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If you are like most people, eating is part of your holiday plans. You celebrate the holidays by enjoying holiday parties, family dinners, and more. Our Christmas season revolves around food. It only makes sense that those with food sensitivities and allergies want to learn how to enjoy themselves without being at risk. We’ll help you take a deep dive into the possible festive sensitivities you might run into so that you’ll be as prepared as possible to still enjoy your food-focused holiday season, like everyone else.

What are the most common food sensitivities?

You can have a food intolerance to just about any ingredient. In the UK, the most common food intolerances include lactose, gluten, histamine, caffeine, alcohol, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). As you can imagine, these ingredients are very common in many holiday foods. This makes Christmas a very challenging time for those with food intolerances.

Festive sensitivities can be mild, moderate, or severe. They can cause any number of symptoms, including tummy pain or bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, and lethargy. Like the sensitivities themselves, these symptoms can also be mild to severe. You may have one or all these symptoms. There are other symptoms possible, too. Sore joints and mind fog can also appear out of nowhere from a food intolerance.

Despite food sensitivities not being dangerous like food allergies are, they can be extremely painful and lead to someone feeling as though they are at risk for their health. This is why testing is so crucial if you are experiencing these kinds of sensitivities. Their results can also help you have a better long-term relationship with your diet.

Top tips for managing food sensitivitiesGive The Gift Of Health This Christmas

Festive sensitivities, like food sensitivities, can be hard to pinpoint, too. You could be reacting to one or more of those problem ingredients. Some people can have several food intolerances and not even know it! Symptoms can take hours or days to appear, causing inconvenience and unnecessary discomfort. Regardless of what you are reacting to or how strong your intolerance is, it can be frustrating to know what to avoid. Then, there’s the lesson on how to avoid it. These tips will help you make the best of your situation!

Be ready for unexpected intolerances

The holidays are great for trying new foods and exploring. However, exploring leads to possible food sensitivity reactions. If you intend to try as many new things as possible, just be on the lookout for any reactions. Also, know what you need to help with them. For example, lactose intolerance can be treated with lactose pills if you take them beforehand.

Get testing

Testing for food sensitivities is fast, simple, and convenient. The best way to avoid reactions is to know what you are reacting to and how strong the intolerance is. These tests also make great gifts for loved ones who already have everything they need.

DIY as much as you can

If you have intolerances to food ingredients in every fun, festive meal, try to DIY as much as possible. You can often swap out food ingredients for gluten-free, lactose-free, etc., equivalents. No one will even know the difference in most cases. This way, everyone can enjoy the delicious food, and you can also take the opportunity to educate your loved one on the potential of “free-from” foods. These swops are now plentiful at the market and in most kitchens.

Be cautious and take care of yourself

Some of us know someone who is not “free-from-friendly”. That is, they don’t believe in substitutions, or they refuse to use them. Some may even go so far as not to believe that food sensitivities are real, even though they are. If you still want to attend those events, you can. Be extra cautious when exploring the snack table. Year-round, it is the responsibility of the person with food intolerances to go the extra mile to protect themselves.

It may not be on your to-do list to work around festive sensitivities this year. We recommend that you think about it for a bit, though. You deserve to have a happy and enjoyable holiday season, after all. Spending it in the bathroom or discomfort due to the “wrong” snack is avoidable with intolerance testing. Since intolerances are common, take comfort in knowing that you won’t be alone in your approach to festive treats and holiday parties. It all makes for an easier holiday season. Remember, we’re here to help you give the gift of health this year. Shop our range here!

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This article was written by Donna, our Nutritionist / Care Manager

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