What are food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities | Nutrition

What are food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities | Nutrition

World Food Allergy Day, July 8, is a date designated by the World Health Organization to raise awareness among the population about the importance of diagnosis, risks and treatment.

The publication by the Regional Nutrition Council (CRN4) shows that according to WHO data, around 200 to 250 million people worldwide suffer from some type of food allergy. According to the World Allergy Organization, food allergies are increasing in all age groups.

What are food allergies, food intolerances and food sensitivities – Image: iStock

Understanding the difference between food allergy, food intolerance and food sensitivity:

– in food allergyThe immune system reacts to the food by producing antibodies, which cause mast cells to release histamine, which is responsible for the allergy symptoms. It is a complete intolerance to food consumption.

About 80% of food allergic reactions are caused by eating wheat (and gluten-rich grains), milk, soy, eggs (egg whites), oilseeds (peanuts and chestnuts), fish and seafood.

– actually food intolerance It is a non-immune adverse reaction that occurs when nutrients are not completely digested due to a lack of digestive enzymes or an excess of nutrients in the digestive tract (examples: lactose and wheat).

Lactose intolerance occurs due to a deficiency or lack of the enzyme lactase in the body, which is responsible for digesting and absorbing lactose, which is the “sugar” found in milk and dairy products, causing symptoms such as excess gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Foods that contain lactose: cow's milk, goat's milk, buffalo milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, condensed milk and butter. In 100 ml of cow's milk there are about 5 grams of lactose.

– actually food allergy It is a complaint, a group of symptoms: digestive system, flatulence, headache, mood swings, skin. It is not an easy diagnosis, it is done by excluding foods. Excessive use of a certain food can lead to food allergy.

Treatment for food allergy involves eliminating 100% of the foods that cause the allergy. “Intolerance” to food.

Treatment of intolerance and allergy requires, for example, removing foods high in lactose and wheat, choosing foods that contain the enzyme (such as foods containing lactose) or taking the enzyme before eating a meal containing the food.

The interest in replacing foods rich in gluten or lactose should be aimed at treating food allergies and intolerances, in order to relieve symptoms. It has nothing to do with weight loss. The caloric value of wheat/oat/rye/barley substitute foods is not less. They are similar and do not reduce calories during preparation.

Dietary diversity is essential to ensure a balanced intake of macro- and micronutrients, a greater chance of meeting dietary recommendations, reduced exposure to the same food, prevention of allergies, reduced food monotony and more enjoyment.

Using probiotics, eating a natural diet and minimizing ultra-processed foods as much as possible are essential for successful treatment.

It is important to pay attention to reading labels. Food labels should be clear and easy to understand, and should explain the nutritional composition and ingredients used in the preparation of the product, so you know exactly what you are buying and whether it poses any risks to your health. Remember that ingredients are listed on labels in descending order: foods with the highest amount to the lowest amount.

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* The information and opinions contained in this text are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily correspond to the view of ge/Eu Atleta.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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