Stu – After recently uncovering a sensitivity to eggs my interest in food intolerance’s has stepped up a gear and I wanted to share this fantastic post from Virginia Cunningham. Over to Virginia…
Typically, people think of a food allergy as a sudden-onset of symptoms, often fairly scary and life-threatening. Take peanuts, for example; many are so severely allergic to peanuts that they can ill-afford to even get near them because of the possibility of anaphylactic shock1.
However, it’s also possible that allergies could be slow-acting, in which then they would fall under the category of food-intolerances.
The simple problem with both types of food allergies is the same: inflammation.
In the long term, food intolerances can cause inflammation just the same as a sudden food allergy symptom. The problem is that this inflammation, over an extended period of time (however long the person regularly consumes the responsible food) can cause insulin resistance, which eventually increases insulin levels in the body2.
Since insulin is a fat-storage hormone, your body is then triggered to store more fat as a result.
So, if in fact you do have a food allergy (or intolerance that has gone undetected), this is something that you need to be aware of and consider if you’re having trouble losing weight.
Slow-acting allergies are often caused by an intolerance of wheat or dairy, or more specifically, items like desserts, deli-meats or synthetic snack bars.
To identify if this is an issue for you, the recommendation is to cut out all dairy and wheat products for several days3 and catalogue the results. In fact, it would be a good idea to track your progress in three segments:
- The Before Period – What you’re eating and how you feel in the days prior to cutting out wheat and dairy.
- During the Wheat and Dairy Fast – Same for the time when you’re avoiding wheat and dairy.
- The Aftermath – Catalogue how you feel while introducing wheat and dairy back into your diet.
If you need to separate the two, or if you have a stronger suspicion that you might be allergic to one and not the other, you can do the fast one-at-a-time. Just be sure to keep close a food journal so that you have something to show to and dialogue with your doctor about.
If you’re noticing that you feel worse when you’re eating a potential allergen food, and better when you’re avoiding it, that’s probably your answer.
You can then go to your health professional with this information, in which he or she will be able to test for inflammation, and whether or not you do actually have the allergy.
Once You Know
Once you know for sure, it’s going to be a matter of simply avoiding the foods that were causing you the problem. It might be a difficult adjustment at first, particularly for things like wheat and dairy since they’re such common items in our everyday diets. Though, if it helps you feel better and lose that stubborn weight, it’s more than worth it.
Go through the steps and take a couple weeks to figure out what you’re actually allergic to or intolerant of. It can be a tedious process, but once you know, you know, and there’s no reason to guess or be worried about possibly eating something you shouldn’t.
Get it on paper and confirm with your health professional. After that, you’ll likely be able to solve a lot of your problems and lose some weight simply be keeping good eating habits that exclude the food you’re intolerant of.
Have you eliminated wheat & dairy from your diet? Have you resolved food intolerances & noticed the benefits? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below…
About the author
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer, mother of three and health enthusiast in the Los Angeles area. As a writer for NorthWest, she is able to share her knowledge with individuals and families who are looking to improve their overall health and wellness, and she encourages those who are looking to lose weight to follow these tips.