Eat Enjoy or Avoid – Why We Need to Know About Food Intolerance

Threatened vested interests echo through the media and in our conversations. People who come around for dinner and don't eat this or that have become regarded as "picky eaters".

Our ancestors went after food they could hunt and eat
We retain weight when we do not get good nutrition to survive times of famine - Image by Sonam Prajapati from Pixabay

Knowing about food intolerance flies in the face of selling medicine and short-lived fad diets and yet it helps everyone maintain their health and weight.

Threatened vested interests echo through the media and in our conversations. People who come around for dinner and don’t eat this or that have become regarded as “picky eaters”.

Intolerance can be expressed by symptoms
Food intolerance responses can be hidden by the addictive quality of the food – Image by Darko Djurin from Pixabay

Restaurants struggle to keep up due to competition and diners’ demands for gastronomic experiences. Products aimed at health food consumers such as “gluten free”, “low fat”, “sugar free” and “vegan” further spoil the broth.

Big Business

Finding out about food intolerance means an end to restrictive diets. In balance with this, very few people will even see this article, let alone read it. If you do, welcome. Since drugs giant Valeant (See Dirty Money on Netflix) stitched up the American medicine market and the British government ground down the National Health Service we need to bring health matters back home again.

Our grandparents would only see a doctor in an emergency. Soy flour was only added to bread after the 1960s, before when it was used for wall paper paste. Soy flour kept bread softer and preserved it for longer. However, it does the opposite to the human body.

Kids eating natural foods and foraging
People who cannot acceess modern manufactured foods are less likely to be obese – Image by Sonam Prajapati from Pixabay

Few health practitioners have caught up with the relationship between food and health. Most people are conditioned to believe what they are told and not look for their own answers. Meanwhile, drugs companies continue to profit from our lack of real knowledge and understanding about nutrition and health.

Lobby groups such as for dairy and sugar have invested heavily in deflecting scrutiny away from their products and finding other scapegoats for our diet woes. Dr John Mansfield writes in his 2012 book The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss that a British doctor, Richard Mackarness “noted that people who lived in primitive circumstances eating primitive food rarely became obese”.

The Paleolithic Diet

Mansfield continues with the theme: “Whereas fruits, vegetables, meats and fish had been consumed for several million years, cereals had been consumed for only about 10,000, and sugar for approximately 300”.

Our ancestors went after food they could hunt and eat
We retain weight when we do not get good nutrition to survive times of famine – Image by Sonam Prajapati from Pixabay

This may sound like just an argument for the Paleolithic diet, which wouldn’t be a bad things for most people. However, our bodies do adapt over generations. Yet in the United Kingdom Dr Mansfield found 20 foods that his thousands of patients from the 1970s onwards had the most difficulty with.

Finding out about food intolerance may involve a pin prick, hair sample (called bioresonance, such as provided by Langton Smith Health, which is reasonably priced and helpful), blood test or other still expensive means of testing for food intolerance. However, the quickest, cheapest and most effective method is still the Elimination Diet.

This is based on spending 7 or 8 days just eating as much as you want from 42 safe foods. These foods are deemed those least likely to cause problems as they are the least adulterated. Cooking can be done with olive oil and only still or sparkling water can be drunk. The idea is to then test other foods to identify ones, which cause problems.

The Anatomy of Addiction

We make outdoor journeys to compensate for our sedentary modern lifestyles
Ancient people would move when they had to and save their energy for emergencies not for fun – Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Finding out about food intolerances can also reveal the anatomy of addiction. The actual anatomy of addiction looks a little like the Loch Ness Monster. ‘Masking’ is the term for our biological system hiding food intolerances from us if we eat or drink certain things regularly. After eating it we feel better, then worse and this cycle repeats until we start to feel even worse, prompting us to consume again. Then we may have a break from this substance and plunge into withdrawal symptoms. Then we will resort to the addictive substance again to feel better. This is the same pattern as cigarette smoking.

The overall benefits of completing an elimination diet are: returning to your ideal weight and being able to sustain it with your knew knowledge, improved health and disease avoidance. A basket of nutritious food costs less than the same amount of the required nutrition, calories and vitamins from processed or adulterated food.

Real Food Producers

Following a road can mean going in different directions
We’ve followed the road of farming thus far but maybe we need to find our way back again – Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Real food is also far more sustainable than junk or fast food. More incomes are created by real food producers through farmers markets, whole food shops and selling directly online via home delivery services. Many less land, especially preserving that acquired through deforestation, is required to feed people through real fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts and salad. Three of the four top drivers of deforestation are beef, mostly to make burgers for fast food chains, soya and palm oil. Both the latter are used as ingredients in many processed foodstuffs.

Eating foods that agree with you does mean that you will be filled up when your body has consumed the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Therefore, finding foods that you are sensitive to discounts the need for calorie counting and going hungry.

Outdoor activity is healthy in its own right. However, it has not been proven as a prerequisite for weight management. Exercise can also be addictive. The aim is to find what is right for you and no one else can tell you that. The more energy you burn the more you need to replace in as much as to ensure our bodies have what they need.

Together into one Narrative

Foraging means in season
Picking fruit in season means packaging and preservative free – Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Books such as Why We Get Fat and What We Can Do About it by Gary Taubes bring together into one narrative the findings over decades or even centuries from scientific research into nutrition. Taubes describes the two kinds of fat we have, white fat and brown fat, why it’s there and what it is for. One thing it is not there to do is to spite you and prevent you from living your life. The more information you have about how your body works, the better you can look after it.

If you are not yet convinced, there are many books and articles written to provide you with more information. It is good to learn how to spot information with less bias or from credible sources who share your aims for better health, which are free of vested interests or ulterior motives. The rest is up to you.



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Sophie Sweatman
Born in south London and brought up in Surrey I had a very enjoyable social and active childhood and then got sent to boarding school where the only escape was team sports and music. I greatly enjoyed trying to predict number one records. My first published piece was in the school magazine, then after my O’levels I got the plum work experience job on the local paper and after a second attempt at house style, got all the wedding reviews printed that I had written up, plus a few extra pieces. This led me to a job offer at GQ magazine but my “housewife and mother” education was continued and I went to cookery school. I started work writing for a café and booking bands, which led to work experience at Lynne Franks PR, where I learnt to do music listings, putting me in good stead for 10 years of music promotion. I booked bands at the Laurel Tree in Camden in 1997 amongst various other places, some sadly gone. Some curdled mayonnaise later I went to an art college, which was part of the American College in London to do all sorts of art-based subjects and being taught English in American was interesting but they taught Harvard Referencing so well it was no bother and I got a top grade for a 10,000 word dissertation on music law focusing on George Michael’s court case against his record company. After looking for work in non-arty south west London I moved to Crouch End and had a painting exhibition in 1994. After working for the local paper I got into the London College of Communication to do a postgraduate in periodical journalism. This was followed by an industrial placement at the Camden New Journal, where I wrote health columns inspired by What Doctors Don’t Tell You a newsletter started by Lynne McTaggart that still goes today. The Camden New Journal also inspired me to do theatre reviews, which I did each week for the London Newspaper Groups stable of papers from 1998 til 2000. My thirties was spent on self-development, resulting in a good job by 2010, when I started planning a move out of London. With an unconditional place at London College of Communication to do an MA in Broadcast Journalism but instead I moved to Falmouth and did a Professional Writing MA. In Cornwall I write for various publications and work for a record company promoting musicians and local artists. I still read What Doctors Don’t Tell You and research on health, nutrition, ancient humanity, science and various other subjects.