Beware of 3 Summer Food Favorites that Can Turn On You

Posted On Thursday, 07 June 2018
Beware of 3 Summer Food Favorites that Can Turn On You

Some of the best parts of summer are edible, however indulging in some of the season’s most popular foods at picnics, barbecues and on boardwalks can lead to double trouble when it comes to your health.

It seems like everyone these days has some sort of sensitivity to food. Is it made up or a real phenomenon?

The most popular foods of summer include ice cream, citrus fruits, red wine and cheese and we tend to overindulge in them especially during the summer because they are more readily available, and it seems like everyone else is eating them too.

Atmosphere and social pressure can also play a huge role in what we choose to eat. During the summer it’s easy to let your guard down when it comes to food – or just make a lot of excuses!

Partaking in afternoon ice cream or having that mid-day glass of wine is not the normal routine for most of us, which is why food sensitivities and reactions tend to escalate during this season.

“We All Scream for Ice Cream!”
Nothing says summer like a double scoop of ice cream! It’s so popular that nine percent of all cow’s milk in America is used to make ice cream. It is very easy to go for the larger portions, but remember there are a lot of calories and fat in ice cream so instead of making it a daily treat, try limiting its frequency. Another strategy is to order the kiddy size cup or cone for the big kid in all of us!

Ice cream also contains dairy so if you are lactose intolerant, which means you lack the enzyme called lactase to break down the dairy properly, eating ice cream can give you diarrhea, gas and bloating. The good news is if you are lactose intolerant, you can take a lactase enzyme pill before you splurge; which will help you digest the dairy in the ice cream without the ill effects.

Another way to get your frozen dessert summer fix is making it with fresh fruit. New electric kitchen tools can turn anything from bananas, strawberries or even melons into something that looks and tastes a lot like ice cream without having to navigate around a dairy intolerance.

“Would You Like Some Wine with that Cheese?”
Summer rooftop hopping and picnics in the park would not be complete without wine and cheese, so how can this blissful combo leave you feeling flushed, dizzy, fatigued, nauseous and whining about a headache? Don’t confuse these symptoms with a hangover if they come on within 15 minutes of a wine tasting. A rush of these symptoms could mean that you have a histamine intolerance brought on by a deficiency of the DAO (diamine oxidase) enzyme.

Histamines are present in a variety of fermented foods such as wine, aged cheeses, beer and sauerkraut. White or rosé wines have lower histamine levels than red wine. In fact, red wine has 20–200 percent more histamine than white wine! One strategy to keep the wine from turning on you is to drink a cup of black tea first, because it has a histamine-reducing effect.

However, one of the most effective ways to enjoy your wine and not worry about the consequences is by taking a food-grade DAO enzyme called Umbrellux DAO first as it can dramatically reduce symptoms and reactions associated with wine, cheese or any fermented food high in histamines.

“When Life Gives You Lemons, You Don’t Always Have to Make Lemonade”
Beware of summer’s favorite citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, which can cause oral allergy syndrome or contact reactions in some people. Most people don’t realize how often lemons are used as flavoring in water and foods or in fruit salads to prevent browning! Symptoms of a citrus reaction can include swelling of the lips or the mouth or a skin rash that can cause swelling, redness, burning and itching. In some cases, swelling inside the throat can create trouble breathing.

The acid in citrus fruits can also provoke acid reflux symptoms, causing heartburn. Some people have citric acid intolerance, a condition that occurs and recurs when your body has a hard time digesting and metabolizing citric acid found in food.

The difference in a citric acid intolerance versus a citrus allergy lies in the symptoms of the former that appear to develop only after some time. Clearly avoiding citrus is the best strategy. Consider other foods of summer like bananas, coconuts, mangoes and avocados if you are allergic or have an intolerance to citric acid, as these fruits contain very little or no citric acid. Antihistamines can relieve mild symptoms, but trouble breathing requires emergency treatment.

If you have ever had this type of reaction to citrus fruits, stay away from summer lemonade stands!

Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND

Felicia Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND, know as America's Health & Wellness Expert™ is a registered dietitian nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in disease prevention, wellness and healthful living. She earned her Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She completed her residencies at Rutgers University Athletics and ABC News Medical Unit. Stoler has served as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University where she teaches exercise physiology, nutrition and communications courses.

Stoler has extensive media experience and hosted the second season of TLC's groundbreaking series, “Honey, We're Killing the Kids!” which targeted unhealthy lifestyles of families, across the country, in an effort to motivate them to make positive changes. She is the author of, Living Skinny in Fat Genes™: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great (Pegasus, 2010), featured as a “must have” book in USA Weekend. Stoler authored the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Current Comment on Childhood Obesity.”

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