Food allergies present quite the pickle when it comes to practicing good nutrition. After all, the whole premise of healthy eating exists on eating a wide variety of foods, yet food allergies hinder us from doing just that! Thankfully, getting around this little dilemma is a simple matter of knowing what to replace them with.
The first step to side-stepping food allergies is of course to know what they are to begin with! Here are some food intolerances that you may or may not be familiar with:
- Most common amongst children
- Requires avoidance of most dairy products
- Can be either coeliac or non-coeliac related
- Can be triggered later in life
- Pertains mostly to tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
- Not related to nut allergies as peanuts are technically considered part of the legume family
- Stems from the bodies hypersensitivity to egg protein
- Can be caused from exposure to either soy protein or soy lecithin
- Can be lethal due to the onset of anaphylactic shock
- Reaction can be either instant or delayed
- Similar to shellfish allergy in that it stems from hypersensitivity to seafood protein
- Can sometimes be confused with histamine toxicity due to the naturally high levels of histidine found in certain kinds of fish
One can easily see the troubles posed by such allergies; food such as eggs and nuts are considered to be nutrient powerhouses. Excluding these foods from one’s diet may be the right thing to do for your health, but it can create quite the hole in your nutrition plan. One simple way of getting around this is to invest in nutritional supplements to “fill in” said hole. Another way is to consider alternative foods that are rich in the nutrients that the allergy-causing foods provide. For instance, tree nuts are a great source of magnesium, but someone with a nut allergy can look to baby spinach as a means of getting sufficient magnesium in their diet.
Certain manufacturers have also taken food allergies into consideration by providing a line of products that are allergen free. The more ubiquitous ones are those that are labelled as being gluten-free or dairy-free. Here are some examples:
- Sidecar Sausages
- Wild Breads
- Diego’s Wraps
- Whole Kitchen Granola & Breads
- Roza’s gourmet sauces and broths
- Table of Plenty yoghurt
- Arlington tapioca puddings
- Made with Raw Love chocolate
- Chow Cacao Chocolate
- Inside/Out milk
- Selva acai dessert
While it is tempting to view such items as just healthier alternatives to their more conventional counterparts, the true value of such “speciality” food is their ability to allow consumers to partake in their favourite foods without fear of trigger any allergic reactions. Gluten-free bread is considered a godsend for people with gluten intolerance in places like America due to bread being considered a staple in their cultural diet.
Food allergies are largely determined by gene expressions, which mean that there is little that can be done to prevent their development other than exposing one to a wide variety of food at a young age in order to either identify them or prevent the buildup of certain food intolerances. Even if allergies do present themselves, conquering them can be as easy as 1 (identification) - 2 (elimination) - 3 (substitution)!