Food Intolorences

Food Intolerances are very common and normal in many ways. Lactose intolerance, for example, is so common that 75% of the world’s population becomes intolerant to lactose after weaning.  What is a food intolerance?  A food intolerance is a food sensitivity that is not an allergic reaction and is a negative reaction that has more to do with digestion than immune response. A food reaction can result from the lack of an enzyme that is needed to digest food entirely, resulting in digestive reactions including gas/bloating, stomach cramping and in some cases nausea. The most common types of food intolerances include sensitivity to lactose, yeast, gluten, and fructose.

Lactose: Lactose is a sugar found in dairy and it is very normal to be lactose intolerant.  It is possible to develop lactose intolerance if you stop the consumption of dairy for long periods of time. Regarding protein powders, if one is lactose intolerant but wish to consume protein powder derived from dairy, note that whey protein contains lactose, but whey isolate contains very little and can be consumed by people with the intolerance.

Yeast: yeast is a single-celled microorganism classified as a member of the fungus kingdom. The yeast that causes digestive problems in those intolerant is known as candida albicans, is found in bread, baked goods, pizza dough. The intolerance can be intensified by sugar as sugar is consumed by yeast.

Gluten: gluten is a protein found in grains including wheat, rye, and barley. Refined white flours have more gluten than whole wheat flour by nature, as the majority of the endosperm is removed to create white flour, making the other components to be of a higher quantity of the whole amount. Common sensitivities related to gluten are wheat sensitivity and celiac disease. Those who are not intolerant to gluten do not have any valid reason to avoid it.

Fructose:  fructose is a sugar found in fruit but not exclusively. Agave nectar, a sugar alternative known as a “healthier” option to refined sugar is now known to be high in fructose, and not very different than high fructose corn syrup. Rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup, honey and more all contain fructose. Fructose alternatives include stevia, xylitol, erythritol, and rice malt syrup.

If you suspect that you are intolerant to something, remove it from your diet for 1-2 weeks to see if the symptoms of an irritated digestive system subside. All else being the same, consume a food that you suspect to be causing issues and document your reaction to it 6-24 h later.

Self-treatment: In the case that you consume something that you are intolerant to, and you are not severely sensitive to the food but experience the intestinal discomfort, try taking enzyme capsules along with a probiotic that you have had good experiences with. The probiotic alone can do very little but the enzymes act immediately. Probiotic supplementation for weeks-months is known to prevent discomfort by providing bacteria that help to break down the food.

The digestive enzyme that I personally had a very good experience with when I accidentally consume soy is this one:

I normally take 2 of the enzyme capsules after consumption or even hours later, in combination with a probiotic supplement: