This is a guest post by Jill Miles our Team Assistant. To learn more about Jill check out “Our Team” page or her first post about gluten allergies.
Did you know that food intolerances affect approximately 10% of Americans, whereas food allergies are thought to affect 4% of teens and adults and 5% of children? Cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in American children, affecting approximately 2.5%, however many will outgrow this allergy by the time they reach school age (about 80%).
FOOD INTOLERANCE OR ALLERGY?
So, what’s the difference between a food intolerance and a food allergy? According to WebMD, a food allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food. Milk is one of the eight most common food allergies.
A food intolerance on the other hand is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in a food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or breakdown the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is the most common food intolerance. Continue Reading »
Jill Miles, Assistant to 100 Days of Real Food
Have you noticed lately that everyone seems to be avoiding certain foods for one reason or another? Maybe it’s a food allergy or intolerance or perhaps just a dietary preference. Whatever the reason, avoiding certain foods can present challenges for both eating and cooking, but, as I have found, you can overcome them.
I am Jill (assistant to 100 Days of Real Food) and a little over 2 years ago, my husband started suffering from digestive problems following back surgery. After countless visits to doctors, including specialists, numerous medical tests and a weight loss of 40 pounds, we still had no answers. While his most severe symptoms had subsided, he was still not feeling well and was continuing to lose weight. Frustrated, we decided he should eliminate both gluten (despite him testing negative for celiac disease) and dairy (for which he had tested positive for a slight allergy although the doctors did not recommend avoiding it). It has been about 9 months now and his weight has stabilized and he is feeling pretty well overall. Even better news though is that his change in diet, although forced upon him, was really a gift. His diet of highly processed foods was finally catching up with him, even placing him at risk for elevated cholesterol (combined with a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease). Having to eliminate so much from his diet forced him to add in more whole foods, including fruits and vegetables. So, at the end of the day, while the initial change in diet was both difficult and frustrating at times, the long-term health benefits have been immeasurable. Continue Reading »