Food intolerances arise when our bodies are unable to digest a certain food. This condition may be due to a lack of digestive enzymes or due to something in the food that irritates a person’s digestive system. Symptoms may occur several hours after ingesting the food and may persist for several hours or days. The severity of symptoms is determined by the amount of food that a person consumes.
Food intolerances can cause a wide range of symptoms. These include:
- Excess gas
- Stomach pain
- Runny nose
- General feeling of discomfort, lack of wellbeing or illness
Some foods that are commonly associated with food intolerances include but are not limited to:
- Lactose - found in dairy products, such as cheese, ice cream, milk chocolates, candies, bread, baked goods, salad dressing, breakfast cereals and bars etc.
- Gluten - found in bread, cakes, crackers and certain condiments, such as soy sauces, Asian marinades, barbecue sauces, and wheat-based pasta etc.
- Histamines and amines - found in fermented dairy products, such as cheese (especially aged), yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi and pickles or pickled veggies, and cured or fermented meats, such as sausages, salami, and fermented ham etc.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - found in snack foods, seasoning for instant noodles, canned soups and soup mixes, processed meat such as jerky, sausages and smoked meats, frozen meals, and condiments etc.
- Artificial sweeteners - found in soft drinks, candies, puddings, chocolate bars, jams, and jellies etc.
- Galactans - found in legumes such as baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and soy-based products etc.