There are so many different allergies out there and people often mistake a food intolerance with a food allergy. While taking a culinary nutrition course at Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI), I learned the difference between the two and wanted to share it with all of my readers!
A food allergy is an immune system response caused when the body mistakes an ingredient in food, usually a protein, as harmful and creates antibodies to fight it. A small amount of food can trigger these symptoms and they typically occur a few minutes to 2 hours after consumption. A skin prick test or a blood test with an allergist is a good way to diagnose a food allergy.
Symptoms of food allergy:
- rashes or hives
- chest pain
- itchy skin
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the airways to the lungs
The main 8 allergens are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat (not gluten).
Food Intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It comes on gradually and may be dose dependent. It only occurs if the food is eaten frequently. The best way to diagnose a food intolerance is by doing an elimination diet for 3 weeks. During this diet people may remove gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, and corn from their diet. At the end of this period, start reintroducing foods one at a time and allow 2-3 days to see if there is any reaction. IgG food allergy testing is commonly used with children because it is hard to do an elimination diet. However, for adults the best way is to follow an elimination diet.
Symptoms of food sensitivity:
- stomach pain
The most commonly reported intolerances are alcohol, histamine, dairy, and gluten.
As much as I love eggs, many people can’t enjoy a nice egg scramble because they have an egg allergy. It is the second most common allergen that usually starts in childhood, and is frequently outgrown by adulthood.
If you have an egg allergy, be cautious when eating:
- canned soups
- salad dressings
- processed meat, meatballs, and meatloaf
- ice cream, gelato
- baked goods
An egg allergy doesn’t prevent you from making your favorite foods, so please try the replacements below.
Magical Egg Replacements:
- For leavening: 1½ tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder for each egg
- As a binder: ¼ cup applesauce per egg
- “Flax egg”: 1 tbsp flax meal +3 tbsp water (refrigerate for 15 minutes)
- “Chia egg”: 1 tbsp ground chia + 3 tbsp water
- Aquafaba: 3 tablespoons of chickpea or white bean juice to replace each egg