Can processed Foods lead to Food Sensitivities?

Anyone can be sensitive to a certain food. Eating spicy food may do it for you or dairy products. The result is a bout with gastrointestinal problems that you would rather avoid. But, could the culprit be processed foods? The Skinny on Processed Foods The jury is still out on processed foods. Some say that they are better for you, such as microwave meals pushed by Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers. Others say that they are packed with unhealthy things that can lead to buildup of toxins in the body as well as feeding the “fat” epidemic that is common in this country. Comfort has led to compromised health. One thing that is not disputed is that processed foods are not fresh. Fresh foods contain nothing besides what is native to the type of food in question. Buying from local growers helps ensure that food has not been altered in a lab or through chemical means. Processed foods need preservatives to increase their shelf life. This doesn’t only apply to microwave meals but anything prepared for you ahead of time: cakes, pies, cookies, cereals, box prepared foods and etcetera. Read the labels to see what we mean. The Skinny on the Body The body was not designed to process certain food ingredients. On any given day, the body received the majority of its nutrition from food. It is natural and the best source of vitamins, minerals and the like. Processed foods contain other manufactured ingredients used for things like color, flavoring, preserving and texture. These substances are food-grade but that doesn’t mean that they are body-friendly. Consider the following: * Sweeteners (sorbitol, sucralose) * Anti-caking agents (cellulose in shredded cheese, for example) * Thickeners * Emulsifiers * Bulking agents These all have different names on the label so it is important to read and become familiar with them. Although a very small percentage of food intolerance is related directly to food additives, that doesn’t mean that you might not be in that category. Some are sensitive to dyes used in food coloring or the salt like preservatives like sulfites and sulfates. Avoiding the Potential Problem Although most people are sensitive to either dairy, yeast, gluten or some form of sugar, there is no reason to compound your problem. When choosing processed food, weigh the pros and cons of your choices. Can you eat the same type of food only fixed at home? What are the other alternatives to choosing that processed food? Try to choose all natural food ingredients and prepare food at home. This way, you know what is in your dishes and, if sensitivity symptoms arise, you can find the offending ingredient a bit easier.

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Common Foods that cause Sensitivities

Just about everyone has eaten something that made them feel bad later. What’s the reason? You might be experiencing sensitivity to a food you are eating. It can be hard to nail down food sensitivity. The onset of symptoms can come one or even two days after you have ingested the food. It all depends on how quickly the food is broken down and where it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. This fact can make it difficult to pinpoint what is going on with your body. Because food sensitivity symptoms are quite common in other conditions, it is important to notice when your symptoms occur. Ruling out other causes can lead to a quicker resolution to the problem. Common Foods leading to Sensitivity and Intolerance Although all foods have the potential for wreaking havoc on the gut, certain ones are more common and better at this than others. Here is a list of some of the more widely known culprits that might be a part of your diet right now. * Milk * Nuts * Eggs * Wheat * Soy * Strawberries * Shellfish * Food preservatives A couple of these categories are quite broad. But, if you are eating anything in that group right now and it is giving you gastrointestinal distress, you could probably narrow down your culprit to a single type of ingredient. Making a Change One of the common sense actions to take when you discover that a particular food is giving you trouble is to eliminate it. Be careful with that. In an effort to avoid pain, some have gotten rid of entire food groups from their diet. This is unwise. All food groups are necessary for providing the nutrients needed to sustain a healthy body. For instance, cutting out fat can compromise your cellular structure. While the body doesn’t need an excess of fat, certain fats are needed to build cell membranes as well as the sheath that covers muscle fibers and allows for faster conductivity. If the food involved is essential to your nutrition, find a way to substitute other foods in its place. Strawberries are a food known to lead to sensitivity. Berries are high in antioxidants and low in fat and calories. Try blueberries or cranberries instead. As far as antioxidants go, there are several foods that can provide that for you: carrots, tomatoes and greens. Look at the ingredients in the foods you eat. This is especially important for people with food allergies. Maybe that casserole you love contains soy in some form. Remove the offending ingredient and find a substitute that won’t compromise the dish. When you know the types of food that lead to sensitivities in your body, you can then take steps to change your diet.

