What are the common food intolerances pregnancy?
There is hardly a food on earth that does not cause intolerance in somebody. Foods as diverse as citrus fruit and chocolates are often cited, but the two most common foods that are suspected of producing food intolerances are those containing milk (and associated dairy products) and gluten.
Cow’s milk A few people are indeed intolerant of cow’s milk, but the vast majority of people are able to consume it safely. Human beings are born with the enzyme needed to digest the lactose present in human milk and other mammal milk. If our diet does not include milk after weaning (as is the case with many Asian diets), the body tells itself that the enzyme, produced in the gut, is no longer required. It stops being produced and intolerance to dairy produce then develops. Milk intolerance, if it does develop and if it is severe, usually becomes apparent early in life. Substituting goat’s milk for cow’s milk makes no
difference because the same allergens are present in goat’s milk. Soya milk is increasingly used as a dairy alternative but, again, you should be aware that intolerance and even allergy to soya products is on the increase in the Western world, and usually begins once soya becomes a frequently consumed food, so it may not be a suitable long-term alternative.
Gluten This is a protein contained in wheat, rye, barley, and oats, although the latter contain low quantities. People who suffer symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, and general lethargy may suspect they are intolerant of gluten. However, it is essential that they consult a medically qualified expert in order to find out if this is the case. It will do more harm to your overall health if you exclude wheat, rye, barley, and oats from your diet without firm evidence that you need to because you could be depriving your body of essential nutrients and impacting on your chances of conceiving.