Simple food swaps for those with food allergies.
Don’t settle for nutritionally deficient diets just because you are allergic to a specific food. (Photo: Foundry / www.pixabay.com)
For those with food allergies, eating the wrong foods can get nasty as the immune system responds defensively to a specific food protein. Symptoms can happen within minutes to two hours, and include skin rash, swelling, wheezing and breathing difficulties, congested and runny nose, and vomiting, says Dr Melvyn Wong, senior physician at Raffles Medical.
The only way to prevent such an adverse food reaction for those with allergies is to avoid that particular food. Eight major food allergens – fish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat and shellfish – have been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration and companies are required, by law, to indicated these ingredients on food labels. That doesn’t mean those with food allergies need to subsist on processed foods with labels or live with a nutritionally deficient diet though.
All it takes are some simple food swaps. Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre, shares what food substitutes are suitable for the specific food groups.
What to eat if you are allergic to… Fish
(Photo: Wow_Pho / www.pixabay.com)
Fish contains omega-3 fats and is rich in nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat.
Instead of fish, go for:
Lean meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products
– Protein and vitamin B12
Healthy oils (flaxseed, safflowers, sunflower, canola), nuts & seeds (flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts)
– For vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids
Wholegrains, fortified grains
– For selenium