How To Eat Healthily When You Have Food Allergies

November 15, 2012

Healthy Diet

Check ingredients labels

Check ingredients labels

It’s estimated that up to 4 people in every hundred suffer from some sort of food allergy. These allergies can range from the severe life-threatening symptoms of anaphylactic shock to the more minor irritations such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). The allergic reaction is caused by the body’s immune system reacting to a particular protein in the food and therefore it is extremely important to avoid the offending foodstuffs.

Check ingredients labels

Food manufacturers always include a comprehensive list of ingredients on the packaging, so make a point of checking these thoroughly. In addition to the required labelling, most manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the problems caused by food allergies and so also include a list of ingredients known to cause problems for some people.

Nut allergies can be extremely severe, to the point where even using machinery that has formerly been in contact with nuts can trigger an allergic reaction. Manufacturers tend to make it clear on labels where ingredients may have been exposed to nuts and nowadays many also include labelling to indicate where foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs and gluten are included, as these are all known to cause problems for some people.

Look for alternative products

People sensitive to dairy food can find plenty of substitutes such as soya milk, almond milk, goats’ milk and rice milk. Soya yogurts and flavoured drinks are stocked by an increasing number of supermarkets and shops, along with a wide variety of non-dairy cheeses.

Most supermarkets have a dedicated area for people with food allergies and intolerances, including a good supply of gluten-free products. Almond butter makes a great alternative to peanut butter and apple sauce can be used as a replacement for eggs when baking. With a little imagination it is possible to find acceptable alternatives for most foodstuffs known to cause an allergic reaction.

Make your own food from scratch

Reading through long lists of ingredients can be daunting, particularly when it comes to products such as ready meals which have long lists written in small print to wade through. Moreover, many ingredients hide behind complicated chemical names making it hard to identify potential culprits. For example, hydrogenated vegetable oil is a common ingredient in many recipes which have need of a liquid fat made solid   this is achieved by adding metal as a catalyst before introducing hydrogen to the mixture and removing the metal. Many people on a yeast-free diet are advised to avoid this ingredient, which is attracting increasing media attention for its potential adverse health impact.

The only way to be completely certain about the provenance of your food is to buy ingredients and make all sauces, casseroles, stews, curries and other meals from scratch. By replacing offending products such as dairy, for example, with soya alternatives it is possible to create great-tasting meals that have absolutely no adverse health effects. The same is true for all other food allergies, such as nuts, eggs, gluten and wheat. Cookbooks and websites can be an excellent source of meal plans to help you to develop interesting and nutritious menus that the whole family can enjoy.

This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance writer and blogger, on behalf of Range Cookers.

How To Eat Healthily When You Have Food Allergies

This web page is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment! Nothing on this web page should be construed as medical advice. Please check with your own physician about any information that concerns you.

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