Food Sensitivity Q&A: From the Registered Dietitians
Imagine you are a patient, and you just received these food sensitivity test results back (see Figure 1). Every food that is highlighted depicts that you are sensitive to this specific food, and the different colors indicate just how sensitive you may be. You are overwhelmed by the amount of food sensitivities you have. Both your provider and a registered dietitian walked you through a Wellness Plan and your customized grocery list, but you are still a bit confused.
Since our registered dietitians get asked numerous questions about nutrition, our wellness plans, food sensitivity testing, and more, we asked them to compile a list of common questions they answer on a daily basis to help overwhelmed patients like the one described above.
Here’s a list of the most common food sensitivity related questions:
Q: I tested positive to a food I never consume – why?
A: Food sensitivities can be influenced by cross reactions with other foods and/or environmental allergies/sensitivities. For example, if you have an allergy to dust mites you may test positive to shellfish, or if you have an allergy to latex, you may test positive to avocados or poppy seed.
Q: Do I have to avoid the Class 1 foods?
A: Class 1 foods are the foods detected with the lowest sensitivity. We always recommend to follow the specific guidelines from your provider, but we usually recommend avoiding all positive foods for 10-12 weeks. Even Class 1 foods can be significantly contributing to inflammation and symptoms. As the scores are lower for Class 1 foods, they typically can be reintroduced earlier in your Reintroduction Phase as it takes less time for your body to clear out the IgG for the lower scored foods.
Q: Why am I positive to gluten, but negative to wheat, barley, and rye? Can I eat those grains if I am negative to them?
A: Gluten is only one of the various proteins found in other glutenous grains. For example, you may be negative to barley, wheat, and/or rye, but as all these grains contain varying amounts of gluten, we suggest avoiding them.
Q: Why am I positive to casein, but tested negative to milk, yogurt, or cheese?
A: Each dairy food has a different score, meaning that if you are positive to one or more foods in the dairy group, that does not mean you will be positive to all dairy products. Casein is one of the many proteins found in dairy foods. Each dairy item has a different amount of casein contained in it, which is why the scores vary. Also, the process of making yogurt or cheese from milk denatures or destroys/alters many proteins which also contributes to the possibility of different scores. Just like gluten, we tend to suggest avoiding all dairy foods if you test positive to casein, as they contain varying amounts of casein within.
Q: I tested positive to eggs, why are duck eggs on my shopping list?
A: You were tested for chicken egg sensitivity. You may safely consume duck eggs or ostrich eggs as they are from different food families.
Q: Can I use nut and seed oils if I am sensitive to the nut or seed?
A: Although specific oils may have been removed from your Wellness Plan, in most cases they can be safely consumed if highly refined. Oils that do not meet this criteria such as cold-pressed or gourmet oils may not be safe to consume as they contain traces of the problem protein. Please discuss with your practitioner.
By providing some common questions and answers that our registered dietitians answer daily, we hope that we can provide you and your patients with more clarity on their journey to wellness!
Q: What if I accidentally consumed a food that I tested positive to?
A: Don’t worry, mistakes happen! Just carry on with your elimination and rotation diet, you do not need to start over.
Our registered dietitians are here to help provide support and guidance to you and your patients as they improve overall health and wellbeing. Click here to schedule an appointment.