First, I want to clarify the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. In the case of true food allergies, your body's immune system responds by releasing histamine and triggering an allergic reaction. These reactions can escalate and in severe cases cause respiratory reactions and even death. If you believe you are suffering from food allergies, please contact a registered medical professional to discuss your dietary options. The recipes and tips in this website are solely for food intolerance and are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
So, what is an intolerance? Well, it's basically a food that your body cannot process. In the medical community, it might be called a non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity. Current figures estimate that nearly 1.5 billion people worldwide have some form of food intolerance. Unlike food allergies, an intolerance means that you might be able to eat small amounts of a food without problems or be okay with the ingredients in some forms. You may be lactose intolerant and able to drink skim milk, but soft cheeses make you miserable. Food intolerances are caused by things we're not even aware of (IBS, stress, celiac disease, or hormonal or gut flora imbalance) and can be caused by a multitude of foods and ingredients. The most common offenders are:
DairyWatch out for ingredients like whey, butter, casein and caseinates, cheese, cream, custard, ghee, milk fat, butter fat, and some lactic acids. It may also be called natural flavoring.
GlutenSources of gluten include barley, bran, bulgar, couscous, farina, farro, hydrolyzed wheat, malt, malt flavoring, rye, seitan, spelt, semolina, modified wheat starch, tabbouleh, udon, wheat, soy sauce, licorice, miso, and flavorings.
EggsWatch for albumin, egg wash, egg substitute, egg whites, dried egg solids, egg wash, yolk, flavoproteins, glaze, imitation egg product, and powdered egg.
SoybeansSoy products can be nondairy ice cream, nondairy drinking milks, nondairy cheese, edamame, soybean oil, soy lecithin, hydrolyzed soy protein, texture soy flour, tofu, miso, and tempeh, tamari, soy sauce,
CornJust a few alternative names are cornmeal, corn starch, corn syrup, flavoring, golden syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic aside, malt, malitol, and starch
MSGMonosodium Glutamate is also found in glutamic acid, glutamate, magnesium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy, hydrolyzed protein, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, whey protein, soy protein, and carrageenan. Also watch out for natural flavors or flavoring.
SweetenersAlso labeled as saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, acesulfame K, Neotame, Splenda, Sweet n Low, Equal, Truvia, Sweet One, Nutrasweet, and SugarTwin
What does intolerance feel like? There are a whole host of symptoms that may be caused by food intolerance (not just the obvious digestive ones). And you may not feel the symptoms immediately after consuming the food. Sometimes they occur 12-24 hours after you've eaten it, which can make pinpointing the cause a challenge. To make things even trickier, "there is a threshold amount, which needs to be ingested for the food to produce symptoms of intolerance." In other words, you might be able to have a roll before dinner, but if you ate a whole bowl of pasta, you would be paying for it for hours (sometimes even days). Some symptoms that have been linked to a food intolerance include: