It’s hard to come by exact figures for how many people suffer from dietary intolerances and allergies. One thing we do know is that a lot of people have them without knowing. We also know that the number of diagnosed cases is increasing as awareness grows. For all that skeptics say “we didn’t have gluten free diets when I was younger, and we were fine”, the truth is that all the same intolerances existed. We just didn’t know about them.
Study after study is showing that just expecting people to eat what’s available isn’t just rude. It can actually be dangerous. Aside from the obvious cases – nut allergies can kill pretty much on the spot – there are others. It’s known, for example, that people with Celiac disease are more likely to get cancer if exposed to gluten. This is actually serious stuff, even if prospective US Presidential candidates consider it to be junk.
Dietary intolerances are a fact. And if we ignore them, we stand a chance of making ourselves ill. So, does that mean we have to accept a restricted diet, with less fun, to avoid becoming sick? No, it doesn’t.
Know What You Can Eat, What You Can’t And Where To Be Careful
It can be useful to think of a traffic light system when it comes to different foods. Some foods are fine, whenever and in whatever quantity. Those are green. Some are off the menu altogether – red, obviously. And then there are some that we need to be careful with. Consider these to be your amber foods. One scoop on your plate every few days will be no harm, but cumulatively they can be a problem.
You Needn’t Sacrifice Taste For Your Health
The worry we all have when we are diagnosed with a food intolerance or allergy is that we will have to revert to a bland, safe diet. However, as the issue of intolerances has become a mainstream issue, resources have multiplied. There are healthy cookbooks, and online resources like The Healthy Gut, which guide you to recipes that are anything but dull. Even if you straight can’t eat gluten or dairy, there’s still a world of possibilities.
Know Your Warning Signs
It’s irritating, but our guts are almost like fingerprints in that there is a great deal of variance in what triggers them. Some people simply cannot eat gluten at all. Others are triggered by yeast but can eat wheat. As well as seeing a specialist, you should also keep a food diary. If you detect warning signs – flatulence, fatigue, diarrhoea among others – refer back to what you have eaten. Then you can eliminate the worst offenders.
Taking care of your digestive health is not a fad. It has been unhelpful that some people talk about going gluten free as a lifestyle choice, much as it is a beneficial step for anyone to take. For some of us, the situation is more acute than just a diet choice. Never be spooked by people suggesting you’re just being fashionable. Some will never be persuaded it’s a real health issue, but they aren’t doctors.