Hidden facts in your food

As the cold air gives way to brisk air perfused with the fragrance of the freshly bloomed flowers, as the bright green leaves start spurting out from the trees and as the squirrels, birds, and bees dash out from nowhere, we know that spring has sprung. What does that mean? Allergy season has arrived.

We all are aware of the seasonal allergies with itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and the sniffles triggered by the environmental allergens. Do you know that hidden allergens in your diet can trigger an inflammatory response in your body leading to weight gain?

Food intolerance or food sensitivity is a hot topic in the field of medicine now. It is quite different from food allergies. While an allergic reaction to food can vary from a mild rash to a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, symptoms of food intolerance often times are subtle. Food intolerance/sensitivity can cause vague symptoms like fatigue, indigestion, weight gain, etc. Thus making the diagnosis very challenging.

If you are struggling to lose weight in spite of a strict calorie restricted diet, exercise then talk to your doctor about food intolerance. A person can be intolerant to any food or even to food additives, coloring agents, and preservatives. If you are not sure, getting a blood test done for food sensitivity will be very useful. Avoid processed food. The preservatives and additives in those foods may be the culprit in triggering food sensitivity. Also, keep away from Genetically Modified foods which alter your immune response by providing unnatural food and toxins. They are not nutritionally balanced either. Eliminating the food that you are sensitive to will help with controlling your cravings for food thus paving a path for weight loss.

If you are yo-yo dieter with rapid fluctuation in your weight, it is time to think about food sensitivity. Once you know the trigger, it is vital to eliminate it from your diet for a minimum of 6 months to make your body forget it and to re-introduce it slowly after 6 months. This way you are giving your immune system a second chance to handle the same food in a different way. Rotation diet has been validated for food sensitive individuals. It is avoiding the same food not more than every 4 days in order to prevent the development of food intolerance.

The immune system can go haywire due to stress, unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, etc, thus causing a skewed response to food. Maintaining a healthy immune system with a daily supply of Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, good night sleep, exercise, and meditation can mitigate this abnormal response to food.

What you need to know & do :

Stay healthy and enjoy life!


    

Author
Dr. Chandrasekaran Aparna Chandrasekaran, MD, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. Her primary area of care is centered around screening, preventing and management of overweight/ obesity. She offers a comprehensive medically supervised weight loss program at Jersey Medical Weight Loss Center, Somerset,NJ. She is a member of Obesity Medicine Association and is actively involved in spreading awareness about Obesity through her blogs, radio show, and presentations. Her article " Body Mass Index-Is It Reliable Indicator of Obesity" got published in the Journal of Nutrition & Weight Loss in February 2018.

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