Unfortunately, we’ve been told that food is simply energy to get through the day. Calories are the focus of most people whenever discussing health, nutrition, and weight loss. The radical effects that nutrition has on life are undermined by the simplicity that food is just ‘energy’ to get through your day and nothing more. Nutrition is arguably the most important factor in an individual’s health and well-being. What is put in your body has everyday implications on your mood, brain health, sleep, muscles, bones, skin, hair, and really your overall ability to pursue an optimal and radical life that almost everyone desires. When ‘toxic’ food is a part of the food environment regardless of how good it tastes, it hinders and dampens your health in so many ways, especially in the long term. That said, everyone is uniquely designed given how they were raised, what they were exposed to, and were not exposed to. Food intolerances are what makes personalizing nutrition so unique. On paper, some foods may look ‘nutritious’ but can wreak havoc on someone’s body if they have personal intolerances to such foods. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, food intolerances tests can be taken through many different companies online. I personally took mine through EverlyWell in 2019. I was not surprised to see many common food intolerances from my test results. Today, I want to share what are the most common intolerances and what people will often see whenever getting results back.
1. Dairy (Lactose) – Milk is one of the most complete nutritional profiled whole foods on the earth. It’s full of carbs, fats, and protein, something you rarely find naturally in nature. Milk is the key to growth for any infant whether it is breast milk for babies, cow’s milk for calves, or any other baby mammals growth. The issue with cow’s milk for many people is the overactive response the body has to the ‘foreign’ sugar and compounds in cow’s milk. One research group found that over 75% of the global population has difficulty digesting milk and or are lactose intolerant, The human body is pretty familiar with glucose and fructose, the carbohydrate profile of foods like fruit, bread, and potatoes but lactose is a bit different. That said, people that typically have dairy intolerances are rooted in the lactose sugar that is found in dairy. That said, avoiding foods like milk, ice cream, and yogurt are the main issues. Cheeses, cream, and butter are often much less of an issue because the sugar has been removed.
2. Soy (phytic acid/lectins) – My personal food intolerance test showed soy as one of the worst foods for me to consume. (highest IgG response) Soy is one of the top 8 most common food intolerances in the United States. Why? Soy contains a handful of antinutrients that affect mineral absorption, damage the gut lining of your intestines, and impair thyroid function. Phytic acid has been shown to reduce the absorption of critical micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and iron.
3. Gluten (Wheat) – Gluten is often thrown around as some craze that is just for weird health nuts to avoid. The truth is, gluten can actually cause some legit problems. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat products. When the body attempts to break down gluten, it damages the gut lining and can lead to a leaky gut. Obviously, there is a spectrum of how much inflammation affects people. Some people eat wheat products all day long without any issues while some may absolutely suffer digestive problems when they have just a small amount of gluten from pasta, bread, etc. That doesn’t mean that gluten doesn’t negatively affect those who don’t have such bad issues. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is still common. Another side issue that is often undermined is the presence of glyphosate in many processed grain products. Glyphosate is a pesticide that is used to preserve foods like corn, wheat, and soy that are all large parts of the processed food diet. Glyphosate resources can be found here.
4. Nuts (Phytic Acid/Oxalates) – Take a minute to think about this, every living thing has biological defense mechanisms. Animals have unique ways to avoid their prey whether it is speed to run away, shells to hide in, or skin that is rugged and strong. Plants don’t have the ability to run away from their predators but they do have ‘poisonous’ properties so that they can survive and pass on their seeds to continue the offspring. That said, the nuts and seeds are arguably the most preserved part of the plant. The plant does everything it can to make sure animals don’t eat the one thing that allows them to pass on offspring. Animals often get sick whenever they consume these plants in nature and they learn their lesson to avoid them. It’s no different for humans. These compounds in this part of the plant inhibit the absorption of minerals, damages the gut lining, and just increase inflammation overall in the body. On the contrary, the fruit is the least ‘toxic’ part of the plant because the plant wants its environment to consume it so that it can spread the seeds in the fruit. There’s a reason why most animal feces have whole seeds in them, they can’t be digested but they will break down in the soil to grow.
5. Eggs (Avidin) – Most people assume and believe that egg whites are ‘healthier’ than egg yolks. They base this off the fact that the egg whites are the part that is lower in calories, fat, and has more protein. The yolk is what contains fats, cholesterol, and a multitude of vitamins and minerals. While each part of the egg has it’s unique benefits, the whites have a compound known as avidin. Avidin binds to biotin, a mineral that plays an important role in hair, skin, and nail health. When egg white consumption is high, biotin levels can become an issue.