The term “food allergy” gets tossed around quite a bit nowadays. Traditionally, the term “allergy” is used when a person has a severe reaction that can be life-threatening, as in anaphylactic shock.
Where food is concerned, however, potential allergic reactions can range from intestinal discomfort, to hives, to true anaphylactic symptoms. Here is a short breakdown of some common food allergies and sensitivities that we see as quite prevalent today.
Pollen-food Allergy Syndrome
If you are a person who has hay fever and common environmental allergies, you could very well have pollen-food allergy syndrome, too. These can include: reactions to fresh fruits (i.e. kiwi), certain nuts, and spices. Doctors call this “cross-reactivity,” meaning that proteins in fruits and vegetables cause the reaction because they are similar to the proteins in pollens that are allergenic. Cooking the fruits and vegetables can help. See a list of common cross-reactivity foods here.
Celiac Disease | Gluten Sensitivity
Having true celiac disease means that you have a hereditary, autoimmune disorder that results in gluten damaging the small intestine. Untreated, it can lead to Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, itchy skin, osteoporosis, and on and on. It is very serious and can only be treated by adhering to a strict gluten-free diet.
Gluten sensitivity is a condition (rather than a disease) in which the consumption of gluten makes you feel “off”. Symptoms can include depression, bloating, headaches, irritable bowel, etc. People that are sensitive to gluten do not experience small intestine damage, but feel better when they adhere to a gluten-free diet as well. Luckily, gluten-free recipes and menus continue to be one of the top food trends and are readily available.
Read more about Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity here.
Exercise-induced Food Allergies
You read that right – sometimes exercise can trigger a food reaction. This commonly happens when you start to workout shortly after eating. Your body heat rises and you being to itch, get lightheaded, and may develop hives or abdominal discomfort. In extreme cases, these symptoms can lead to anaphylaxis. If the less severe symptoms are common for you, it is recommended that you not eat for at least two hours before exercising. If you thought we were going to say you shouldn’t workout…sorry! Read more about this phenomenon here.
8 Most Common Food Allergens
There are eight foods that account for 90 percent of all food-allergy reactions in the United States. They are: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. Read more in-depth about each of these foods here.
All of these issues, especially celiac disease, can and should be diagnosed by a doctor, who can help develop a nutritional plan. Hiring a caterer is the best way to make sure your guests and their allergies are taken care of and safe. Chef du Jour Catering can accommodate any diet restrictions and food allergy issues to make your event worry-free. Call us today to discuss your menu needs!