FOOD ALLERGIES: How to Save Your Life- Part Four
Food Allergies Part Four
Salicylates are a family of plant chemicals found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines; in flavorings such as peppermint, in perfumes and some medications. Aspirin is a member of the salicylate family. Salicylates are natural preservatives and concentrate near the surface of fruits and vegetables. Their levels are highest in unripe fruits and decrease with ripening.
These come from protein breakdown or fermentation. Large amounts are present in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer, yeast extracts and fish products, certain fruits and vegetables which go soft as they ripen, such as bananas, avocadoes and tomatoes. Aged and processed meats, as well as pork, chicken skin, canned or frozen fish, liver, kidney contain high amine levels. Grilling, charring or browning meat will increase natural amine levels.
MSG is a building block of all proteins found naturally in most foods. In its free form, that is, not linked to protein, it increases the flavor of food. Monosodium Glutamate is used as an additive to enhance soups, sauces, stock cubes, Asian dishes, and snack foods. Fermented products like soy sauce, tempeh and miso are rich in MSG.
People sensitive to natural food chemicals are also sensitive to common food additives. Most processed food contains additives. These include preservatives which keep food fresh, colorings added to make food more attractive, and flavor enhancers to increase taste.
Those most likely to cause unpleasant reactions are:
Preservatives - sorbates, benzoates, sulphites, nitrates, nitrites, proportionates and antioxidants;
Colorings - artificial and natural
Flavor enhancers - Monosodium glutamate
Other additives such as anti-caking agents, bleaches, emulsifiers, mineral salts, propellants, sweeteners, thickening agents, vegetable gums and vitamins are unlikely to cause adverse reactions.
Before making any major changes, see your doctor. Once the problem foods have been identified, a doctor or a registered dietitian can advise you on how to change your diet while still getting all the important nutrients you need. Even on a very restricted elimination diet you should be able to eat enough to meet your protein and energy needs.