In France, there are about 1.3 million affected by food allergies. Agribusiness manufacturers are developing numerous products to meet these needs. Specialised stores were the first to enter into the market, before numerous allergen-free products were launched in large and medium-sized stores. Today, sales are multiplying.
Maïa Baudelaire, Nutritionist and Expert Slimming Coach in Food Behaviour offers some tips to help make your daily choices easier.
1. Spot Allergens: A quick look at the label
A quick look at the ingredients in a product will allow you to quickly see if there’s any allergenic ingredients included.
Regulation requires clear labelling of the 14 major and risky allergens: peanuts, milk, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, cereals containing gluten, nuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, lupine, molluscs, celery and mustard.
To help spot them, there are also logos specific to certain allergies. This is the case, for example, for gluten-free products of which you’ll find different logos representing a wheat eared barrel.
2. A Smartphone application: Practical and Playful:
“Shopwise”, in other words, making the right purchases, is an application created by nutritionists and leading app developers. ‘Shopwise’ allows users to make both healthy and responsible choices. Through the app, you can obtain specific information about potential allergies in food products.
Go to the AppStore and AndroidMarket to download it.
3. Want to go out? Restaurants without allergens!
You don’t have to always stay at home and eat homemade products. Why not invite your friends to an allergen-free restaurant? Many sites reference these restaurants, have a look here: http://www.sortirsansgluten.com.
4. “Allergy Free” Branded Products: Convenient and Accessible!
Little by little, branded products are finding their way onto the market of allergen-free products. Gluten-free products represent the biggest potential market. You will find, for example, the Auchan ranges: “Living gluten-free“, “Carrefour gluten-free“ and Casino’s: “Good for you! Gluten-free “. Various products at reasonable prices.
5. Do not confuse Allergy and Intolerance:
A food allergy is basically the immune system’s overreaction to a food that has been wrongly considered an “enemy”. This substance is called an allergen. An allergy sometimes leads to skin or inflammatory reactions that can be dangerous for health, hence the regulatory list of major allergens.
When the immune system is not concerned, we talk about intolerance. A good example is lactose intolerance. Less dangerous than an allergy, an intolerance often leads to digestive discomfort.
The known allergens are: peanuts, milk, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, gluten-containing cereals, nuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, lupine, molluscs, celery and mustard.
Maïa Baudelaire’s advice
The diagnosis of food allergies is complex. If you have any doubts, talk to your doctor or make an appointment with an allergist.
If you suffer from celiac disease and are intolerant to gluten, then it is essential to consume gluten-free foods.
And for those of you who are not gluten intolerant but, through magazine articles, have become interested in these fantastic gluten-free diets? Put together a new list of foods to avoid (without any medical reason). Until your next diet …
If you don’t have an app to help you, look at the list of ingredients – manufacturers should always include the allergens used. If you have any doubts about a product, do not hesitate to contact the brand’s consumer service or associations for people suffering from food allergies.