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Symptoms of Food Sensitivities

Have you ever had embarrassing noises and movements come from your digestive system after a meal? If could be that you are sensitive to one or more of the foods that you just ate. Find out the symptoms of food sensitivities to know if you are suffering from one. Good for you but not good to you Even the best efforts to eat well can result in disastrous results. Some people eat broccoli or cauliflower and experience the worst bouts of gas. Others drink milk or eat ice cream and end up cramping horribly for the rest of the evening. It could be a sign. Food sensitivities result when your body can’t deal with certain foods. This intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system (like food allergies), but it does leave you feeling quite horrible. The digestive system views certain levels of these foods as toxic and therefore tries to deal with it and rid the body of these foods as soon as possible. Symptoms of Food Sensitivity Food sensitivities are often misdiagnosed if they are diagnosed at all. Because there is not a standard system of testing, a bit of detective work needs to be done. What you are probably concerned about is the symptoms. How do you know that you are suffering from food sensitivities? Here is a sample listing of some of the symptoms common to the condition. Know that it is not comprehensive. These symptoms can be attributed to other conditions that may be occurring at the same time. * Diarrhea * Vomiting * Abdominal cramps * Constipation * Rash * Migraine headaches * Muscle pain * Irritable bowel syndrome * Itching It is easy to see how many of these symptoms can be contributed to other conditions. It is for that reason that many food sensitivities are overlooked, resulting in people suffering for months or even years unnecessarily. A common misconception is that it is bad foods that cause food sensitivities. All foods have the potential to cause a reaction based on its components. Even those foods deemed “healthy” can disagree with your system on some level. If your problems with food seem to be more frequent than usual, see a doctor and have a complete physical. The problem could be related to what your body is not getting as easily as it can be related to getting too much of something. Keep a log of your symptoms. This makes it easy to recollect what was going on in your life as well as what you were eating at the time to see if there is any correlation. If your favorite foods are not causing you pain, you can get help in finding out what to do about it. The symptoms of food sensitivities are common to other conditions as well. Know your symptoms.

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What is a Food Sensitivity?

Have you ever eaten something that just didn’t seem to “agree” with you? If you have, there could be several reasons why that happened. One might be that you are suffering from a particular food sensitivity. What is Food Sensitivity? You might have heard about food allergies. They can be deadly serious. To a lesser extent there are conditions caused by food sensitivity. Think of lactose intolerance for example. You are left feeling most unpleasant each time you eat a dairy product. Food sensitivity is, in essence, food intolerance. For whatever reason, your body doesn’t respond well to levels of a certain food or additive that is tolerated better by the majority of the public. Now, anything in excess can lead to adverse reactions but, with food sensitivity, even smaller doses can bring on the pain. The major difference between food sensitivity and a food allergy is the lack of involvement of the immune system. When a food is seen as a foreign invader, the body responds by eliciting an immune response. If you’ve ever seen someone in anaphylactic shock, their tongues may swell as well as their entire face and extremities. This is a true emergency. With food sensitivity, the response is largely found in the digestive tract as the food breaks down and passes through the intestinal area. In effect, a toxic buildup of a substance within the food or given off by the food during digestion has triggered your body to respond. Why do Food Sensitivities occur? There are many reasons, as we stated above, why an individual might experience food sensitivity. 1. Too much of a good thing – Eating five apples at a time may seem like a blow for good health but it might end up being a pain in the gut. The buildup of certain substances in the digestive tract from ingesting that many apples can cause diarrhea or abdominal cramping as a result. 2. Missing links – As with lactose intolerance, the body lacks lactase, the enzyme needed to break down the lactose found in milk. Without it, eating or drinking anything made with milk will cause pain in the gut as the body does its best to deal with this substance that it can’t handle. 3. Heredity – If your parents were missing the needed enzyme for lactose, then you might suffer the same fate. Ask your parents if they have any foods that they can’t eat and see which ones you have in common. 4. Poor diet – A digestive tract that is not functioning in the normal way can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. This might be the case when you eat certain foods. It may look like sensitivity but in reality, this food could be highlighting a weakness in your diet. Food sensitivities are more common than many think.

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