Let’s face it; food allergies are terrible. Having to ask about the contents of each dish in a restaurant and question hosts at parties about finger foods is a nuisance. It’s even worse to continue eating a food and suffering from symptoms of an allergy without realising what you’re allergic to. Use this handy guide to food allergies to help you.
An estimate of two to three per cent of children are allergic to milk before the age of three. As they grow older, some outgrow it, but others carry their allergy into adulthood. On consuming dairy products, people suffering from the allergy can get hives, have a stomach upset, vomiting spells or suffer from anaphylaxis which impairs breathing. Some are allergic to only cow’s milk, while others are allergic to all dairy products, so you’d be best to avoid cheese, butter and yogurt.
Substitute: Replace regular milk with soy or coconut milk. Replace butter with dairy free margarine and cheese with tofu. If you’re craving chocolate, substitute milk chocolate with dark chocolate; its healthier!
Tree Nut Allergies
Tree nuts include cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts. People allergic to tree nuts may suffer from stomach aches, nausea, rashes and itching and shortness of breath. It’s important to note that peanuts are not a part of the tree nut category. If suffering from tree nut allergies, avoid not just the nuts, but products that contain them, such as oils, cakes and syrups.
Substitute: Snack on handfuls of sunflower seeds when you’re craving nuts; they’ll give you the same crunch. Substitute nut butters with regular butter or hummus.
Seafood allergies can be divided into two categories; while some people are allergic to fish, others are allergic to shellfish. Some may be allergic to both, or to a single kind of fish. On eating a fish you’re allergic to, you could suffer from hives, stuffy or runny noses, headaches or asthma.
Substitute: Get your protein fix with white and red meats. You can also try eggs and tofu. Replace fish oils with flaxseed or canola oil.
Eggs are a very common food allergen. They may cause skin reactions, stomach aches and anaphylaxis.
Substitute: Eggs are hidden ingredients in a variety of recipes. While baking, substitute eggs with commercial egg substitutes such as Ener G Egg Replacer.
More and more people are being diagnosed with gluten insensitivity. Gluten in present in many foods such as noodles, breakfast cereals, pasta and various types of snacks. To know all about gluten free diets, go here!
Note: All these are suggestions on dealing with allergies. To diagnose suspected allergies and learn about their treatment, do pay a visit to you doctor.