Allergy/Intolerance Diet

Ask the Expert

Q:

Can you recommend foods appropriate for someone on a yeast and mold-free diet? I do not eat potatoes, corn or eggs.


A:

I am assuming that you are allergic or intolerant to mold and yeast. Carefully following a diet for a food allergy/intolerance can be a daunting task. For some food allergies completely eliminating one or two foods is all that is necessary to remain symptom free; other food allergies require a large investment of time, energy and know-how to identify and avoid problem ingredients and still plan both a nutritionally sound and appealing diet.

A food allergy is caused by the body's immune system inappropriately reacting to a protein molecule in a usually harmless food. Food allergies can develop at any time and a person may become sensitized to a previously tolerated food.

Both molds and yeast are types of fungi that are pervasive in our environment. While it's not possible to totally avoid exposure to mold, you can reduce your risk of having an allergic reaction by avoiding cheese, mushrooms, vinegar, beer and wine, pickled and smoked meats, dried fruits, peanuts and peanut-containing products.

At this time a clear link between yeast and medical symptoms in the healthy adult has not been proven. However, for those who want to reduce the amount of yeast in their diet, avoiding items such as alcohol, vinegar-containing foods, breads and pastries made with yeasts and commercially prepared foods such as soups, sauces and salad dressing is recommended.

Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits and certain unprocessed grains would form the basis of the diet. Since both mold and yeast are found in many foods, contacting a registered dietitian, who has experience with food allergies and intolerances, is the best way to plan an appropriate diet.

The following organizations provide information and referrals for people suffering from food allergies and intolerances:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
www.aaaai.org

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
www.acaai.org

Food Allergy Network
www.foodallergy.org

American Dietetic Association
www.eatright.org

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