The Food Allergy Diet?

May 23, 2012

Ever wonder if avoiding certain foods will help you shed pounds? Here are some of the facts

Ever wonder if avoiding certain foods, or restricting a common allergen - or similar - even if you are not at all allergic - like dairy, nuts or gluten in your diet will help you shed pounds? Well we at SupermarketGuru see tons of new products, some allergy free and friendly and others not, and have compared a few side by side, here are some of the facts:

We compared two popular brands of chocolate chip cookies, one gluten free* and the other “regular". Calorie wise, the “regular” cookies contained 5 calories per gram, whereas the gluten free version contained 4.6 calories per gram. While the gluten free cookies do contain fewer calories per gram (0.4) this is very insignificant and you are better off having the “regular” version as the taste profile will probably be more satisfying, thus reducing the urge to reach for more later in the day.

Next we compared four different versions of the American staple, mac and cheese from a well known company that caters to all different types of eaters. The “regular” version contained 1.6 calories per gram, the dairy free version, made with soy cheese clocked in at 1.45 calories per gram, the gluten free version, made with rice pasta contains 1.56 calories per gram and finally, the vegan, gluten, and soy free version (extremely “allergy friendly”!) ranked highest at 2.29 calories per gram. Still think following an “allergen free” diet will help you shed pounds?

Not only are many allergy friendly foods similar in calorie content to “regular” foods, often they have a different taste profile; and sometimes they are made with ingredients that are more highly refined thus digest more easily (causing spikes in blood sugar), than some of their whole grain, fiber rich counterparts. Allergy friendly foods are certainly improving and becoming widespread, but clearly choosing allergy free foods as a diet or weight loss program may not give you the results you desire.

Another point of contention has with those choosing to eat “allergy free” for dieting purposes is that restaurant staff, including waiters, waitresses and chefs become desensitized to the severity and importance of allergy free living for those who are truly allergic, intolerant or celiac. This can result in a slew of complications for those who do in fact have food allergies. Living with a food allergy can be difficult, so if you are interested in losing weight or eating “healthy” by avoiding certain foods, think twice before claiming you have food allergies.

*Gluten free diets can be the result of either a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, which is auto-immune disorder that can only be controlled through a strict gluten free diet. For those with celiac disease, consuming gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines, thereby inhibiting the absorption of nutrients, weakening the immune system and more.

For those who do have food allergies you will find’s Food Allergy Buddy ® & Celiac BFF Card to be very useful when dining out.