Dealing with Food allergies is nothing to sneeze at…

It is more and more common today that you will meet someone with food restrictions due to sensitivities and intolerances if not with serious allergies to certain ingredients in common foods. The question as to why this has occurred so much more often in the last decade is a debate for another day. But how to deal with it and still be able to use healthy foods is definitely something we can work on!

I recently was diagnosed with some sensitivity to both gluten and dairy myself and have had to be quite creative in getting the nutrients I need with the volume I require while practicing an elimination diet! I realized early on that even though I had many restrictions ahead of me that there still existed many vegan and gluten free junk foods! Case in point, potato chips are vegan and gluten-free! Skittles are also vegan and gluten-free. Get my point? It still takes hard work and planning to be healthy no matter what your situation.

Below is a list of common food allergens that many people need to avoid and the options you can have as well as some other tasty and low-calorie alternatives as well. Please note that you should always consult with a physician about your food allergies before experimenting with new foods of any kind.

Lactose – Many people, while not being allergic to the milk protein (casein), are sensitive to the milk sugar, which is the lactose. There are many brands of lactose-free milk in supermarkets today to lighten your coffee and luckily there are many vegan options as well such a almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk.

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Casein – For those with casein allergies it can get a bit trickier because the person is allergic to the protein that is present in milk and dairy products, such as cheese. Avoiding all dairy products is necessary. Consumers can use vegan milks as well as vegan yogurt and cheese. Other alternatives to use are eggs, beans, tofu, quinoa and other whole grains as well as soy or coconut yogurt sold in specialty health food stores.

Soy – Soy products, while being a very good lean source of protein, have been controversial and have gotten a bad rep of late. Many people, whether sensitive or not, try to avoid soy. Again, speak to your physician or nutritionist if you are concerned about soy products to look for other options. Great options for protein exist beyond soy for carnivores and omnivores alike. So do not fret! Seitan, fish, Greek yogurt, chicken, cottage cheese and lean beef are some options among many.

Gluten – Gluten is the big one – the trendy one to avoid. Many food companies and products luckily are very receptive to this growing public need to create products that have no wheat or wheat proteins in them. It easier than ever before whether you have Celiac’s disease or just feel better avoiding gluten and the derivatives of gluten. Other gluten-free options include buckwheat/soba noodles, quinoa, rice or corn cakes, brown rice, tapioca and polenta.

Do you have food allergies or sensitivities? How have you dealt with them and still be able to eat heartily and healthfully? Sound off below!

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