Ugh, some foods just don’t feel so good once inside. Clients ask me all the time if they should go ‘gluten-free, ‘white-free’ (foods made with white flour and sugar), or give up fruit because of low energy, weight gain, upset tummies, constipation or chronic diarrhea.
Food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies are mysterious beings of trouble. It’s only fair we should question certain foods related to ill health. Food is medicine, after all. But, to give up a food or entire food group may be unnecessary. Many folks who were allergic to a food as a toddler often have outgrown it by the time they are adults. Others may be intolerant to a food over a period of time but find if they limit the amount they consume, they can indeed enjoy it.
What’s the difference in these maladies?
Food intolerances erupt in the GI tract largely because our system can’t break down certain foods. Symptoms are excess gas (we all have gas, let’s be real here – passing 2 quarts a day is normal) and bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Causes typically are lactose (naturally occurring milk sugar), and fructose, the sugar in fruit and honey and added sweeteners in beverages (HFCS = High Fructose Corn Syrup = ubiquitous). Eliminating the offenders can prove viable but remember, elimination diets usually yield the results you expect. Our human nature expects those results. Bummer. Once you’ve eliminated a food, add it back in full force. If symptoms reappear, you’re intolerant.
Other foods that create migraine havoc:
- Aged cheese (blue, brie, cheddar, parmesan, Swiss)
- Pickles and olives
- Alcohol (especially red wine)
- MSG (soy sauce, packaged foods, seasoned salts)
- Smoked foods
- Food additives (nitrates and some food colorings)
- Excessive caffeine (more than two to three cups of coffee daily)