Is there a difference between the two conditions? Yes. It can be difficult to determine whether one has an intolerance or an allergy because the signs and symptoms overlap.
Food allergy symptoms show up immediately whereas an intolerance may or may not manifest soon after ingesting the food. In food allergy, the reaction can occur with smallest quantities but in food intolerance, the person is able to tolerate the food in small amounts or over a period of time. Food allergy can be life-threatening sometimes but not food intolerance. A physician or an allergy specialist will be able to diagnose the problem.
Nuts, dairy, egg and fish are the most common food allergens. Common food intolerance list includes wheat, gluten, milk, yeast, food additives and preservatives.
Symptoms of food allergy can vary from dizziness, swelling of lips and throat, itchy skin and red eyes, to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing, shortness of breath, or blocked nose. Food intolerance can show up as bloating, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, wheezing, hives or runny nose.
If you’re aware of the problem that you have, check labels when you buy packaged foods. The best way to prevent such problems from occurring is to avoid the foods that cause these problems. Maintaining a diary of the foods that you eat can help to trace the allergen or the food that causes the problem.
A research study recently published in the West says that organic milk is more beneficial than non-organic version. Although all varieties of milk contain protein, calcium, riboflavin and other nutrients, organic milk was found to have a better balance of essential fatty acids – omega 3 and omega 6. More of omega 3 fats and less of omega 6 fats is known to be heart healthy. Omega 6 fats (which come thru some of the high PUFA oils, fried snacks, etc) in excess can be one of the causes for many illnesses. Organic milk with its greater proportion of omega 3 fats can become an addition in the list of omega 3 foods like fish and flaxseed. Additionally, organic foods are always good for the earth!
Some days ago, I saw a wholesome collection of organic foods which were showcased in a company. There were only 3 companies that participated but there were so many products on display and I felt like I had walked into someone’s kitchen.
Akshayakalpa, a company that manufactures and sells organic milk, curd, ghee, butter, khoa and paneer, kept samples of their organic buttermilk and the visitors couldn’t stop drinking it. It was so delicious!
24 Mantra had displayed almost every dry ingredient that is used in the kitchen – grains, millets, dals, spices, honey, sugar, jaggery, juices and breakfast cereals – all organic! Visitors were surprised to know that there was such a wide variety of organic foods in the market!
Buffalo Back, which grows and sells organic vegetables and seasonal fruits, was a crowd-puller. I had not seen such fresh and clean greens in a long time! The vegetables were not only fresh but also were cleaned well before selling……what a bonus!
Do try the organic foods sometime. You might end up eating only those because it’s good for your health and the health of our planet!
Sorry folks. I haven’t written in a while because I was buried under work after my return from vacation. I’ll start writing regularly again.
During my recent holiday, I came across ‘flax milk’ made from flaxseed. Over the years during my foreign travels, I had tasted rice milk, peanut milk, soy milk and almond milk. This was the first time I saw flax milk. Tasted it and loved it, although no one else in the family thought it was good.
The highlight of flax milk is its omega 3 content. A glass of flax milk has 1200 mg of omega 3 fatty acids and much lesser amounts of omega 6 and omega 9. For those who are lactose-intolerant, this is useful because it contains no lactose. Needless to say that there’s no cholesterol because it’s a plant product.
If you’re wondering how to get good amounts of omega 3 in your diet with no access to flax milk, then include flaxseed powder or fish in your meals regularly. Omega 3 fatty acids are useful for brain function, to possibly reduce the risk of inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and many other modern day health problems.