Tips for Avoiding Food Allergens

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The Thinking Cup – Boston, MA

If you’re reading this, you probably recently discovered an allergy/intolerance or you’ve dealt with it for a while and you know the struggle all too well. I wish I could say that it’s simple. Honestly, it takes a lot of research. You also have to consider if you have a food allergy or a food intolerance.

What’s the difference?

A food allergy can be defined as an immune reaction to a food protein because the body’s immune system thinks that the protein is a threat to your overall well-being. Your body releases anti-bodies that fight off the “intruder” and sometimes the reactions are so severe they can be fatal. A food intolerance is less severe {because it isn’t life threatening} but still not a fun thing to deal with and it can still cause damage to the body. An intolerance is basically when your body can’t digest the food and causes an upset stomach etc.

You more than likely already know which of these you have. If you aren’t too sure, I recommend talking to your doctor about getting tested.

Now – this is where the research comes in. HOW do you avoid these?

READ READ READ

Read food labels, read educational books, watch some credible documentaries – EDUCATE YOURSELF.

I hate to break it to you, but big food companies really don’t care about your allergies. Sure, they will sometimes label their products with some of the major allergens – BUT it’s the other ingredients that you have to worry about. Especially if you have a food intolerance. Gluten is a perfect example. It’s in everything and the ingredients list isn’t always clear on what the food actually contains.

Here are a few really helpful guides that I found on foodallergy.org – a great resource for living with allergies/intolerance’s:

peanutstree nuts and fishshellfishegg and soymilk and gluten

 

 

 

What if I go out to eat?

“When in doubt – don’t eat it.”

Traveling can be tough, or even if you just want to go out to eat with friends or your significant other. One of my biggest recommendations is to just hop on Yelp and see what other people are saying. You can also call ahead to see how flexible the restaurant is with food allergies. When you get there – tell everyone that handles your food how serious your condition is.

Some people can be irresponsible so when in doubt, DON’T EAT IT. I recently went through this last weekend. It was late, we were at a restaurant in Winston-Salem. I told the waitress about my allergies. I ordered a salad off of the gluten-free menu. The regular salad came with crispy onions that were NOT safe for me to eat. But of course, they gave me a salad with crispy onions. I told the waitress I couldn’t eat those. She took it back to the kitchen, and brought a “brand new salad.” I dug in only to find more crispy onions in the salad – so they either picked out the onions or they put the same grilled chicken on the salad that had crispy onions on it. I politely sent it back and didn’t eat there at all. To be totally honest, it sucked. But at that point, I would have rather gone hungry over being sick for the next few days.

People just don’t realize the severity of food allergies/intolerance’s and there is NOTHING wrong with you checking twice before eating something. At the end of the day, you aren’t paying to get sick. You’re paying for good food and a good experience!


Regardless of what people may think, you can still live a happy life even though you have dietary restrictions. It usually just means that you have to eat REAL FOOD.

Real food is GOOD FOOD.

If you want more information on living with food allergies/intolerance’s, visit http://www.foodallergy.org or click here to see their Field Guide for additional information on dealing with food allergies. It’s in PDF format so you can easily save it to your device.

Thanks for reading x

 

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