Food influences your emotions, health and well-being in more ways than you can ever imagine. You are what you eat which is why it important to identify and avoid foods that you are sensitive to. Food issues bring stress and stress are known to interfere with digestion, slow down metabolism and lead to many other health issues.
Before jumping straight into any restrictive diet, it is necessary to have clarity regarding the difference between food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerance. Seek the advice of your health care provider or a registered dietitian before starting any type of elimination diet to ensure adequate nutrition.
Soon after eating certain foods (in even very small amounts), if you experience extreme reactions or symptoms such as hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, chest pain, shortness of breath or choking sensation in your throat, consult a board certified allergist as that may be a food allergy—and that’s not something to figure out on your own. (Example: Peanut allergy) A food allergy occurs when the immune system considers an ingredient in food as harmful and starts creating antibodies to fight it.
Food intolerance occurs when an ingredient in the food irritates the digestive system or is not properly digested. The symptoms are usually less serious and so you may be able to eat small portions of the offending food without much trouble. (Example: Lactose intolerance)
Food sensitivity, on the other hand, is probably the most difficult to diagnose of the three as the negative reaction to certain foods is unpredictable and do not always occur in the same way. These foods may be occasionally consumed without serious symptoms and may intensify if the same food is consumed regularly. (Example: Gluten sensitivity)