As I discussed in my previous post, food allergies can cause health problems without you knowing it. There are many foods that can cause an allergic reaction. However, there are some that tend to be more common than others. Here’s a list of foods that commonly cause health problems:
- Gluten-containing foods such as wheat, rye, oats and barley. The most common allergies are caused by this group of foods. You may not even know you have an allergy to these foods because the symptoms may be so subtle. By avoiding these foods for a few weeks your system gets a chance to relax and clear itself out.
- Alcohol, caffeine (coffee, black tea, sodas and soy milk), soda and fruit drinks that are high in refined sugars. Both alcohol and caffeine are hard on your liver.
- Pork, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage and shellfish. Meats like these are typically high in things such as estrogens, antibiotics and others typical of processed foods.
- Corn and tomatoes. These vegetables are common allergens and can contribute to pain and inflammation.
- All dairy (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.) Dairy products are most likely to cause allergies and increase pain. Stay away from creamy salad dressings (ranch, creamy garlic, etc.) as they contain dairy.
- Foods high in fats and oils, including peanuts, refined oils, margarine, & shortening. These foods are just bad for you so it’s a good idea to avoid them.
- Eggs. Use range fed chicken eggs only as they are generally fed less hormones & antibiotics, and pay attention to see if you react on days when you eat them.
Once you go on a low-allergen diet for at least a month, start to introduce some of the common allergen foods back into your diet to see if/how your body reacts. Continue on the low-allergen diet, but every few days add one high-allergen food to your diet for that day only. Take gluten (wheat) for example; on that day have toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner. Evaluate how you feel that day, how you sleep that night, how you feel the next morning. Then go back to the low allergen foods for two days. Now have a day with dairy, and so on. Follow this diet until you determine which foods affect how you feel. You may notice changes in the way you think, way your body works, sleep changes, energy loss, emotional intensity, increased inflammation in joints, pain, food cravings, concentration problems, etc. If you question whether a food makes you “sick”, you can always try it again in higher quantities to see if it is causing you a problem.
Food sensitivities are rampant in our society and they can be the underlying cause of your health challenge. The problem is they are difficult to detect. Yes there are some very innovative labs that are using saliva and blood spots as well as the traditional tests, but the testing can be expensive and often times not 100% effective. This may be a way you can find out if you have any food allergies that are affecting your health without having to go through all of the tests.