Before you change your diet
Nutrition and health go hand in hand and there are some standard rules you should follow when adapting your diet.
- If you have a medical condition, are pregnant or on medication it is advisable to discuss your proposed dietary change with a health professional (e.g. a doctor, nutritionist or dietician).
- Plan and organise your meals in advance as much as possible. By collecting recipe ideas using your non-reactive foods and shopping ahead you are less likely to struggle with what to eat.
- Know the range of foods you can eat. While you may be intolerant to a few foods, there will be many un-reactive foods that you should be free to eat. Rather than concentrate on what you can’t eat, it is often more positive to concentrate on all the good things you can eat.
- If you have, or suspect that you may have an IgE allergy to a specific food, then this should be totally avoided, as its consumption can in rare cases lead to anaphylaxis and potentially be fatal.
- When eliminating a food from your diet, try to replace it with another food from that food group which does not show a reaction.
- Continue to avoid a food if you have evidence that it is causing symptoms even if it is negative in your food intolerance test. This is because there are several reasons, other than an IgG food intolerance, which may be contributing to symptoms.
- Recognise what food products contain your reactive foods. Many ready-made meals and sauces contain a variety of ingredients that you may not have necessarily associated with the product, so it is important to always check the labels.
- It is very important to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet. By eating a variety of food, you will obtain a wide range of nutrients and will reduce the risk of developing further intolerances.
Maintaining a balanced diet whilst avoiding certain foods
If as a result of taking a food intolerance test, your results have indicated an elevated level of antibodies to a certain food, then it is recommended that you avoid it for at least three months and await an improvement in your symptoms. Foods removed from the diet however, should be replaced with others that provide similar nutrients, to offer the nutrition otherwise supplied by the temporarily removed food.
Removing the offending foods will allow you to reassess your lifestyle and food choices. You may wish to work with a nutritional therapist or dietician to evaluate your diet and identify any food groups which may be missing or limited. It is important to eat a wide variety of foods.
Here are some of the most common reactive foods:
- Cow’s milk