Okay, we’re gonna talk about it. The so called “diet trends.” The fact that we still have diet trends scares me, but that’s our society, always wanting quick fixes, yes?
Today’s food trends seem to be focused around allergies, the top 5 being gluten, soy, dairy, nuts, and eggs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally believe that many of us have an allergy or intolerance to one or more of these foods, but what many consumers don’t understand is that the term “allergy friendly” is not necessarily healthy. Heck, my gluten free (allergy friendly) Pillsbury mini pies and homemade Yo-Yo’s were far from healthy. Tasty, yes! And we still need to enjoy those treats from time to time.
So while allergy friendly is a GOOD thing, we also must examine the REAL purpose of it.
The FDA requires every company to state allergens on their ingredient list. These are for the individuals (especially kids) that have a SEVERE allergy. Like PEANUTS, GLUTEN, etc.
- CONTAINS [ALLERGEN(S)] – The allergen is present in the ingredients of the product.
- PRODUCED IN A FACILITY THAT PROCESSES [ALLERGEN(S)] – The allergen is not in the ingredients, but it is present in the facility. Manufacturers use Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) to keep allergens separate from non-allergenic ingredients. GMPs include (but are not limited to): thoroughly cleaning machinery between processing runs and the use of scheduling to segregate ingredients. However, even with GMPs in place, if there is an allergen in the facility, there is always a small chance it could end up in the finished product.
- MAY CONTAIN [ALLERGEN(S)] – The allergen is not in the ingredients but even with GMPs in place cross contamination is unavoidable at some point in the manufacturing process. We advise customers with an allergy to NOT consume products that “MAY CONTAIN” their allergen. You’ll see “MAY CONTAIN” statement on many chocolate products and dry baking mixes because there is an inherent risk of cross-contamination for those types of products
Some brands will emphasize a “allergy free” label on the front.
Immediately the consumer will either
A) be attracted to it because they have to avoid that allergy.
B) think that avoiding this allergy will help them lose weight.
Unfortunately, too many consumers are believing B. Avoiding a certain food will not make you lose weight in the long run. And in fact, some of us need those certain foods for nourishment.
So where does that leave us?
We need to know why we’re avoiding a certain food allergy. And we need to read and understand the INGREDIENT list.
- Have you been tested for Food allergies?
- Have you done an elimination diet? If so, You might need to avoid these foods temporarily to find out what foods you are reacting to or not reacting to.
- What’s on the ingredient list? Is the product substituting an allergy ingredient with another potential allergy?
- Read the nutrition label. Are they adding in more sugar to replace taste?
- Is a natural product? If so, it should be free of a lot of allergens, no added ingredients.
We need to be aware of allergies in food, not use them as another “diet trend.” Gluten free (to me) is not a diet trend, it’s a lifestyle. Finding out what makes you FEEL your best is key. Am I right?!
And speaking of feeling your best, here are a few new allergy friendly food finds and brands that FIT perfectly into my LIFESTYLE.
Three Bakers Gluten Free bread (Whole Grain Rye is my favorite). It’s also soy free, nut free, and dairy free. They may be small pieces but very dense and packed with great RYE flavor! Perfect with Applegate Farms deli meats, which are always gluten free and preservative free. I also tried their GF whole grains hoagie rolls, which toasted up nicely. In fact, I used them at a garlic bread stick for last night’s dinner. Ha, even better!
New ENJOY LIFE FOODS decadent bars. I love enjoy because they are a company dedicated to make foods free of the common allergies. YEP! ALL OF THEM!
My favorite flavor was the chocolate sun butter.
Chia pod. Oh this is a fun new snack! Chia, fruit, and coconut milk in a pod. Allergy friendly for sure! Plus simple ingredients, good source of fiber, protein, and rich in omegas. AWESOME as an GF oatmeal topping!
New Low grown Foods SUPER oats. Yes, I mentioned them before, but I forgot to mention they have NUT free too. And I love that they are always gluten free. Gah, so good! Be on the look out for them online starting in September. Tons of giveaways will be happening too!
I also ordered these, which should get here tomorrow. I’ll let you know how they are! Love the simple ingredients.
So there you have it, some tasty Allergy Friendly foods!
And some interesting articles on food allergies, just for extra reading!
- How to cure lactose intolerance
- Setting an Allergen-Free Table
- Consumer Trends: Chefs Take On Food Allergies
- GF Community- Come share any NEW and Improved Allergy Friendly Foods.
Do you eat certain allergy friendly foods? If so, share your favorite and why!
Do you think our society is misusing the allergy friendly label? Seeing it as weight loss and/or diet trend?
Don’t think to hard now. It is Friday!