for the last year or so, i’ve kind of pretended to be lactose intolerant. people get a little wierded out sometimes when i tell them i don’t like (unmelted) cheese, but if i say i’m allergic to it, it’s all good. for a while it really was just something i totally made up so that i could avoid dairy.. but lately i’m finding that i do have a little dairy sensitivity thang goin’ on.
funnily enough… so do most people! almost %85 of people have dairy sensitivities or are full-blown intolerant of it.
have you noticed over the last couple of years how much more people are aware of food allergies and sensitivities? no more peanuts on (most) planes, kids can’t take nut products to school, gluten-free products are found pretty much everywhere, and becoming vegan isn’t reserved for animal lovers or misinformed dieters (you can be a fat vegan fyi).
some food manufacturers are really good about labeling products with allergy information.
others, you have to be a food detective. for example, figuring out if something is gluten free can be pretty confusing sometimes… oats are naturally gluten free, but depending on how they are processed, they can end up having gluten on them. if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, make sure that your oatmeal is labelled ‘gluten-free’.
so what does gluten-free and dairy-free even mean? don’t you basically just avoid dairy products and bread?
Well, no. unfortunately, there are so many different names for ingredients that sometimes you have no idea that what you just ate had milk in it! case in point: white bean and basil hummus from trader joes. amazing, delicious.. and has dairy in it. um… what?
eating whole foods and only consuming products that have an easy-to-read ingredient list (a good rule of thumb is ten ingredients or less) is the only fool-proof way to protect yourself. however, this can be super hard to do.. especially when you are constantly on the go.
option number 2- educate the crap out of yourself! become familiar with what foods generally contain what allergens, and learn some allergy key words.
heres a few:
sodium caseinate, casein, whey- all examples of ingredients that contain some form of milk
lecithin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein- can contain nut products
monosodium glutamate (MSG), emulsifier, gum arabic- all ingredients that can contain soy products
WHAAAT?????? I’ve never even heard of some of this stuff!
I find that the BEST way for ME to eat healthy and feel good about what is going in my body is to cook (my own food), read (all ingredient lists.. nothing that a third grader couldn’t pronounce) and listen (to what my body needs)…. and always make sure i get my dessert.
Do you read ingredient labels? Is it because you have food allergies, or do you just like to know what you’re putting in your body?
*i am not an expert on this stuff.. just did some research and use myself as a guinea pig.