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Differences between allergies and intolerances

An allergy is a reaction by our immune system to certain foods. In other words, when we eat some food, our immune system recognises that nutrient as harmful. Consequently, our body will respond to the food with an imminent attack by the immune system. Intolerance occurs when our gut cannot digest certain foods properly.

Therefore, people who suffer from allergies can even die if they eat a substance that causes allergies. That can happen with intolerances.

According to the Food Standard Agency, today, we have 14 main allergies

  1. Gluten
  2. Lactose
  3. Fish
  4. Crustaceous
  5. Nuts
  6. Mustard and seeds
  7. Lupini
  8. Celery
  9. Eggs
  10. Soya
  11. Mollusc
  12. Sesame Seeds
  13. Sulphites
  14. Peanuts


Symptoms of allergies can vary from sneeze to death in some cases.

It depends on the type of allergens and level. Intolerances have many same symptoms, but they are far different. Malabsorption problems cause intolerances. That can happen for various reasons. Food quality, digestion problems that underlying other health problems. For example, IBS problems, gluten intolerances, lactose intolerances. If you suspect having any of these symptoms, you might contact your GP. In some of these cases, we can solve the problem by following a healthy diet and reducing caffeine, alcohol, gluten, and lactose. In some other, we need professional help.

People who suffer from certain foods. That depends on the type of allergy Gluten, milk, and other foods. They can be identified only with professional help, and a specific diet can make life longer and better. Not everyone can go on a low fodmap diet, and this type of diet must be supervised by a professional.

People who suffer from allergies and anyone who cooks for them should take precautions when preparing meals. Here we have a few suggestions:

• Use mainly food labelled as gluten-free.

• Check the label.

• Use cleaned or different types of equipment to avoid contamination.

• Do not be scared to tell the waiter or Chef what food gives you allergies if you eat out.

• Always communicate to the restaurant team if you have any allergies. A professional restaurant will be able to offer you many food replacements.

Remember! The only way diet works, increase or decrease the number of nutrients or substitute nutrients with similar nutrients. For example, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, you should get nutrients from similar foods such as lactose-free milk, milk substitutes, and similar foods. People who suffer from fish allergies should take fats from other nutrients or supplements.

In conclusion, allergy and intolerance are two different things. We need to take some precautions when we cook for people with allergies and substitute food with other sources of nutrients. Always make people aware of any allergies, and avoid following a specific diet without professional supervision.

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