- Dairy is a product made from milk. Casein is a phosphoprotein (protein) found in dairy products, such as: milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, kefir and quark.
- Gluten is a protein and binding agent found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is responsible for the elastic texture and helps dough rise.
- Soy is a protein derived from the soybean legume. It is commonly used as a replacement for animal protein, such as: soy milk, edamame, tofu and tempeh.
- Peanuts and tree nut allergies are most common in children but can appear for the first time in adults. Tree nuts include; almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts and walnuts. Peanuts are legumes, and the proteins are very different to those of tree nuts. Therefore, if someone is allergic to peanuts they may not be allergic to tree nuts.
- An egg allergy develops when the body’s immune system becomes hypersensitive to proteins found in egg whites or yolks. Eggs are most commonly used in Asian foods, battered dishes, biscuits, bread, confectionary, custards, icing, mayonnaise, muffins, salad dressings, pasta, tarts and pastries.
- Wheat is a cereal grain which is ground to make flour for bread, pasta, and pastries.
- Fish allergies are more common in “scaly” and “bony” fish, such as cod, haddock, herring, sprat, halibut, mackerel, trout and salmon. Fish may be found in items such as; Asian sauces, canned spreads, dips, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, salad dressings and soups.
- Shellfish allergies are divided into two basic categories: “Molluscks” which include abalone, oysters, mussels, and squid (calamari); and “Crustaceans” which includes lobsters, crayfish, prawns, crabs and shrimp. Shellfish may also be found in items such as; Asian soups and dishes, Bouillabaisse, prawn crackers and seafood extender.
Food intolerances / sensitivities
A food allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to allergens that are harmless to other people. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include; hives, swelling of the lips, eyes or face, vomiting or dizziness. Severe allergies can cause anaphylaxis and in the most extreme cases, can be fatal.
A food intolerance or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain, respiratory issues, skin rashes or diarrhoea.
What’s the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance / sensitivity?
Food allergy involves the immune system, where food intolerances / sensitivity involves the digestive system. With a food allergy, even a microscopic amount of the food has the potential to lead to a serious or life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
Specialty diets can assist:
Due to a weaker immune system, people with autism are more susceptible to allergies and food sensitivities than the average person. Amazing improvements in quality of life are possible for sufferers of Autism once major food allergens and artificial additives are removed from the diet.
For people with Coeliac disease (pronounced ‘seel-ee-ak’) the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten, causing damage to the small intestine. The intestinal lining (villi) becomes inflamed and flattened. This reduces the ability of the bowel to absorb nutrients, which can lead to various gastrointestinal and malabsorption symptoms. The long term consequences of untreated coeliac disease are related to chronic systemic inflammation, poor nutrition and malabsorption of nutrients.
Attention Deficit Disorder is a disorder most common in children that is characterized by excessive activity and inability to concentrate on one task for any length of time. Allergens might affect brain functions, triggering hyperactivity or inattentiveness, eliminating these from your diet may lessen symptoms of ADD.
Gastro-oesophageal Reflux disease (GORD)
GORD occurs when stomach acid leaks from the stomach and up into the oesophagus (food pipe). Common symptoms of GORD include heartburn, regurgitation or dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).