Food Sensitivities / Allergies

Limit repeated exposure to potential allergens

Most foods that are common allergens are fairly recent additions to our diet, meaning that they were not eaten before about 10,000 years ago. The common allergens include coffee, chocolate, wheat and other glutinous grains, corn, cow dairy, soy, peanut and egg. A lot of health problems are caused by frequent exposure to these foods, because they can have a tendency to disturb immune system function.

Western medicine only recognizes a substance as an allergen if it induces an IgE mediated immediate hypersensitivity response. Complementary medicine tends to lump into the food allergen category things that create problems by other mechanisms, such as IgG mediated hypersensitivities, provocation or suppression of IgA at the gut membrane, lectin incompatibilities, etc. These are not really allergies in the technical sense, but they can create mild to severe symptoms of fatigue, bloating, depression, brain fog, inflammation, poor exercise tolerance, etc. These are therefore most accurately called food sensitivities. The most common example occurs when due to preparation, cooking methods, chemical/pesticide residues, digestive insufficiency, and other causes, a food is not digested to completion and the immune system attacks. This is not an allergy in the true sense, but a digestive issue.

Some complementary health care practitioners can do functional testing to make an educated guess as to which of these substances may be best avoided in the diet. However, it is not a bad idea to limit the exposure to potentially allergy-provoking foods, similar to the way that it is a good idea to not always be breathing dust, mold, and solvent fumes even if there is nothing wrong with you. The problem in today’s typical diet is the constant subjection to the same potential allergens over and over again, meal after meal. A traditional diet included none of these things. So, if you choose to eat bread or pasta, at least don’t do it every day. Maybe let 5 days elapse between exposures unless you know that it is a totally safe food for you. The same advice goes for dairy, etc. Keep in mind, rotating possible allergens in the diet is a great habit for everyone, whether symptomatic or not.

The one exception to this rule is for eggs. If you do not have a reason like allergy to not eat eggs, they should be eaten frequently. Egg yolk is one of the few foods that have a high content of phospholipids like phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl serine. These substances are essential for liver and brain health as well as proper hormonal functioning, so they should either be eaten in their natural food sources or taken as supplements. Many people choose to do both, to accomplish repair and regeneration as well as prevention.

The heart association has done a terrible disservice by making people afraid of eggs due to their cholesterol content. Cholesterol is not the problem. A diet rich in omega 6 fats, trans fatty acids, and high glycemic index and glycemic load foods is what creates heart disease. These are completely proven facts and we should listen no longer to outmoded medical theories based on misunderstandings and misinformation that create fear and have us eat foods that kill while avoiding the ones that can make us well.