In order to be sure, you’re going to have to look for labelling that says “non-GMO,” or “GMO-free.” Even organically grown corn could be cross-contaminated.
As previously stated, practically anything can contain corn. This includes the obvious, like corn oil, corn syrup, corn meal and cornstarch. Less obvious are baking powder, citric acid, and MSG. If the label states that the product contains maltodextrin, that’s a corn product. Even “natural flavors” on the label can indicate the presence of corn. Look for baking powder that doesn’t contain cornstarch, and make sure to use pure cooking oils like olive, peanut or safflower.
Corn is an ingredient in most processed foods, so if you are planning to follow a corn-free diet, eliminating processed foods is the best way to start. Rediscover your kitchen, and make meals from scratch using whole foods. You can create delicious meals using whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish. You’ll eliminate most of the corn from your diet, and you’ll never miss those over-processed foods.
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