25 February 2015

Don't avoid any food until...

As a mother of two children and a food allergic adult,  I never had a single doctor tell me that avoiding peanuts would be a good way to go, because of the risk of allergies. There are years and years of studies showing that eating a well balanced diet and introducing children to a variety of foods is the best way to go early on.

People  have started making the assumption that foods that caused allergic reactions were "bad for everyone" and that just simply is NOT the case! Just because a headline says, "Gluten is the leading cause in autoimmune disease!" does not mean we should all avoid eating gluten, for example. The 1% of Americans diagnosed with Celiac Disease should 100% avoid eating gluten. And in the off chance you have a Gluten INTOLERANCE, then yes you should also avoid, but it's not an ALLERGY. The point is this DON'T stop eating foods unless you are having a reaction, as it won't help you or your child in the long run. 

Of course there are exceptions. When our child is having an allergic reaction to foods- then it is important to pull them off the food and it's easier said than done and requires a lot of work to narrow down the results.

4% of the United States population has been diagnosed with food allergies. That's 15 million people. It's important not to go overboard here. There is way too much generalization happening about health in general. Every person has a different body and many have different things that work for them. Food Allergies are not a FAD diet. It's not something that you start and then go off of. It's also not something that you should choose to do, unless it is actually harming you because of allergic reactions.

The Akins diet suggested that "eating protein rich diet" was good for you and helped you lose weight. So a lot of people went to extreme protein portions and many people got very sick or became unhealthy.

We MUST read the fine print on these diets and not just read headlines. I am very supportive of every person without a food allergy, eating all the fabulous foods they can. For example, I support the peanut industry. I loved peanuts (real food) for a long time and they were a great snack that was much better than eating Cheetos or a snickers bar (not real food).

Even at 22 when I was diagnosed with a peanut allergy, I still encouraged other people to eat peanuts. I still made my kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, until my reactions got much worse and I started reacting to touching peanut butter. It was not until I became airborne allergic to peanut butter that I banned it from my house, but that doesn't mean I encourage people to stop eating them. Peanuts can be very good for you. They are part of the legume family and a great source of protein.

The AAAAI recently held their national conference in Houston where they announced studies about this and now the media is a feeding frenzy about it. This is all coming out wrong from start to finish and really dragging the food allergy community down.

We have now WASTED a lot of research dollars on a study that should never have been in the first place. What idiot person didn't do their research to begin with. Kids are not the only people who have or develop food allergies.

If medical researchers and doctors had worked together to compile information they would have seen that adults who had eaten all these foods before (i.e. peanuts) were suddenly developing severe allergic reactions. It is NOT because they weren't introduced to them.

This is a fabulous example of the fact that no one knows what food allergies and you can't prevent them. Eat all the foods possible until you can no longer. Most people will never react and some people will and that's it. Let's focus on why adults/teens suddenly develop food allergies and then we may be able to help everyone much more. We are doing it backward though because we are far more prone to wanting to help kids than adults. (I get it but at the same time I don't like it anymore, because I see it differently).

My children have eaten as many things as I can put in front of their face. My rule is, "You just have to eat 1 bite." My son was never diagnosed with food allergies and then at 15 years old he went into anaphylaxis shock, 4 times. It just happens. There is nothing that I did wrong as a parent. I have no tools to prevent true IGe reactions from developing. It was the same thing with me, I ate everything until one day I could not due to allergic reactions.

This is EXACTLY why I DO NOT recommend "going Gluten Free," especially for kids, unless there is a true gluten intolerance or celiac disease. If you have an IgE wheat allergy- then please 100% avoid wheat- but eat spelt, rye, oats (contain gluten) all day long, if you can because it's not gluten bothering your system.

I don't recommend having a snickers bar, a bag of Cheetos and a coke for snack under any circumstance, by the way. But if you have a snickers bar and you don't have food allergies, it will not kill you, I promise. No one is going to shoot you either, especially not me. I will actually be jealous because I haven't been able to eat one in 13 years.  It's about moderation. It's about knowing what works for your body.  It's also mostly all about moderation and finding the right balance.

Here is the actual report received about the study with a shIT headline: (because people without food allergies don't understand and are taking it wrong) 

Exposing kids at risk for peanut allergy to peanuts may actually help prevent an allergy.
A study suggesting that exposing kids at risk for peanut allergy to peanuts may actually help prevent an allergy was covered by all three of last night’s national news broadcasts for a total of more than four minutes. The study also received extensive coverage online and in print. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which provided funding for the trial, is quoted in nearly every article. Most sources tout the study, with some calling the findings a “landmark” or “ground-breaking.”
        The CBS Evening News (2/23, story 5, 1:56, Pelley) reported, “A new medical study...could transform the way doctors prevent peanut allergies. Turns out keeping kids away from peanuts may be the wrong thing to do.” ABC World News (2/23, story 6, 1:42, Muir) and NBC Nightly News (2/23, story 4, 0:31, Holt) also discussed the study during their respective broadcasts.
        The AP (2/24, Marchione) reports that the research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, “involved more than 600 children ages 4 months to 11 months old,” all of whom “were thought to be at risk for peanut allergy because they were allergic to eggs or had eczema.”
        The New York Times (2/24, Pollack) “Well” blog reports that these children “were randomly assigned either to be regularly fed food that contained peanuts or to be denied such food.” Those “feeding patterns CONTINUED until the children were 5 years old.”
        USA Today (2/24, Szabo) reports that “babies regularly given peanuts for at least four years cut their risk of peanut allergy by an average of 81%, compared with children who avoided peanuts.” These “results are ‘without precedent,’ said” Dr. Fauci, who added that “the results have the potential to transform how we approach food allergy prevention.”

        The Washington Post (2/24, Bernstein) “To Your Health” blog reports, “An accompanying editorial described the research as a ‘landmark study,’ called for quick issuance of new guidelines on peanut consumption by children and recommended that some infants between the ages of four and eight months who are at risk for the allergy be started on small amounts of peanut protein.”

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