Food allergies are in response to a specific protein in foods. Many confuse food allergies and food intolerances. Food intolerances can result from anything in foods such as lactose, a natural sugar in milk, in Lactose Intolerance to polyols, another type of carbohydrate, in individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Most food intolerances are in response to carbohydrates which the body does may not digest well.
For allergies, they are an immune response and 90% of allergies are caused by proteins in eight foods including: peanut, tree nut, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat/gluten, and milk. These items will be called at on all Nutrition Facts panels below the ingredient list with “Contains: allergen(s) in that Product”. For example, an energy bar with whey protein as an ingredient will say “Contains: Milk”.
Other common allergens include: sesame, mustard, celery, sulphur dioxide and sulphites, lupin, and mollusks. Sulphate dioxide and sulphites are often added to dried fruits and is often found in beer and wine. Lupin can be used in some types of bread, pastries and even in pasta. Mollusks include clams, oysters, scallops, snails, and squid. Sesame, mustard, celery, sulphur dioxide and sulphites, lupin, and mollusks are not required to be labeled with a ‘contains statement’ like the first eight allergies mentioned above. If you are allergic to any of these, be sure to always read the full ingredient list and avoid any food item if you are not sure it is free from your allergen(s).
When preparing food for someone with food allergies, simply choosing foods that are free from their allergens is not enough. Cross-contamination is possible so we must make sure any ‘free from’ food does not come into contact with others food that may contain allergens. For example, if making sandwiches, a different knife and spread must be used to ensure a crumb of the bread containing wheat doesn’t get on to the gluten-free bread. When in doubt do not serve any food that contains allergens for someone at the table.
Finding free from foods is easy when shopping our store! Enjoy Life is an excellent brand that is free from the most common allergens and offers a variety of favorite foods. We have plenty of other brands too that are free from one of many common allergens.
If you have any specific food allergy questions, please email us at LivingWell@spartannash.com
In the mean time, here is one of our favorite recipes that can be enjoyed by most everyone: Pizza!
Lentil Chips Pizza Crust
Source: Enjoy Life Foods
- 1 4oz. bag of Margherita Pizza Lentil Chips pulsated in a food processor or crushed until a crumble
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Toppings of choice: non-dairy cheese, 1/2 cup of sauce, pepperoni, veggies, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8-9″ round cake pan.
- In a large bowl, add melted spread or butter to the crumbled Lentil Chips. Mix until well coated.
- Pat firmly into the bottom of the cake pan, evenly.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool COMPLETELY.
- Add toppings and bake for an additional ten minutes.
- Remove and let cool. Slice and enjoy.
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.