What’s With All The Intolerance?

This isn’t my kind of subject, but I feel I need to provide at least some comment as a way of documenting for future reference.

I’m fairly sure that you all know someone that has a food intolerance right?  I seem to have a growing number of friends that are not specifically (medically) allergic to something, but react adversely and thus impose strict dietary regimes upon themselves.

What’s that all about?  It’s pretty easy to be negative about this subject but we could all do with trying to improve our understanding.

Perhaps these intolerances have always been there. Perhaps we have just become more accurate and astute at diagnosis?  I don’t buy that.  There has to be a root cause.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to exclude so many things from your diet; Vegetarianism seems like a dream by comparison (for both cooks and their guests!).  When you start to look into how many products contain say gluten or fructose, wheat or dairy, you can start to appreciate just how very limiting these intolerances are.

On a positive note, I’ve surprised myself recently as it turns out it’s quite possible to produce some lovely dishes that you wouldn’t believe could be gluten-free.  Quiche anyone?

Gluten Free Quiche

GF Quiche

Is there something that should be raising serious concern here?  I’ve heard some astonishing figures recently, such as “35% of the population in the UK have some form of intolerance”.

We have to get one thing straight here before I get lynched: there is without doubt a rather broad spectrum which is very real, and ranges from those making a conscious choice i.e. “I feel much better in myself if I cut out bread”, to those unfortunate enough to be Coeliac. 

I’m going to share my view on this, but given that i’ve decided to write about it, I’m sure that you already know what I’m going to say…

I think that perhaps we’re all now experiencing the impact of a hyper-processed diet in our younger years, certainly those of us having lived our childhoods in the 80’s anyway. 

With the uptrend of Real Food and the general public being more switched-on about what they eat and drink, I think that our bodies are paying the price for our past.  If you’ve been used to having over-processed ingredients for most of your life, how is your body going to react to the real stuff…

So is balance the solution? I’m fairly confident that it’s the best preventative method.  Fingers crossed for Felix. 

For recipes and ideas take a look at www.mazwo.com

6 thoughts on “What’s With All The Intolerance?

    • Thanks Anna 🙂
      Always great to get feedback. This one’s proving to be quite topical. On a positive note, I’ve received a number of responses from people who have managed to reintroduce foods after a sustained period of balance.

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  1. I was apprehensive when I saw the first line of this latest post but think you have approached it in a very balanced manner. As someone whose partner suffers from some inolerances I know it can be a very emotive subject. From those who don’t understand to those “who have the same problem” it can cause a great deal of compromise and/or embarrassment. It is interesting as to why it has become more of an issue in recent years and for that answer I shall look to those with far more knowledge than myself.

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  2. Well written Alex! As you know I suffer pretty badly when I eat wheat or dairy but I try to not completely strip it from my diet as that can make things worse if I do end up eating something unknowingly that has dairy or wheat in the contents.
    I have suffered for many years and was always told by the doctors that it was “IBS” and to keep taking my tablets. Since changing my diet to remove dairy and wheat I have noticed a dramatic difference and have not taken one tablet since.
    I think you almost have to re-educate your tummy to now accept the foods you enjoy and my diet is my healthier and cleaner than when I was younger so no wonder my tummy didn’t know what was happening! I hope, over time, to introduce dairy and wheat back into my diet and hope for no reactions!

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  3. Hi Alex, just saw this post now 🙂 (great blog by the way, and great pictures). As you might remember, in our little family there are allergies and intolerances, and to be honest with you it’s very difficult to understand why. Our 4 year old daughter, who was breastfed for more than a year, and only had homemade organic food her whole life, developed really bad, life threatening allergies to cow’s milk protein and eggs before she was even 6 months old, as well as an intolerance to gluten. In her case it goes beyond the usual “bad environment/food” reason, as both her parents were conscious of eating healthy food as much as possible, especially during pregnancy, and nobody had such allergies in both our families. Apart from living in (polluted) central London at the time (?), there is no “logic” reason why she should have developed those allergies. I just mean to say that I would have had the exact same opinion as you unless I was faced with my daughter’s complex allergies. Her dairy allergy has reduced now, but we were told that because she wasn’t exposed to cow’s milk in early childhood, her stomach hasn’t developed the enzymes necessary to digest lactose, which means she will most probably stay lactose intolerant anyway. And for a young child it meant a lot of work trying to find the right foods to compensate – we’re used to it now, but everything seems dairy based for young children!
    As you know she was also diagnosed with autism later, and since the very beginning we must think outside the box to make her better. Allergies are definitely a sign that something is wrong with the immune system, but in our case a lot more complex than just healthy food and lifestyle – I believe those should be the baseline for everybody anyway!
    Keep up the good work 🙂

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  4. Thanks for your comments Anne-Marie, I completely understand how terribly difficult allergies and intolerances are for you and your lovely family. I pray that with the commitment of more time, money and effort by the scientific community, we will collectively learn how to overcome the medical challenges. Raising awareness and spreading the word can only do good. Big love.

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