How Do I Eat a Healthy Diet with Food Allergies?

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question-icon-newHere is my problem. I have a number of food allergies, which seem to sabotage me before I even start. Here is a list of my allergies: all fresh fruit, most fresh vegetables (with the exception of lettuce, avocados, radish, and onions), oatmeal, nuts (although I can have peanut butter in small amounts), and almost all grain breads. Once the food (in most cases excluding the bread and some fruits) has been “processed” or cooked, I can eat them. However, I lose much of the benefit and convenience of these foods.

I know it sounds bizarre but welcome to my world! With almost all diet plans requiring dieters to eat these foods in large portions, I am at a loss for what to do to achieve a healthier eating lifestyle. Do you have any help or suggestions? I am getting more and more frustrated, and now that I am older, it is harder and harder to maintain a weight I am happy with while I’m eating the crap and junk food I have always been able to eat.

answer-icon-newBeing allergic to so many healthy food options can pose quite a problem when it comes to eating well and maintaining your weight. However, there are several tactics that you can use to combat these allergies and ensure that you are getting the most out of the food that you eat.

The first step you need to take is to see an allergist. This professional will be able to give you a proper diagnosis of the condition you are suffering from. From the allergies you listed, you seem to be suffering from a condition known as oral allergy syndrome. This condition is characterized by allergic reactions in the mouth as a result of ingesting fresh fruits and vegetables. Many patients who suffer from this condition also get allergies from ingesting nuts.

The allergist will perform several tests to determine the diagnosis. Various treatment procedures include allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy. This latter form of treatment has not been approved by regulatory bodies but it has shown a lot of promise in treating individuals with food allergies. Once you have the diagnosis, you will then be better equipped to plan a healthy diet with the assistance of an allergist.

food-allergies-nutsOther than seeking the help of a professional, there are other ways you can still enjoy a healthy diet without suffering an allergic reaction. For instance, you can try the various alternatives to the foods and fruits you are allergic to. You can also try to eat the canned version of the fruits and the vegetables as most of the times these products do not contain the allergens. Peeling the fruit or the vegetable has been known to remove the surface proteins that cause the allergies. These are excellent alternatives which will help retain the nutrients found in the fruits and the vegetables. They are also very convenient as there is no need to cook them.

Just because you are allergic to certain types of food does not mean you should completely restrict your diet. You need to be able to experiment with food but within reason. This way you do not get bored with eating the same foods all the time. You can even try to prepare them in a different way in order to minimize the risk of exposure to the allergens. It is a good idea to have a food journal where you can record different recipes and different tastes for the ultimate culinary adventure.

With your allergy to oatmeal and grain breads, you can opt for gluten-free products. There are several food choices available in supermarkets and grocery stores that are gluten-free and still healthy. Some specialists recommend sprouted grain bread as it is easily digestible. However, the sprouted grain bread should be consumed with caution as it is not for all the individuals with this cluster of food allergies.

It is also important that you cook your own food to avoid an allergic reaction. This is because you know what food groups to avoid. You need to focus primarily on the basic food groups that you can eat and strive to find ways of making the food that you can eat healthy and delicious.

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1 Comment

  1. Great advice! I would also like to mention the consideration of purchasing organic (non-GMO) fruits and vegetables in an effort to determine what (if any) part these processes play in her diet. I strive to eat only organic non-GMO foods and my many food allergies (onion, garlic and celery to name a few) have began to calm down. I still have reactions to these foods, but they are now tolerable. I would also consider researching probiotics and enzymes to determine if you could benefit from them.

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