One in three people have some form of food allergy. And if you don’t have a food allergy, you might have a food intolerance, which affects almost 75% of the population—with many people not ever realizing that they may have a food intolerance.
Sometimes it takes a combination of foods to set off a reaction. For example, you may go out for dinner and have a couple glasses of red wine, followed by dinner, and a rich dessert of ice cream topped with nuts.
It is the combination of the sulphites in the wine, the dairy in the ice cream, as well as the nuts, which makes you feel unwell.
If you had simply had the ice cream without the nuts or the wine, perhaps you would have gotten away without that tickle in the back of your throat, stuffed nose, or patch of eczema you develop the next day on the back of your neck.
In many instances, it is the total load on the immune system that may illicit a reaction. Perhaps that day you had been overly tired or had a fight with your boss, or had sat in traffic for over an hour and breathed in exhaust fumes. The total chemical load on the body gets to a point where something has to give.
In my dietary consulting, the most frequent allergies I see are dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, nuts, and gluten—and these are some of the most common food allergies today.
I am always optimistic with these people. I know what they are going through, as I have many food allergies myself.
I now know which foods can be substituted for high allergen foods, especially since there are many alternatives available in today’s society.
Now, not every allergen has a food substitute, but many do.
If you’re suffering from food allergies, here’s a list of some food substitutes that you should try:
- Dairy: Coconut, almond, soy, flax, hemp, and rice milk
- Wheat: Millet, buckwheat, rye, barley, oat, quinoa, corn, amaranth, tapioca, arrowroot, and rice
- Eggs: Egg replacers are sold in grocery stores; flaxseed and chia seed are good options as well
- Soy: Instead of eating soy beans, try lentils, rice, or other beans like navy or pinto. For milk and tofu, try using nuts, white beans, coconut, mushrooms, and seitan
- Nuts: Seed and seed butters are great food substitutes to use in place of nuts
- Gluten: Quinoa, buckwheat, millet, corn, amaranth, oat, tapioca, arrowroot and rice are great food substitutes for people with food allergies or food intolerances to gluten
Shirley is the author of Finally…Food I Can Eat!, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with multiple food allergies. As a nutritionist, she enjoys helping people plan healthy menu plans within the confines of food allergies and dietary restrictions. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter, or at www.deliciousalternatives.com