How to Avoid Developing new food allergies or sensitivities
Posted Feb 24 2012 10:35pm
The way to avoid developing new food allergies or sensitivities is to first understand some basic facts about food allergies and sensitivities and how they develop. This was part of my presentation at the Autism One 2010 Conference in Chicago in May. First of all, I do understand that getting a grip on all of the allergy lingo can be challenging and frustrating. To help you with this aspect, I have compiled a free pdf on the basics of allergies, which you can find here http://thesuperallergycookbook.com/allergyfaq.html . This is a several page document to help you put your arms around food allergy concepts.
I have also written a brief history of food allergies to help consumers come to terms with allergies and food issues. I have received rave reviews from consumers on this white paper because it helps people make sense of food allergies. You can look at the history of food allergies here: http://thesuperallergycookbook.com/history.html . All this background brings me to the topic of today – how to avoid developing food allergies. Whether or not someone will develop a food allergy is dependent upon several factors, the first of which is whether or not they have any tendency or propensity to develop food allergies. Some people are just not prone to develop food allergies, whereas other people are much more likely to develop a food allergy or sensitivity.
The second and third factors are frequency of food consumption and volume of food consumed. In other words how often a food is eaten and in what quantity. My second child became completely intolerant to rice after 18 months on the gluten-free diet for celiac disease. He had many food sensitivities and seemed more prone to develop a food sensitivity than other children his age. When I talk to adults who have developed a severe food allergy – meaning an IgE life-threatening food allergy – to say chicken and walnuts, it is most often the case that this adult ate a lot of chicken and walnuts.
The way to avoid developing new food allergies is to vary your diet. One more formal program for varying your diet is called the Rotation Diet. Another way to avoid developing food allergies is by eating seasonally or eating what is in season only when it is in season. That is what our ancestors did before we had freezers, mass transportation and refrigerated trucking.
Can you imagine being allergic or intolerant to rice while on a gluten-free diet? It is excruciatingly difficult. I have met many people on the gluten-free diet who also became intolerant to rice after a period of time on the gluten-free diet. This makes sense when you understand how allergies develop normally. Does everyone need to be on a rotation diet? Of course not. But for people with lots of food issues and on very limited diets, it can be a real safeguard for not losing more foods. If you are on the gluten-free diet, one very simple way to reduce your likelihood of developing issues without doing a rotation diet is to do a rice-free day, a corn-free day, and a potato free day once a week. Rice, corn and potatoes are three of the foods that individuals on a gluten-free diet typically consume a lot of.
Yes, you have no idea how hard life can be until you are on the gluten-free diet and can’t tolerate rice! It took about four years of being off rice completely before my son could tolerate rice again. You can be rest assured, we don’t eat a ton of rice. Once was enough. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on this topic. I’d love to hear them.