Diagram source: http://foodconnections.org/2013/11/11/food-intolerance-primer/
Many people who think they have food allergies actually have food intolerances. Which is increasingly being defined as an intolerance to food chemicals in particular: salicylate, amines and glutamates. Explained here by ASCIA, and here by the RPAH Allergy Unit.
Food intolerances. also known as food sensitivities are not life threatening, but may be a source of considerable discomfort in many chronic conditions and diseases. The symptoms are varied and individuals can react in different ways. Many people live with minor or major symptoms of adverse food reactions for years without ever suspecting them.
Food sensitivity reactions may be the result of enzyme deficiency, histamine releasing effects, altered intestinal permeabililty (e.g. leaky gut) or pharmacological effects.
Food sensitivity is often given a low priority in the investigation of disease. Common conditions where food sensitivity may play a significant role include bloating and fluid retention, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, depression and mood swings, asthma, skin conditions and behavioural problems in children.
There are many different types of the food sensitivities. However they can usually be grouped as follows
- Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease and non celiac gluten intolerance)
- FODMAP sugar molecule intolerances e.g. Fructose Intolerance, lactose intolerance, fructan and galactose intolerance
- Food chemical intolerance (pharmacological food intolerance) intolerance to Additives, preservatives, colourings, flavourings. and Salicylate, amines and glutamates.
- Carbohydrate sensitivity caused by eating too many high carb foods (e.g. bread, cereals, starchy veg like potato) in the diet, or a diet based around high GI foods, where blood sugar levels are poorly regulated.
Some simple tricks for managing food intolerance
- If dishes containing lactose, fructose or histamine are eaten in small quantities and spread throughout the day, they are usually better tolerated.
- Gluten-free and lactose-free products are available nowadays from major retailers. Most people with these intolerance can usually tolerate small amounts of foods containing these. But any one with Celiac Disease must avoid Gluten completely.
- Reducing the intake of potentially problematic food chemicals (salicylates, amines and glutamates) can be achieved by reducing your intake of highly aromatic and intensely flavoured foods like spices, aged and tasty cheeses, processed and deli meats, smoked products. It can also help to eat friendlier food recipes at least some of the time.
To find out more about food intolerance I recommend
- reading the RPAH ALLERGY UNIT FOOD INTOLERANCE Handbook-p1-33
- Wikipedia article: Food Intolerance.
For recipes reduced in - salicylate, amines and glutamates, see my site friendlier foods.