Food Sensitivities: Culprits and Correctives

In my last newsletter/blog, I discussed food sensitivities and their relationship to weight loss resistance and chronic low energy, and just not feeling up to par.

If you missed that piece, go here to check it out before we move on here to the main causes of food sensitivities, and then, most importantly, what can be done about them to restore us to feeling our best and being our optimum weight.

Inflammation in the body is caused by food sensitivities that we may not even know we have.  We may suspect some offenders, but may ignore the correlation between the food causing the malaise in our body, or, I often do, fail to see any connection between an irritating food and the stubborn weight or gnawing, chronic discomfort and lethargy.

The fact is that some foods tend to cause more problems for more people than others do.

Some of the main headliners here are gluten (the protein found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye), corn, soy, and dairy.

Wheat and other grains are problematic, first, because they are loaded with pesticides and fungicides, and they are usually highly processed when they are eaten. They are often genetically modified from their original forms. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been created in a lab, do not occur naturally in nature, and are therefore not compatible with the human digestive system. Our bodies can’t process them.

The issue is not that all grains are bad, (though some currently popular diets suggest that this is the case), but the way that crops are grown in this country is faulty.

Corn  is also genetically modified, just as up to 88% of American crops are. It is often the cross-contamination of corn and-fungi due to the way it’s grown which is difficult. Fungi put out micro toxins, which are the most abundant toxins in our nation’s food.

Soy is the second largest US crop after corn. More than 90% of American soybeans are genetically modified.  Crops are genetically modified so that they will withstand the herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides which are injected into their very seeds. Thus, they are rendered hard to digest and cause many adverse reactions.

The process of genetically modifying these foods makes them very much less costly to produce, and they are found in almost every processed food on the grocers’ shelves – from toothpaste to seasonings, to salad dressings. We inadvertently bombard ourselves with these highly toxic substances and don’t even realize it.

Interestingly, GMOs are banned in the 28 countries of the European Union.  These countries have different languages, customs, and cuisines, and they all agree to keep GMOs out of their food.

Dairy causes problems with its lactose and casein, the protein found in all dairy products. Lactose sensitivity occurs when you lack the enzyme required to break down lactose and digest it.

The issues around casein are less well known, but one likely reason is that it is a culprit is that there is already a “leaky gut,” possibly due to having a gluten sensitivity. Casein and gluten sensitivity often go hand in hand. A leaky gut is the result of an inflamed intestinal wall, which then allows leaking particles of undigested food into the bloodstream.  There is strong evidence that casein itself causes this intestinal inflammation and permeability.

Remember – cow’s milk is designed to grow a baby cow, which has 2 stomachs, from 70 to 1000 lb. in15 months.  Human milk doesn’t have this type of casein. Additionally, the casein found in our modern dairy – sourced from hybridized cows – has been genetically altered. Again, our bodies were never designed to digest it.

Once we know the main culprits causing our weight loss resistance and not quite healthy feelings, how do we determine which, if any, sensitivities we have?

While there is a blood test that tests for food antibodies, it is not 100% accurate.

The only other way to determine if you are sensitive to a food is through what’s called an elimination and challenge diet, wherein you eliminate these foods for a period of time, taking note of the changes you experience in the process.

In my Health Coaching practice I periodically offer cleanses. My clients report weight loss, increased energy, less bloating, clearing skin, and far fewer headaches and digestive issues, and other good news. Then, during the “challenge” phase, foods are slowly reintroduced one at a time. Culprits are identified easily. More about cleanses later.

It can feel daunting to think of, for example, giving up bread for a few days, or drinking your coffee without cream. It is possible, though, and not nearly as hard as it may seem, to follow an elimination diet.

Here are some substitutes that you can consider.

Instead of cow’s milk or soy milk, try almond milk (here’s the recipe – so easy, so delicious!)

Instead of regular pasta, try rice noodles, zucchini pasta (the best, in my opinion), or black bean pasta.

In place of wheat-based or corn-based cereals, try gluten-free oatmeal or granola.

In place of tofu, use beans.

Naturally, there are other ways around the foods that cause trouble, as well.

It can be very challenging to undertake the detective work alone – to figure out if you have a food sensitivity and then to determine what to do with the information and modify your diet without feeling deprived, especially at parties and celebrations.

Keep your eyes out for future newsletters regarding the seasonal cleanses that I run, all online, so you never have to leave your home or attend a meeting.  Still, you receive recipes, support, menu tips, and other de-tox tips.

If you suspect that you have a food sensitivity, it is a good idea to deal with it head-on, however you choose to go about it.  It isn’t just a matter of weight loss and not feeling up to par. The uncomfortable and sometimes painful reactions to certain foods are symptoms of something really not being right in your body which is more than an inconvenience. It is doing damage to your entire digestive and immune system, and will continue to get worse without a change. You are worth treating well enough so that you are running at maximum capacity, not in a half-ill state.

If you’d like to visit with me further about your particular possible food sensitivity issue, join me for an absolutely free, non-binding 15 minute Get Acquainted Call.

Schedule that appointment right here. I would love to be able to support you on your journey to better health.

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