Food allergies are very common. About 5% of the adult UK population is allergic to some type of food, and in the USA this number is even higher, about 10%. People are most often allergic to milk, eggs and nuts. While it seems simple to avoid foods you are allergic to, the big problem is that most snacks, cereals, chocolates and anything else you can find on supermarket shelves contain traces of the three most common food allergens.
Children are even more prone to food allergies than adults. So if you have someone who is allergic in your home, the diet must be completely tailored to that person’s needs. Don’t forget to stick to a proper and healthy diet, especially if you have children in your home.
They are developing, growing and it is necessary to continuously work on building their immunity. Consumption of harmful fats and sugars impairs your health and immunity, which can cause many other diseases.
Food allergy symptoms
Symptoms of food allergy are manifested when the body of a hypersensitive person comes into contact with a food allergen. Food allergy is actually an immune reaction of the organism to the protein of a certain food. The allergic reaction can be very mild, almost imperceptible.
But it can also be extremely severe and even life-threatening. You can usually notice an allergic reaction very soon after consuming a certain food, but sometimes it passes a few hours before the first symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms are tingling sensation, swelling of the lips and tongue, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and many others.
In any case, you should consult your doctor, but there are also allergic reactions that are considered emergency. If an allergic reaction causes swelling of the throat, rapid pulse, breathing problems, sudden drop in blood pressure or loss of consciousness, then it is called anaphylaxis and it is a life-threatening condition.
Most common food allergens
We have already mentioned milk, eggs and nuts. But that includes cheese, butter, yogurt, everything that contains eggs and dozens of different types of nuts. Also, cereals are a common allergen, like wheat and soy. Numerous types of Shellfish like shrimps and prawns should be avoided by all those who are prone to allergies.
That is why it is important to identify foods that are potential allergens. Fortunately, most foods can be replaced with some other foods in recipes and very tasty dishes can be obtained. In order to achieve this outcome, it is necessary to be educated, informed and tested. The most important thing is to read the declarations carefully, because many foods contain some of the most common allergens.
There are several ingredients that are used often, and they are actually one of the most well-known allergens. One example of such foods is gluten. And gluten is part of bread, pastas and many other food people around the world consume daily. However, there are plenty of gluten-free foods that you can consume.
Although eggs are very nutrient-rich foods, they are also the most common allergen. Experts recommend consuming eggs up to 3 times a week, but in many cases they are dangerous for people prone to allergies. Milk allergy can occur in the first months of life, and the use of oat, coconut, almond, soy and rice milk is recommended as an alternative. This allergy includes all dairy products, which means you should avoid cheese, yogurt and so on.
Difference between allergy and intolerance
People very often cannot tell the difference between intolerance and allergy. That is why they often say that they are allergic to some kind of food, although in fact they are only intolerant and not allergic. Allergy is a reaction of the immune system and can therefore be very dangerous. Even a small amount of allergen causes a reaction and is determined with the help of a skin prick test.
Food intolerance is determined using a food intolerance test that you can check out here. Food intolerance causes burping, gas, loose stools and similar symptoms, but it is almost never dangerous. Intolerance is the inability of the digestive system to digest certain foods, but it is not a reaction of the immune system.
An example of an allergen-free menu
If you have been sufficiently informed about the allergy, it is clear to you how dangerous it can be. Therefore, we will present a few examples of a safe and healthy menu without allergens and gluten. For example, one day you can make muffins with zucchini and a cup of rice milk for breakfast.
For lunch, make pumpkin soup, peas with chicken and beef salad. Dinner should include mashed potato and broccoli, breaded meat and cherry tomatoes. On the other day, eat millet porridge, coconut milk and bananas for breakfast, and for lunch you can eat vegetable soup, beef meatballs in tomato sauce and mashed potatoes. You have to make mashed potatoes without butter and milk.
You can also add cauliflower and cucumber salad, while for dinner you can consume rice noodles, avocado sauce, spinach and bacon. The next day, have breakfast of oatmeal with coconut milk, fruit and dark chocolate. You can prepare lunch from broccoli stew, sweet potato puree and cabbage salad.
A great choice for dinner is chickpea and vegetable muffins and carrots cut into sticks. There are still plenty of healthy combinations that you can include in your menu. It can also be polenta with bacon and sunflower seeds, a cup of buckwheat milk, homemade beef soup, etc.
It is impossible to single out a few meals and to be 100% sure that no one is allergic to any of the ingredients. It is probably possible to find at least one person who is allergic to something that is not even considered a common allergen. So whether you are cooking for family or friends, you should ask them for a list of their allergens.
If you know they generally suffer from allergies, you can avoid some of the most common allergens to prevent unwanted consequences. That is only way to prepare food safely for someone with a food allergy.