Do food allergies or sensitivities make you gain weight or prevent you from losing it? Take our Diet Wizard to find out which diet programs can accommodate dieters like you. Not all diet plans can. Our comprehensive diet analysis examines your lifestyle and dieting preferences, and reviews your needs versus the major health club chains, commercial weight loss clinics like Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss and Jenny Craig, medical weight loss, healthcare pros, and popular celebrity diets. Then BestDietForMe.com provides you with unbiased, in-depth reports on your matches, complete with detailed reviews of these weight loss programs, to help you choose a diet plan that’s right for you…
Food Allergies & Weight Loss
An estimated 11 million Americans suffer from food allergies. The eight major food allergens are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy.
Based on surveys completed by 19,300 visitors to the BestDietForMe.com website, between January 1 and March 30, 2005, more than one-third, or 37.5%, indicated that they are allergic to certain foods, are lactose intolerant, are vegetarians, prefer not to eat red meat or shellfish, or need special diet plans to lower their blood pressure or their cholesterol levels.
This is a fairly high percentage of dieters and indicates strongly that weight loss programs must be able to customize their plans to accommodate people with such special foods needs.
Could a food allergy be making it difficult for you to lose weight? One good clue might be whether you crave a particular food that you eat frequently. Once a food allergy exists, the food becomes mildly addictive and you can feel compelled to eat it. If you are allergic to a food, your body can react by storing it instead of using it for energy. If you eat a lot of foods to which you are allergic, weight gain will undoubtedly be the result.
There are two types of allergic reactions.
New Food Label Law - Will It Help?
New food labeling requirements in the U.S., which take effect less than a year from now, will reduce allergic reactions in people who have potentially life-threatening food allergies . However, there may be another, unintentional result for those who suffer from food allergies. If food manufacturers follow the labeling law strictly, trace amounts of some previously unlisted food allergens will be posted, causing more diet restriction than ever before.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), passed by Congress, will take effect in January 2006. It is intended to make life easier and simpler for people who suffer from food allergies, some of which can be fatal. For these individuals, accurately reading a label can literally be a matter of life and death.
However, the law won't change the situation in restaurants. One-third of survey respondents said they had had a reaction to food served in a restaurant. Of those, 63% had had a reaction to a restaurant food on more than one occasion.
A compound to increase an allergic person's tolerance to peanuts showed success in clinical trials but has stalled in getting to market. In the meantime, studies are underway with Xolair, an asthma treatment, to see if it would protect peanut-allergic people enough so they won't react to trace amounts of the food.
The phenomenon of simultaneous allergy and addictions to both foods and chemicals is now well accepted by doctors specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies. These specialists, known as clinical ecologists, believe that many chronic health problems, such as migraine, fatigue, depression, and arthritis are caused by allergies to foods and chemicals and affect approximately one-third of the population living in industrial countries.
Water retention, or edema, is especially common among allergic individuals and is an important contributing factor to obesity. The removal of an offending food will often result in a rapid water loss of 5-10 pounds within a week, all without the use of a diuretic.
Charles McGee, M.D., who practices clinical ecology in C'oeur D'Alene, Idaho (author of "How To Survive Modern Technology"), was asked whether in his opinion, food and chemical allergies could be a major cause of obesit. He replied: "There are many people who are addicted to all sorts of of foods. The ones who are addicted to coffee do not necessarily get fat. If they are addicted to sugar or wheat, they may end up running around with candies or wheat crackers in their pockets to satisfy the craving. What's most important is that it's extremely difficult for these allergic individuals to lose weight unless they gain control of their food allergies. They must identify the particular allergens, break the craving and then eliminate the chemical or food."
Functional food and chemical allergies have been largely ignored by most doctors. One reason for this is that there has been no miracle drug that can be heavily promoted by the drug companies, so the doctors would not be encouraged to diagnose the disease and then treat it. Until now there has been no simple, easy cure for allergies. Nutrition treatment in the form of vitamin, mineral, amino acid and glandular supplements, accompanied by avoidance of allergenic foods offer the critical answer to this problem.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, in San Antonio
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis network (FAAN)
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