Understanding the Rise in Food Allergies

Posted by Diane Hoch in Blogs, Love Letters from Diane with No Comments

Right now we are in the midst of some amazing medical advances, and modern medicine is helping us to live longer lives. Yet with those advances at play, we are finding more and more people are developing allergies to things we never would have imagined 50 years ago. Although issues such as Celiac Disease or Dairy Allergies may not appear to be major issues in the grand scheme of things – they are certainly an issue in the average American Family’s home. We at The Food Evolution are proud to offer classes based on recipes that are completely gluten and dairy free, but more than that, we want to educate our community on how to deal with a food allergy and still enjoy our much needed nutrient dense meals.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine, causes severe health symptoms, and prevents the absorption of nutrients from food.  About 1 in 133 American’s are affected by Celiac’s Disease. While Celiac’s Disease affects a great portion of the population, others within the remainder may suffer from gluten sensitivity. Studies show that 1 in 2 people have gluten sensitivity. If an individual has gluten sensitivity, it means they have the same issues regarding nutrient absorption with reduced symptoms than an individual with Celiac. Gluten Sensitivity can present itself in a series of ways both internally and externally. It can present itself as skin rashes, hives and mucus production. Unfortunately, there is no official test that can determine if someone has sensitivity to gluten, so this means we need to educate ourselves and pay attention to our body’s messages.

Lactose is a sugar found in milk products. Lactose Intolerance is the inability to digest lactose. Typically, the enzyme lactase would break down lactose into two simpler forms of sugar and then be absorbed into the bloodstream. This is not the process if an individual is lactose intolerant. If a person is lactose intolerant, they have an inability to produce the enzyme lactase, and therefore develop digestive issues and cannot gain the nutrients from dairy. If you’re lactose intolerant, dairy causes inflammatory responses such as calcification of the arteries, mucus production, and digestive issues such as bloating and gas. Milk Allergies exist as well. It’s when your immune system thinks dairy is a foreign invader, therefore releasing histamines to fight off dairy. Symptoms range from vomiting, to bowel issues.  Truthfully, dairy is difficult for most people to digest – simply because we’re not baby cows! The concentration levels of protein, fat, cholesterol and hormones are perfect for newborn calves – who are the natural consumers of cow’s milk that are expected to gain 75lbs per month for their first 9 months.  As adults, and people, our bodies do not need to grow that fast, and therefore we cannot digest it as easily as baby cows do at the newborn stage. This is how the allergy has developed, by trying to digest something that we we’re not meant to consume as adults.

People wonder how these life-changing allergies have become so common, and to really understand we have to take a step back and observe the control and variables. The human body is a miraculous machine made to thrive, survive and be vibrant – and it certainly has! Additionally, it’s safe to say that the basic anatomy and functions of the human body have not changed dramatically over the past 50 years. What has changed, however, is the food system. It’s hard to ignore the correlation between the rising amounts of food allergies and rise in manufactured foods. Food is not grown and shared as regularly as it used to be, and it’s important to know where your food comes from. We should think about the way our food is grown, the chemicals sprayed on our food and the hormones given to animals to produce more expendable meat. With that said, how can we expect our bodies to support us with poor or minimal nutrients as its fuel? Would you expect your car to start if you filled it with water rather than gasoline? Of course not. This is why we need to stay informed and make educated decisions.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of gluten sensitivity or digestive issues from lactose, use us as a resource to figure out what might be your trigger. People are often intimidated by the idea that they can no longer eat the foods they were raised on, and cannot believe that that the food is the source of the pain they’re experiencing. As we’ve said – the food isn’t the same anymore. Years ago food allergies weren’t as prevalent as they are now, and people grew accustomed to feeling uncomfortable after eating. We’re here to tell you that it isn’t normal to feel pain or bloating after you eat. We’re pleased to see doctor’s testing for food allergies more frequently. For people that have digestive issues and want to heal their body, it is important to look at the food choices you’re making to find your path to health and wellness.

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  • The Food Evolution is a nutrition and cooking center designed to teach you how to prepare delicious and nutritious "whole foods".