Food is essential because it contains the vitamins and nutrients that provide you with the energy for activity and growth. Nutrients also provide the body with materials for growth, repair, and keeping the immune system in tip-top shape. However, some people are more sensitive to certain types of food, such as foods that cause fibromyalgia flare-ups. You might be allergic to a certain type of food, so you may have altered your diet plan to avoid that food allergy.
A hypoallergenic meal plan is the most effective way to stick to your diet while making sure that you stay fit.
What is the difference between food intolerance and food allergies?
Before we discuss what it takes to make a comprehensive hypoallergenic diet plan, we have to touch light on the differences between food intolerance and food allergies. To note, both can cause the body to have physical reactions.
The difference lies in the severity of these reactions. In general, food intolerance tends to be milder than food allergies. On the other hand, your food allergies occur when your immune system’s cells mistakenly detect these food allergens as “harmful” to your body and overreact. Symptoms can range from mild, such as tingling in the mouth, to more severe side effects such as anaphylaxis.
Food intolerance, such as intolerance to dairy or spicy foods, causes symptoms directly related to the digestive system and may cause you to have diarrhea or release excess gas, an article by Hello Doctor says.
How to Get Started on your Hypoallergenic Diet
Now that we have briefly discussed the differences between a food allergy and food intolerance, we can now discuss the basics of a hypoallergenic diet. You may subject yourself to a skin test to determine what certain foods you allergic to. On the other hand, food intolerance is trickier to diagnose since there are currently no tests.
One effective way to tell whether or not you are food intolerant is to monitor what you eat and check if you are exhibiting symptoms or any discomfort while eating it. For example, if you are lactose intolerant, you may experience bloating or abdominal cramps.
If you are food intolerant, you will also benefit from a hypoallergenic diet since you eliminate the food which doesn’t do well with your body. This diet plan is done by removing and reintroducing certain foods into your meal plan to determine which one causes a negative reaction.
With all things, it’s always advisable to consult with your medical doctor with regards to your hypoallergenic diet plan because you may be missing out on some important nutrients and vitamins.
Preparing your hypoallergenic diet plan
When you prepare your diet plan, there are some things that you need to take into account, such as the food that you often eat, the food that you consider to be your comfort food, and what food you find yourself unable to eliminate from your diet.
You will also have to look into preparing new recipes for your hypoallergenic diet.
The Process of Elimination
During the next two weeks, you will slowly shift into the hypoallergenic diet plan. It is critical to carefully monitor your food intake during this stage because if you accidentally eat something you are not supposed to eat, you will have to start all over again.
Once the two weeks are up, and you notice no symptoms, extend the diet period to four weeks. You also have the option to start eliminating another type of food should symptoms persist during this time.
Once the two-week period is up, and you find that the symptoms are slowly going away, it is advised that you wait another five days until the symptoms have completely cleared. During this stage, you may start reintroducing yourself to the food you have eliminated from your diet. By doing so, you will be able to determine which foods are the cause of your symptoms.
Living with food allergies and food intolerance can be tricky because you have to find a balance between the food you can eat and the nutrients that you need in your body.
Harvard Health says that it is all possible if you remember to follow a system that you can adapt into your daily routine. When shopping around for ingredients, you should always be proactive in reading the label. When you are cooking, you should take care to avoid cross-contamination. When you do these things, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is far from impossible; it becomes more manageable.