There are the foods you don’t like anyway, and there are foods you really like and don’t think cause your symptoms. Why is investigating diet complicated? Lydia decided to test just half a glass of her favourite good quality red wine every night for a week. And she tolerated it. But she got gut pain with a cask wine.
What we now know that we didn’t forty years ago is that food-sensitivity symptoms are due to the cumulative effect of many foods. And what is more important is that liked foods can be among foods that cause reactions. The good news is that when you get further along your diet investigation, like Lydia, you may even tolerate some liked foods, even those that are fairly high in chemicals.
Liked foods are important as, when you have them before you begin your diet trial, you may feel no symptoms, even feel “good” and they took away the “yuk” feeling that goes along with reactions. But, and there is a ‘but’, you are likely to have your symptoms come back eight, twelve, or even twenty-four hours, after you ate that chocolate, mint lolly, cola drink, or cup of strong tea. If you have several liked foods you cannot see what is happening and so symptoms continue.
Why are reactions to liked foods different? The way food chemicals cause reactions is complex and there is the possibility that the metabolic pathways that break down the suspect food chemicals are different for different foods. I suspect it has much to do with the flavour. However, we know even less about how food flavours are metabolised. If you look at the section on ‘Food flavours’ in Chapter 3 of Are You Food Sensitive? you will see much information on natural flavours and you can read a comment on why foods that we think have similar salicylate content do not cause reactions as expected. See links below. Clinically the foods and smells that are really disliked vary with individuals. Strong herbs, capsicum and petrol smells are really disliked by some but really liked, even craved, by others. Strong Thai spice, peppermint and the heady smell of roses are really liked by many but avoided by others.
So it makes sense that the foods that are best tolerated during the later challenge phase will be more related to your individual preference than to where they sit in the analysis data. Write a comment below to let others know what you were surprised to learn about your own tolerance of food. Have a great year learning to understand your food tolerances more.
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