It seems we read more each day about food allergies. In fact, more than 6 million Americans have a food allergy. Most of them are children. So what’s the difference between food allergies and intolerances?
Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system produces antibodies that react to certain food proteins. The body then creates histamines that cause the allergic reaction. The symptoms may range from a tingling sensation in the mouth to hives, cramps, vomiting, loss of consciousness or even death.
A food intolerance is an adverse reaction to a food that does not involve the immune system. An example of a food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Lactose is the natural sugar in milk. The body does not have the enzyme to digest the milk properly, and the results are usually gas, bloating or cramps.
What can I do about a food allergy? The only way to live safely with a food allergy is to avoid the food that causes the problem. Certain foods more commonly become allergic for some individuals. They include peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios), milk products, eggs, soy, wheat, shellfish (such as lobster, crab, oysters, clams and shrimp), and fish.
What is cross-contamination? When a food that apparently has no offending allergen comes in contact with even a minute amount of other foods, the offending protein may be transferred. Even very small amounts of protein can cause an allergic reaction.
Reading labels will help. Reading the ingredient label at the supermarket is very important. Since some ingredients listed may be variations of the offending protein, you will want to seek the assistance of a registered dietitian in while shopping.
Grilled Peaches and Chicken
• ½ cup peach preserves
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
• 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped, plus additional for garnish
• 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
• 5 medium peaches, pitted and halved
• 4 (4-to-5 oz. each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
• Ground black pepper
• ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill with greased grill rack for direct grilling over medium-high heat.
Combine preserves, oil, orange juice, thyme, and ginger in a small microwave-safe bowl for glaze. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Chop two peach halves add to glaze mixture in bow. Transfer glaze to a food processor. Pulse glaze mixture until slightly pureed, leaving some peach chunks.
Cut remaining peach halves into wedges. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees), turning and brushing with glaze every 5 minutes. Add peach wedges to grill during the last 5 to 6 minutes of grilling. Brush with remaining glaze and grill until peaches are lightly charred.
Serve chicken and peaches with goat cheese. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Nutrition facts: 370 calories per serving. Total fat – 2 grams. Cholesterol – 65 milligrams. Sodium – 135 milligrams. Total carbohydrates – 45 grams. Dietary fiber – 3 grams. Protein – 29 grams.
Recipe Source: “Hy-Vee Balance,” June 2018.
Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.