Food sensitivities are common and not as life-threatening as food allergies. Food sensitivity happens when your body cannot properly digest a certain food, thus, you get symptoms shortly after eating that food. For example, lactose intolerance is when you are unable to properly break down lactose or the sugar in milk. As a result, you may experience diarrhea, gas, and bloating after consuming any dairy products.
This is very different from a food allergy, where you can eat even a small amount of food and have a very severe reaction such as skin reactions or anaphylaxis for some people. One of the most common ones is peanut allergy.
Here are some of the most common food sensitivities:
- Gluten is found in many grains & foods such as pasta, bread, & baked goods.
- Lactose is a sugar found in milk & dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and butter.
- Caffeine is usually found in beverages such as coffee, soda, tea, and energy drinks.
- Salicylates are a natural ingredient found in some fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, spices, honey, and nuts.
- Histamine is the most common trigger, found in fermented foods, cured meats, dried fruits, citrus fruits, & avocados.
- FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) is an abbreviation of a list of carbohydrates/sugars in certain foods that can trigger symptoms. These include foods such as milk, soft cheeses, bread, beans, lentils, honey, apples, and beer
Do you need to take a food sensitivity test?
Short answer, no. Food sensitivity tests are not a scientifically proven way to determine food sensitivities.
Oftentimes, the food sensitivity kits you see everywhere measure your IgG levels to certain foods. But, people usually get an IgG response after exposure to food and not to a person’s sensitivity.
So basically, the results tell you which food you have eaten in the past and usually higher IgG levels suggest foods that you’ve eaten more frequently or recently.
So what can you do?
There are many proven ways you can decrease inflammation in your gut.
1. Manage stress. Stress and other negative feelings can have severe implications on our gut.
2. Get enough sleep. Sleep is important for overall health, especially gut health, and lack of sleep can put you at risk for health issues.
3. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, especially plants.
And DON’T go out and buy those food sensitivity tests. Your welcome in advance!
There really is no quick fix to life so starting with small lifestyle changes is a great step to a healthier you.