Caution: food allergens!
The recently adopted law of Canada “On information for consumers regarding food products” contains a new requirement: now the labeling of products must necessarily indicate substances that may cause allergic reactions or intolerance.
At the same time in the list of ingredients allergens should be clearly highlighted (font, color background, etc.)
When food becomes poison
Food allergies are very common in our time. If you have allergies, your immune system believes that certain foods can cause harm to your body, and begins to fight them. In most cases, the symptoms of allergies are relatively safe: a rash, diarrhea, or stuffy nose. But stronger reactions also occur, such as anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly.
In addition to allergies, there is also food intolerance, that is, a negative reaction of the body associated with the inability to absorb certain foods or their components. According to experts, during their life every third citizen of Canada loses the ability to normally digest milk and dairy products, every hundredth is cereals, and the intolerance of peas, mushrooms, strawberries and other products is also often found. One can have intolerance to one or several products and even be unaware of it, since the body’s reaction to the “harmful” product is manifested two or more days after its use.
In the gastrointestinal tract of a healthy organism, all products are split into small particles, which then enter the blood. However, in cases of digestive disorders, large, undigested macromolecules can be absorbed, called transcytosis. The immune system of the body, perceiving such macromolecules as foreign, includes protective mechanisms and produces antibodies to fight against them, which bind foreign molecules and remove them from the body. The “battlefield” becomes the entire human body from the intestinal wall, through which macromolecules penetrate the bloodstream, and any organ where they can be carried with blood flow, to the kidneys, which remove excess fluid and slags. Chronic inflammation occurs in the affected organs. As a result, eating a problem product is not just meaningless, because it loses all its nutritional value for the body, but also harmful!
Milk as the cause of allergies in children
“Allergies or intolerances can develop on almost any product, but more often on milk, eggs, fish, seafood, honey, cereals and nuts,” continues Vladimir Velichko. – An allergic reaction to milk often occurs in children when there is a lack of enzymes in the intestines of the child that break down the proteins of cow’s milk. Therefore, these proteins enter the bloodstream unchanged. The body recognizes them as harmful and produces specific antibodies to combat the “enemy”.
Sometimes there is confusion between cow’s milk protein allergy and lactase deficiency, in other words, when the gut lacks the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the carbohydrate lactose. The enzyme is small, so lactose is not absorbed, but remains in the intestine. As a result, osmotic pressure rises, there is a surge of fluid, and then bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and colic. Mixed and formula-fed infants are more likely to suffer, since milk formulas are predominantly cow’s milk-based.
In most cases, the allergy disappears as the child grows and develops the child’s immune and digestive systems. Up to three years, about 75% of children forget about it, up to six years – more than 90%. However, adults may also be allergic to milk, so they should exclude all foods containing milk protein from their diet, even in microscopic doses. After all, the body’s reaction is not manifested in the quantitative volume of foreign protein, but in the very presence of a food allergen. It is impossible to consume not only products containing milk, but also the meat of those animals that give this milk.
The main tips when eating
Allergies to eggs (white, yolk, or both) are also most common among children. But most outgrow it to 5 years of age. Ingredients that should be excluded from the diet are albumin and globulins. From the diet removed all products containing eggs: mayonnaise, meat and bakery products, salads, meringues, marshmallows, custards, puddings, etc.
Fish and seafood can also cause allergies, which, unfortunately, persists throughout life. Therefore, patients with such allergies are recommended a complete rejection of these products.
Honey. Bees, collecting nectar for honey, collect pollen for their livelihoods. Pollen – a set of proteins, vitamins, trace elements and essential amino acids. Many people who are allergic to flower pollen may be allergic to honey.
Nuts can also provoke allergies due to the proteins they contain. The most common allergen is peanuts. Sometimes people who are allergic to one type of nut may be allergic to other types. Walnuts and almonds, cashews and pistachios have such cross peculiarities. Sesame seeds can also cause an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to any kind of nuts, it is better to abandon them altogether, do not use their oils and eliminate from the diet everything that contains nuts: sweets, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream. Allergies to nuts are usually lifelong.
Cereals may contain gluten – an insoluble protein, which under the influence of water turns into elastic fibers. Gluten is found in wheat, especially in hard varieties, rye, barley or their hybrid species and products from them. It can be in oats, if it is grown next to gluten-containing cereals and processed by the same mechanisms, therefore allergenic gluten gets into it. There is no gluten in buckwheat, corn, millet, rice. Allergy to gluten occurs in isolated cases and, as a rule, passes at an early age, but can develop into an autoimmune disease – celiac disease (gluten enteropathy). When people with this disease eat gluten, their immune system creates antibodies that damage the intestinal walls. This violates the absorption of nutrients, and, as a result, the body loses the vital elements. So people need to eliminate gluten from their diet for life.
According to the Law of Canada “On Consumer Information on Food Products”, products can be labeled “gluten-free” (if its content does not exceed 20 mg per 1 kg of the total mass of food) and “very low gluten content” (if the product was specially processed to reduce its content and contains no more than 100 mg of gluten per 1 kg of total mass). Information about such foods may also be accompanied by the symbols “suitable for people with gluten intolerance” or “suitable for people with celiac disease.” Determine the content of gluten and other allergens in testing laboratories.
To avoid negative reactions to food, you need to know the characteristics of your body and not use what it does not tolerate, – Vladimir Velichko advises. – To understand which products the body is allergic or intolerant of, it is necessary to do tests in the medical laboratory. Knowing the results of the analyzes, when choosing semi-finished or finished products, it is necessary to carefully study their composition in order not to buy those that may harm your body.